Thursday, 30 July 2009

Routine Post

Coming back after a long time ... (like Lance Armstrong and Michael Schumacher, but a much shorter period):
  • My training for the full marathon has been going good. I'm in the 9th week of training and I had a pretty fulfilling 30 KM run last Sunday. Everything went according to plan and I did the distance in just over 3 hours -- including water breaks. My prospects look good for the Kaveri Trail Marathon.
  • The dates for the 2009 Tour Of Nilgiris have been announced and I have decided to participate. Unlike last year's TFN, this time around the distances per day have been reduced to 80 KM from 150 KM. It still poses a challenge and should be fun. As part of the training, the longest distance I have done till date is 70KM. But I think 80KM shouldn't pose much of a problem. Of course, if you put hills in between, it's a totally different ball game.
  • I had been avidly following, for the first time in my life, the Tour De France. Lance Armstrong came back this year and gave a good performance. It was not a fairy tale ending for him, but he did manage a respectable 3rd place -- though no individual stage wins. The 1st place was taken by Alberto Contador, Lance's teammate and rival (oxymoron-ic, but true). Armstrong has already announced that he is coming back next year with Team Radioshack. My suspicion is that his team will have Mark Cavendish, the British sprinter, who won 6 stages in the tour this year. Here are some beautiful pictures from the event.
  • I have been reading Jared Diamond's : Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee. A book which answers "why humans are the way they are?" The book tackles the question by drawing from various sources: evolutionary biology, history, anthropology, archaeology, etc. In spite of having little knowledge about those subjects I find the book extremely readable.
That's all for now. Till next time, it's bye bye.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Cycling Trip To Chikkatirupati

Chikkatirupati is a town around 30 KM from Bangalore (Koramangala, to be precise). Yesterday, we -- a group of 4 cyclists -- decided to make a trip to the place.

To get there you first need to hit Sarjapur road; cross the outer ring road junction while continuing down Sarjapur Road; take a left somewhere ahead, and follow the road. As is obvious, I wasn't the one leading the pack (or good at giving directions). But fortunately for you, I had a GPS.

Here is a map:

Figure 1: Map -- Bangalore to Chikkatirupati.

Other than Sarjapur road you don't face too much traffic, as the roads are really bad and I guess no one wants to go to Chikkatirupati. The route is scenic, passing through villages; with farms on either side. People in the areas are quite amused at seeing these "weirdos" on bicycles. We had quite a few kids wave to us, saying "Hi" and "Bye". We reached Chikkatirupati in around 1 hr 40 min and proceeded to have breakfast.

There is a nice small breakfast joint inside the town, where you get Idly-Bonda, Coffee, Chitranna, and -- if you are not too early -- Dosa.

Figure 2: Breakfast at Chikkatirupati

After having breakfast we started the return journey. There was a strong headwind and there weren't too many downhills. Fortunately, the weather was pretty good. The return journey took us around 2 hours.

Total Mileage: 65 KM

  1. Using the gears on the front of the cycle for the first time and reaching close to 40 KM/H (38.3 KM/H to be precise).
  2. All the kids in the villages cheering as you pass them.
  3. The yummy bondas at the breakfast place.
  4. Just off Chikkatirupati a gentleman coming to us, when we were taking a water break, and asking, "Why did you cycle all the way from Bangalore?" Good question. Neeeeext.
  5. Finding out that there are some new muscles in my legs -- I'm sore.
  6. And finally, my longest cycling trip till date -- a good ride!