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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

"Taste of 100"

When we all did Rode to Janapadloka and back, i felt i did not do justice to First timers in my blog post; writing about them and sharing their experiences. Here is the list of bikers who did their First 100 kms that day....Charu keharArchana s, Nithin shetty, Alok shrotri, Manu srinivas,Vijesh mohan, Nandan saha, ERaja Ma, Giridhar kamath, Vibha Ramakrishna, Aniruddh Iyengar, Gautam Ramini, Chandrashekhar Mudaliar, Sridhar Maddy, Abhijit Srikanth, Supreet Singh Dhanjal, Chitharanjan Rao, Prashant hiremath, Harshini Govindaraj, Rakesh Kodoth, Yashas, Aditya Rangaswamy, Venkataraghavan Srinivasan. (if you know anyone else also did their first 100 kms ride please do let me know, missing them is not intentional, list is too big....) When i approached each one of them below bikers responded with the write up sharing their experiences, it is as it is and in their own words.  I just loved reading each one of these personal experience, wish more bikers responded. If it motivates just one Sole out there the purpose of this blog post is served. Would like to read your comments and appreciate the time taken in advance. 

I am Nandan saha, I have been riding since October of 2013. Usually I ride for an hour or so most weekday mornings. I used to commute once a week (about 8km one way) but shifted closer to office last month and the distance has reduced to under 3km and prefer to walk or cycle most days while continuing to ride early mornings.

My first cycle was a Rockrider 5.1 which is bought at the end of 2011 and rode occasionally for few months before giving up for well over a year and half and restarting in last year. The bike was however a bit big for me and given its aggressive riding position, I found longer rides giving me back and wrist pain, so I bought a new Bergamont Helix 2.3 at the start of this year.The longest ride I had done prior to the 100km ride was about 40km. In Feb I had cycled totally about 300km and about 220km in March.
I had been thinking about doing a 100km ride but had no idea about how to go about doing so. So when I saw Anil's email to BBC I signed up right away.My thinking was that things would we easier with many people around, but I had no idea what was in store!I followed the posts on tips on the Facebook event page and carried Electral, and a couple of energy bars. Got an extra bottle cage fitted to carry more water.I tried to rope in a couple of my cycling buddies from work for company, but they decided to ditch citing the hot weather (something of wise choice, I must say in hindsight). However they were supportive and encouraged me to do this. Told some close friends who also felt I was a bit crazy but were supportive, none the less.

As the days counted down, a bit of apprehension and self doubt began to replace the unfettered enthusiasm. I was concerned about my back or my wrist or my butt not being able to handle the ride which I knew would mean spending 5 to 7 hours on the bike.
On the morning of the ride, got up, got ready, ate a few nuts and left home in Koramangala and headed out towards infantry road. I decided to go via MG road as I was familiar with that. I was a bit late and was concerned that the ride would start without me. As I came towards the MG road entrance of Cubbon Park, I noticed a group of cyclists headed the other way. I immediately got off, crossed the the rode and joined the pack. Asked one of the riders if it was the 100km ride and continued. Thus started the ride of my life, one that I almost missed :-)
I must say that the group I was with did set a fast pace and the kilometres rolled by really fast on the cyclocomp. After a while the group splintered into much smaller groups of 2 or 3 riders, and as we hit the highway the riders were quite scattered.  I rode side by side with some folks and managed some conversation. I was quite curious to see if people were first timers or not and usually broke the ice with that question. Most conversations were around how long someone's been biking and how much they ride usually and stuff. The conversations didn't last too long as it's hard to ride side by side for long due to riders' pace as well as traffic on the highway. Most of the ride was spent in the company of my thoughts, turning wheels, and spinning pedals. 

