I guess I’m pretty lucky to have had an entertaining start to the new year to fuel this blog
I reached Bangalore around midnight and stayed the night at Nefilim’s place who seemed proud of his tummy
Met Neha the next morning and headed for Pedals & Wheels to rent a bike for the event. I was given a KHS Alite 500, luckily the proper frame size was available, got the bike tuned and carried it back to NGV in an auto
Bought a pile of high-carb sweet munchies to survive on the next day and was back around 6pm. Since we had to be out of the house by 2am to meet Kalkat our 3rd teammate, decided to turn in. I got a good sleep but Neha was restless
1:00 AM: Woke up at this godforsaken hour, did the necessary, setup the bike for the last time, packed our rucksack with loads of food and drinks
2:30 AM: Handed our bike to a volunteer who was going through the same area and were picked up by Kalkat, his wife and friend who was doubling as a backup driver
3:15 AM: We reached Turahalli and saw about two dozen participants already on the spot. Filled out the paper work and got our tags
3:45 AM: Whistle blows and the 50km race has started, Kalkat pulls me along most of the way while I am huffing and puffing up every hill. I wish Mumbai had more hills we could practice on.
It was pitch black and my bottle managed to kick loose within 5 minutes of the start. Had to spend a few minutes looking for a dark bottle on a dark road in the inky blackness with my little useless torch.
Bless Kalkat’s car which acted as support vehicle and kept the roads sufficiently illuminated without which we would be riding blind.
7:15 AM: Reached the U-turn checkpoint, now we have to head to Manchabale Dam and the meeting point
8:00 AM: Damn, I missed the turn and am going down the trail biking path
8:15 AM: Kalkat’s car also missed the turn and is waiting to inform me of my folly. Amazing a SX4 could handle this terrain too.
8:30 AM: Finally made it to the checkpoint, lost 30 minutes because of the wrong turn. We head for the bouldering event next
9:00 AM: WTF, we had expected to be able to do some of the easy problems but found that the boulders may as well have been greased
10:00 AM: Kalkat managed to overpower some of the rocks and scored us 3 points. We also got to see Samim Rizvi in action.
10:30 AM: Neha and Kalkat head to the kayaking event while I take a nap behind the tent
11:40 AM: The 12k trail bike event starts. I go out thinking that it meant a few bad roads. Turns out to be a sufferfest with me having to carry the bike a third of the ride on terrain I would think twice before trekking
The terrain is similar to the pic linked above, loose pebbles, rocks and slate, dust and muddy streams crisscross the track. Imagine riding this slope if the nice smooth road wasn’t in the middle
I consider myself either l33t or very lucky not to have taken a fall throughout the ride which would easily have left bloodied limbs
Made a good choice of deciding to walk across a particularly muddy stream instead of biking across. I would have made a faceplant in mud otherwise not unlike this poor chap
1:15 PM: Finally returned after getting lost once only to find everyone is waiting for me to get started on the return 40km trip
1:30 PM: I retire and get the bike loaded on the car which rest of the groups start their climb up the dam and back to Turahalli
3:00 PM: Reach Turahalli, pick up Katkat who posted a very good time
5:00 PM: Back home finally