A 200mile ride after 4 years.

A call for a long ride to Yelagiri ended up with Anup forcefully letting me know that he would come. The plan was to start around 8-9 pm. Unfortunately I did not have enough sleep the previous night, so asked to postpone it to start after midnight. I went to sleep a little after 9 pm and got up at midnight. I left home at a little after 1 am, and reached Singhasandra/hosa road junction at around 2 am.(After fixing up a time of 1:15 with Anup, it took me a bit of time to get ready)
We started at 2 am from there, and then steadily pedalled, we did not take any breaks till we took a left towards Chennai. This was around 105 km and it was about 6:45 am or so. We ended up spending 45 minutes drinking tea and having some idlis on a roadside small shop. From here we went on towards Yelagiri, taking a route that went parallel to the railway track, taking the road off the highway from a place called PuthuKovil. We missed the official Google route and ended up riding in some bad sections till we hit the Vaniyambadi highway. However we hit the road right at the entrace of Ponneri. The last 10km or so reminded us of the amazing routes set by the erstwhile IISc Randonneurs. At one point I followed a local motorcyclist’s track over a water logged road, trusting him, while Anup decided to just walk the stretch. And yes, a dog decided to chase me at one point.
The climb itself didn’t go as well as planned, I wanted to tackle it in one continuous ride but at around the 7th hairpin my back ache became too much. From this point onwards, I had to keep stopping to stretch my back. In fact for the rest of my journey my back ached quite a bit, and as I am writing this, I can see that the inflammation hasn’t yet completely dissipated. I ended up stopping multiple times beyond this point, and reached the top of the climb at 10:10 am. Anup followed a few minutes later at 10:20 am. I recorded this section on Strava, and it showed me a timing of a little more than 1 hour, 4 minutes.

My last big ride was to Anchetty on Aug 15 2018. Before that I had gone to Basavanabetta in Sep 2017. (+ a ride from Kalpetta to Mysore, which is a little more than 100km) And before that in 2016, I had gone twice up to Yelagiri, and in Dec 2016, I had gone to Basavanabetta. The last ride when I had done 200+ miles at one go was during Bliss In The Hills 2015. So a long ride was long overdue , I just to check if I could even do it. The only thing that works in my favour is that for the past two years my daily commute has been 47km, with my office 23.5 km one way, so even though I’ve been slacking on weekend rides, I’ve got some miles against my name. Last year I managed to ride 9400km with only one ride to Anchetti. So effectively it has been 14+ months since I rode a distance of 180km+ and 3 years since I rode 200+ or 300+ rides.

Once we reached the top, we needed a break, the ride up was in intense humidity and moderate+ heat , and while I was thankful I did not cramp, we needed a break, and Anup felt the same. So we went on to have a course of breakfast and some leg stretching. And as usual, we started back on the way down at around 11:20-30ish. on the way back we took a left , went past Jolarpettai and took the u turn point towards Natrampalli. We got caught in a torrential downpour, and it was amusing to see all the motorcyclists take cover while we continued pedalling. We hit the main road riding non stop, and stopped at a spot 12km before the right turn. Anup managed a short nap here + we had some tea, and we continued towards Bangalore. After we took a right turn, Anup went ahead, and I started drifting into sleep

So I had to take an impromptu stop, help myself to a Kumbakkonam degree coffee, some groundut chikkis, some stretches , and got some chewing gums to keep chewing and trying to keep awake, and of course, try and catch up with Anup. I managed to catch up with him before Shoolagiri, which is where we had decided to eat some food. I remember seeing a Kamath on the side towards Bangalore, but that was no longer there. Anup was in a hurry to reach home, and had a mild stomach issue, so wasn’t interested in eating. We managed to ride at a decent speed throughout but had to take short stretch breaks. I kept getting some back ache, he was slowing down a little. I wanted to eat something but was keen not to ride alone so kept going with him. However at Attibele, we decided to take a short food break. We had a glass of juice each and I helped myself to a plate of idlis.