Riding on the highway didn't feel as dangerous as I may have expected. Most of the time, vehicles pass you with sufficient side way gap that you don't feel rattled, though there were a couple of instances when someone honked quite loudly and had to go off the road to make room, typically when the vehicle is overtaking from the left. I must say I didn't feel too unsafe on the highway during the whole ride and had a couple of close calls in the city on the way back with BMTC buses overtaking from the left and squeezing me on to the pavement.
Don't remember taking too many breaks on the way to Janapadaloka. Stopped for water mostly in about 30 - 40 minute intervals. Didn't feel much soreness or stiffness. Finished off one electoral sachet and one energy bar. Had some conversations while resting. I didn't stop too long anytime as I wasn't feeling tired. The rolling terrain was awesome with mostly down slopes which would come to bite on the return, but at that time I was happy glancing at the speed numbers on the cyclocomp and wind in my face. (Too bad, the helmet ate the wind in my hair :-p)

Just before reaching Janapadaloka felt a bit of soreness on the thigh just above the knee, but didn't really pay too much attention to it. figured a little breakfast break would fix it.
The sight at the breakfast venue was awesome. Outside of cycle day, I haven't seen so many cycles parked together and so may cyclists at one place. Spoke to some people while thulping breakfast and got some gyaan about riding on the highway, assurance that I'll make it back despite beginning to feel tired and the nasty weather and a great feeling of camaraderie amongst strangers.  Decided to head back pretty early with a group that was riding out. Figured it would take a while given that I'll need to take more breaks.  Soon I found myself towards the back of the pack and about 30 mins or so into the return journey a few of stopped. My legs were hurting a lot, especially my left thigh, just above the knee. That was the first time, I felt, I may have made a mistake embarking on this ride. I still had about 50km to do to get home! The only question on my mind at that time was "how am I going to get home?" Things seemed bleak.Started talking to the other folks who were taking a break and learnt that I wasn't the only one feeling aches and pains and having doubts. The way forward lay in taking it slow and resting adequately. Feeling a bit better after the break, we head out again.

It then becomes a loop of ride, rest, repeat. Find a shady place, cool off, drink water, find coconut water if possible, and look at the cyclocomp as it inches closer and closer to 100km.
As I reach the city, get hit by loads of traffic and going gets slow. Though I doubt I could've gone much faster given my physical condition, it felt good to blame the traffic for a lack of progress! Ran out of water and found a petrol bunk and bought some.  Once I reached MG road, I stopped and called some friends and replied to some messages. Finally felt that I would make it.

Got home around 3:00pm and just lay on the bed for 5 mins just thinking about what I had been upto since 5:30 that morning. I had pushed myself physically more than I've ever had. Spent more time on a cycle in a day than ever. Travelled more distance than ever on a single day on a cycle. Quite possible spoken to more strangers in a single day than I've ever done (I am a textbook introvert)!  The overwhelming feel though was a sense of relief to be indoors. A shower and a meal never felt better.I expected to be fast asleep after lunch, but couldn't sleep. Was just too excited.During the ride a lot of local people we met on the road, thought we were in a race and cheered us on. There was one person who rode up to me on a motorcycle and asked me if we were in a race. I said "No", he kept asking me the same question and could not believe that we were doing this "Simply".I've asked myself why I did it, and quite frankly I don't know still, all I know is that I want to do it again, go further, get better, live more.
Nandan saha extreme right, in the corner, could not find pic of him that clicked during this ride....!

My name is Aditya and I'm a cycling enthusiast. I was also a participant at the 100km ride to janapada loka. i can talk proudly today because i have successfully completed this ride. First of all talking about my cycling, i was extremely interested in this field,but due to my studies couldn't join rides like this mentioned above.But as soon as a completed my 10std studies i was free. Most people say dreams come true! Yes it does. my brother gifted me a Mountain bike and what else do you need for a person like me??
"Practice" that is what i did the next day after the exams were over. i went cycling all around bangalore exploring places with the help of few of my friends and relatives.

