Nov 4, 2010

Missing for past few months

So I have been missing for the past four months. A lot has transpired since then on home, work and cycling fronts. Work has been okay but hoping it will improve in the next year. On the home front we are well settled in our new apartment. 
Was in NYC for a couple of weeks in July. Caught up with many friends in New Jersey and Boston. Did some cycling in New York - would have loved to do more but the heat and work load did not allow. 
Got my invite to Tour of Nilgiris 2010 while in New York. That prompted me to do some more bike parts & accessories shopping in US. 
Right after returning to Bangalore did my first real long ride with a bunch of folks to Mysore. Took over 13 hours to cover the 150 odd Kms due to several flats and long breaks. 

First view of Chamundi

Foothills of Chamundi

August was preparation for the Yercaud trip in early September. Did some long local rides including one long 232 Km ride which included Nandi hills. 

Lake near Bidadi
Lake near Bidadi
ISRO Deep Space Research Station at Bylalu Village near Magadi

Nandi foothill

Looking up at the sky while resting

Entering Doddaballapur

First weekend of September was the 3 day ride to Yercaud & back. The 466 Km round trip was a real test of grit and took us all to our limits. The punctures, the short cut which ended up being the worst time killer and the killer 23 Km climb to Yercaud top tested our patience and determination. In the end it took us over 18 hours to cover the 233 Km to Yercaud. The return was even more interesting for a different reason. We left Yercaud at 4.00 AM in the morning and crossed Salem by 6.30 in the morning. We reached Krishnagiri by 1.30 PM and left from here at 2.00 PM. Little did we realize that the remaining 85 odd Kms will take us over 8 hours. The heat and unending climbs all the way to Electronics City made the going just plain hard. Anyway made it home in one piece by 10.30 PM. 
Early morning leaving Hosur

Planning alternate route

One of the group pictures

First puncture

Gundpunglu while waiting to get the puncture fixed

The fateful turn to take the short cut

The short cut turning painful

The silver lining - beautiful bamboo forest

bad picture from a point-and-shoot camera!

Feeling young all over

Beginning of climb to Yercaud

One of the many rest breaks to the top

With my brother Sridhar and his friend Sandeep


End of descent

Passing Salem Steel Plant

Respite after the climbs on return

Bangalore - so close yet so far away

Post lunch ride

October was filled with two great trips - the Commonwealth games inauguration ceremony and our family Goa trip. 
Shobha and I attended the CWG 2010 opening ceremony in Delhi while my parents took care of the kids. My parents attended the closing ceremony of the games. While in Delhi caught up with couple of school friends - Sanjay and Alka over lunch. While I had met Sanjay a few times recently, I was meeting Alka after over 15 years. Shobha and I stayed in Karol Bagh hoping we would get to do some shopping while in Delhi but the unprecedented security for the games meant that all the shops were closed 3 days in a row - 2-Oct for Gandhi Jayanthi, 3-Oct for the games opening ceremony and 4-Oct as Mon is the weekly off for Karol Bagh. We travelled to the games venue by Metro and were very happy with all the arrangements and the comfort with which we were able to make it to our seats at the venue. Post the ceremony, we got back to the hotel again by Metro and reached within an hour in spite of the rush. 
Second week of October we did our long pending family Goa trip. Travelled by our car and lugged the two bikes in the newly purchased bike carrier. The onward journey was via Davangere and return journey was via Shimoga. Terrible roads on the return. The five days in Goa were full of fun - good food, beaches, relaxing and flat-good-surface biking. The bike rides were mainly short rides around the resort but I did manage do do a longish ride to Vasco-da-Gama. On the return, we halted at our village Lakavalli near the Bhadra dam. Did a short morning ride on the MTB to the back of the Dam as well as to the top of the Dam but could not get access to ride on the Dam top. The area looked awesome with the Dam filled to it's capacity. 
Finally coming to last weekend of October. Had been meaning to ride to Lepakshi for quite some time but for one reason or other, things had not worked out till now. So on Saturday, 30-Oct, I decided to do this alone and took off at 4.15 AM from my brother's home. Reached Lepakshi by 10.30 riding thru rain for over an hour after Chikkaballapur. Started the return at 11.30 after visiting the temple and the Nandi statue. Bad roads and climbs made the going slow till Doddballapur. After that it was quite a relaxed ride back to Bangalore and reached home at 8.15 PM. 253 Km covered in 12.50 of riding time and 16 hours of elapsed time. No pictures here as I just kept on riding.