Since he was in a hurry, and I needed some stretching to restart , I asked Anup to continue from here. I started after about 10 minutes, and could not catch up with Anup after this. I had also got pollution masks and was dressing myself up to deal with the air. His home probably was about 15km from here. The traffic was fairly heavy hereon , and the atmosphere somewhat polluted with all the crackers. Just 4km from my home I suffered a pinch flat and had to find a place next to an apartment to change my tyres. Some lady put some firecrackers not far from me and a stray cracker hit me  — but no harm done. I reached home a litte before 9.



Ride Statistics :

  • Total Distance : 321.6 km (201 miles)
  • Time on Road : 19 hr, 50 min
  • Time on Saddle : 14 hr : 55 min


Post script :  I posted this ride blog after a long time , for the following reasons

  1.  My own satisfaction, I’m riding 300km after 2016, and 200 miles (320km+) after 4 years.
  2. Demonstrate that you can enjoy a ride even if it does not get a recognition from some body that recognizes long rides.

Reba’s thoughts on our immunity

This has been on my mind for a couple of days, that in this day and age where there is so much confusion about vaccines, and so many labels for people who make their own choices – we seem to be missing a few key points. Just want to take a moment to realign focus to spaces that we should bear in mind so that everyone – regardless of what their stand is on vaccines – can stay aligned to good health and wellbeing.

1. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS NATURAL IMMUNITY – beginning from the womb, when the mother’s antibodies begin to imprint immunity data on the baby, continued and solidified through the breastfeeding process, then nurtured through the good bacteria supportive foods that native communities had as a staple. A human being’s immune system is actively formulated in the first 2 years – data regarding infections, immune responses, exposure to new viruses and bacteria – happens very robustly and efficiently in these two years.

2. As with all things considered from Nature (immune system included), the first and foremost Ally in this process (of establishing good immunity, and also helping us to recover from an illness) are other cells from Nature. Plants, herbs, spices, Nature in the form of the mud and dirt itself – all play their own part in formulating, establishing and enhancing the functionality of the immune system. Here is where a group like this is relevant – sharing ways and means from Nature based recovery and healing protocols and elements. So whether you are vaccinating or not, the most reliable elements of recovery from ANY illness will be from Nature – since biologically they are components that are easy understood by our own cells.

3. Our understanding of our body itself is extremely limited. This is because we are trained by thought processes, textbooks, and teachers who are perceiving things of the body only through one perspective – that is the Western perspective. I love the Western perspective and tools, because it has provided me much detailed understanding of many many things. But at the root of iit – it is still learning to understand the multi layered, and multifaceted quality of the human mind-body-spirit connection. I love their pursuit for understanding the Truth about how things work in this reality and the body that we live in. But the fact is, they are still searching and understanding. EG: new organ discovered last year – the Interstitium – changes how many, many body processes have been understood by modern medicine so far. It was only 2 years ago that modern medicine actually accepted that the Circadian rhythm has an impact on the human body! It is important that people who are seeking a ‘no side effects’ approach to their health understand that modern medicine is slowly making its way from 2nd grade to the 3rd….Understandably so, because it is a very, very young participant in the process! I have great hopes for this stream of medicine in the coming 100 years and more, when it integrates many of the fragmented streams of data that it is currently looking at – and starts to piece together the puzzle of what, how, when, where, why things make us tick! This will be fabulous simply because it would probably be the first time in the history of humanity that the general pubic will have access to perceiving, understanding and integrating all of this knowledge in their daily lives! But until then, I choose to go with the traditional methodologies that have already proved that they work.

4. As we ponder over and consider the above points, what do we do with the information that is being given to us? How can I know which to believe? How do I know who to trust? Examine where is it coming from? Examine what is the opponent to that thought saying about it. We need to be aware – is the information that I believe in coming from corporate vested interest, or is it coming from scientists who are independently doing the research, have focused on this for few years so that they get the bigger picture about that particular subject. Is it coming from a careprovider who has learnt it from school and has it ingrained in his/her head because the education system rewarded them for learning it as well as possible? Examine who is gaining from the process. Take time to understand ‘what is this same scenario inn the Nature designed way’ – and then MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND!!

We are all learning on this journey called Life. There are informed choices and there are blind choices, and there are coerced choices and there are also instances of us making a choice that we do not want to – it all depends on our life circumstances, our personality, etc. Look into what you feel strongly about, keep reading, researching, and be a genuine participant in your own life journey. Ultimately THAT is what matters.