Monday, April 21, 2014

Cadence90 morning ride to BWSSB, Harohalli - Kanakapura Road

This is a ride I almost missed. I did one step better than Raj and Simran of DDLJ - hopped on after the train had left the station.

I have a ~2300 bucks Samsung phone with more than adequate features for my daily use. But then, bugs are everywhere. A peculiar one with mine - when I activate an alarm used before, it doesn't ring unless time is changed from previous value. Usually, I keep changing the time, so I forget this bug. On Friday April 18th night, I set for alarm for 4:45 AM. My subconscious mind reminded me to keep another alarm at 5 minute difference as a back up incase I slept after first alarm. My conscious mind was confident that I won't miss and thus I slept. These days I wake up many a times in night (as I rarely over work my mind and body during the day being lazy). I woke sometime after 4 AM and slept back. When I woke again - it was 5:17 AM!

I didn't want to miss as I hadn't done even 35+ km ride with my bike and this one was supposed to be around 50. After getting ready hurriedly (some minutes lost in turning on PC to get Chethan's number, also saw that route was along Kanakapura - further away from Cadence90 in relation to my room), I left 1 minute past 5:40 AM. Chethan responded to my call and he said ride might start 15 minutes past 6 AM depending on when everyone gathers. That gave me some hope but I told him to not wait for me.

With full josh, I cranked up my speed to 30 kmph on CMH road only to find myself parched and out of breadth before reaching Old Madras road about a km ahead. After that, it became difficult than normal. Halfway, I wished that I wouldn't be able to catch up so that I can return back instead of becoming a problematic rider for Cadence90. But inspite of my misgivings, I reached at 6:12 AM only to find not a soul around. I felt disappointed a bit but also relieved that I can go back. I had gone few meters ahead to Kanakapura road when unexpectedly Chethan came and informed me that I could catch up with the group if I peddled straight.

Physically, I wanted a break before turning back to home, but good news revved me up and I cycled hard again. Road felt familiar once overhead metro was in sight, having cycled to Mysore in December 2012 and thrice for trekking. I wasn't sure how much of headstart others had. I was okay to peddle as much as I could and return back. In 10 minutes or so, I caught up with Radha (whom I had met in Wayanad tour) and Sowmya (previous Cadence90 ride). Apparently, they too started a little later than main group.

Bangalore being located about 3000 feet above sea level, there is downhill generally when one leaves Bangalore. Even as we enjoyed this thrilling ride, we were weary about the uphill climb back - when it would be hotter and tired legs. In cool morning air with trees forming arch gateway on good NH 209 highway, Kanakapura is famous among bikers and motorists alike. The parallel Mysore road being preferred, there is relatively less traffic too. Waiting for a ride in monsoon season ;)

With so much happening from morning, I threw caution to wind and cranked up 45+ kmph at a small stretch of downhill (Warning: do not try without expert training) which resulted in small wobble instead of straight ride. I didn't try that again :)

We passed Art of Living, NICE road, Kaggalipura(where Bannerghatta road meets Kanakapura road) and then met the other guys waiting near APS college. On the way we passed a cyclist with some sort of issue in tyre, wonder how he fixed/got-back.

It was just past 7 AM, but some of us were feeling tired and dreading the way back. Expert riders - Phaneesh, Parameshwar, Kranthi - knew from same Waynad trip, Archana (previous Cadence90 ride), Satish and two leopards (leopardskyn racer jersey) - Aditya and Yashas completed our group. We had stopped for much needed rest, stretching and tender coconut.

Phaneesh, Parameshwar, Kranthi and perhaps Satish too are regulars on this road - most/every weekend. They coolly fooled us that BWSSB on pipeline road was about 10 km ahead with mostly flat road. Agreed it was the best part of the morning, but we were taken for ride!

Having studied Electronics and Communication engineering, 'pipeline' road was a confusing name for me. Until I saw about 6 feet diameter 'pipes' (supplying water to Bangalore) on both sides of the road. This road goes through villages and intersects Kanakapura road at various locations.

Road was excellent with only few patches here and there. Very very less motor traffic. Trees and grasslands around, chirping of birds, a village house here and there, frequent ups and downs. We kept going at steady pace, some climbs stretching our limits and gears - but secretly happy that some downhills will be there while returning. Gradually, the group got spread more than a kilometer apart. I had someone ahead in view for about 13 km in pipeline road but lost sight near Siddapura-Bidadi road. I was tired and suddenly afraid that I missed some turn so came back (just about 500m from BWSSB :( - some kids far off were shouting something related to cycle-cycle, perhaps that too strengthened the notion of missing).

Trail route from my house
Altitude Profile (one way)
Created on - check above map here.

The ride back was of course pretty tough, downhills providing only a temporary relief. Chatting with Phaneesh helped in keeping up riding despite body crying for rest. When I did stop past Kanakapura intersection for water and break, muscles let me know full extent of pain.

Phaneesh's advice of keep peddling slowly instead of frequent stops helped a lot. I enjoyed the leisurely ride and satisfaction of moving on under difficult conditions :P We stopped briefly outside APS college before moving on further for another electrolyte filled hydration round of tender coconut. I gobbled up my two bananas (should have got the whole bunch from home :-/ ) and stretching as well. When Phaneesh confirmed that this is the ride they do most weekend (remembered from Wayanad trip), I symbolically suggested that they are a bunch of crazy guys.

It was just few minutes to 9 AM when we started again. Next stop was to be at Adiga's for breakfast. This time we were given correct estimates - about 12km ride ahead, landmark being after NICE road. Despite all tiredness and back pain and mostly uphill climbs, it wasn't very difficult. Most of us made it in about an hour's time. Kranthi got a flat tyre (wrath-of-flat-god as Phaneesh puts it, twice in 3 days!) which delayed them.

Adiga's was very crowded even at 10 AM. We freshened up and sat talking till everyone arrived. Breakfast was awesome followed by tea/coffee. Kranthi's flat tyre made up for much of the discussion and whether law-of-averages or murphy's law would apply for Kranthi's next ride. When I got up, it felt like non-intrusive lead transplantation had been made to my shin.

After group photo, some made U-turn and others continued forward. I still had more than 20 km to reach home which took more than 90 minutes. I turned right at Sarakki Junction, while others went left. I asked multiple times to reach Silk board after which I know the route very well to my room. Stopped once for water break in addition to multiple wait at Traffic signals - I seemed to catch Red at every one of them. In all, it was 90+ km according to my odometer, but more like 80+ km if Google maps is to be believed.


Pathanjali Bhat said...

I truely enjoy reading your blogs Mr. Agarwal. I missed the ride as i was out of town on the long weekend. Hopeful to join you again in the coming week.

sundeep agarwal said...

Thanks Pathanjali :) It means a lot to me too :)
Lots of rides and events around :)

Darshan Dwarkanath said...

Hey sundeep,
Had issue with Tyre not holding up air pressure. So got it home well within time !!!
BTW nice writeup. Keep it going.

sundeep agarwal said...

Thanks Darshan :) Good to know you could make it.

kadsur said...


Good write up, yes i agree with you it is a beautiful stretch....will meet some time during the ride.

sundeep agarwal said...

Thanks :)

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