Then the day had come. I checked all the details about the ride with Anil Kadsur sir. I started early  and reached Kengeri from where i joined a few of my friends. While going the ride was smooth and plane.  After a while it started getting sunny. By that time i had reached Janapada loka. There meeting with other cyclists i discussed with them about the ride. Then we had a sumptous breakfast and i decided to leave early.  i started cycling fast and by one hour i had travelled 25km. By that time the sun was still rising but it was 35 degrees celsius. i was quite tired by that time. so i took a minute break and then started again i moved at a slow pace hence saving my energy. Then my body started cooling when i saw a stall for water and glucose. There i filled my bottle and then started fast and reached kengeri within no time. The ride was completed and we went back home.I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I would like to thank the masterminds behind this Event. I would also like to thank the BOTS team for helping us through the ride.

Aditya Rangaswamy - on the right with Yashas both of them did their First 100 kms

I am Archana, during my engineering days, while I used to travel from Bangalore to Mysore, almost every weekend, used to spot some cyclists and I would go "Whoa I wanna do that too!! " Never really thought that I would be able to realize that dream. I used my maroon ladybird, gift from dad when I was 13, for almost 9 years to commute to school, tuitions and sometimes to college, till I bought my Access125. It all began with the Bengaluru cycle day, October. Later, was interested to participate in the Vodafone Cycling Marathon, but wanted a geared cycle and guess what..I met Anil Kadsur, my inspiration to take up cycling as my passion. Rode his merida( first geared cycle that I rode) , he taught me all about geared bikes, how to use them, how to lock your bike n everything.

My first 100km( covered 125km) ride to janapadaloka and back was an amazing experience. The onward journey was very pleasant, speeding up during the downhills feeling the wind, experienced riders guiding you through and motivating when most needed ( Sohan Sintre). Lovely breakfast with new found friends( Aakash and Nithin) and a small Photoshoot before starting the return ride. The sun was up n shining bright. Just before starting , I was a little worried about the heat but I seriously did not feel it at all while riding back! Quite surprising that I realized this only once I reached home. Now this is called beating the heat. Tagged along with Pradeep Naidu, who taught me how to gain speed while riding downhill. Not only did I ride back with ease but chatted a lot, almost non stop, with fellow riders enroute. Drank some tender coconut water for hydration and when my water bottle was almost empty, spotted BOTS support station! Felt blessed. When I reached home, my mind was already thinking about doing a 200k, that was the prowess of this experience. Thanks to Anil for initiating this! Body needed some rest though. Overall this was a wonderful first experience, couldn't have got any better.
Archana S with Nitin shetty, Iqbal and Aakash

I am Prashant, I'm from Hubli. I started cycling when I was in 3rd standard:) It was fun getting a bicycle at such an early age when none of my friends had it.I actually started cycling to school when I was in 7th standard and continued to ride it passionately till my PUC-II. I went for a ride of 60kms with my college friends when I was doing my Engineering and thats it, never cycled after that:( But the hidden love for cycling came out last year and finally I took this Cannondale Trail 6 last December(inspired by a colleague).  After that I used to cycle to office once a week with a round trip of about 50kms(Vijayanagar to Electronic City).  Later I came across this Vodafone Cycling Marathon which I thought will not be possible for me to ride in 90 min (40 km ) - Passion ride. But I was overjoyed when I completed it in 66 min:)

And the grand finale and my first 100k(to Janapada Loka and back), which I came across when surfing the Bangalore Bikers sounded interesting and which was within my reach:)  You finally did what I was waiting for.. A fb event:) I was glad to enroll myself. Let me talk about the excitement I had the day before the day we went for this 100k, frankly speaking, I didn't sleep much because of the excitement.  I had prepared myself with the things I need. Woke up at 5am and started from my room in Vijayanagar at 6am and when I reached Nayandalli signal I saw few fellow riders and we waved at each other with a smile.

I wanted to reach Janapadaloka  as soon as possible so I started overtaking every fellow biker:) I finally managed to reach Janapadaloka at 8amthat morning and I was indeed very happy.  Enjoyed the buffet breakfast. Chatted with other riders and checking out the other cool bikes and all the accessories they had. Had super fun with the like minded people.  And it was now time to return back, the other half of the journey which was somewhat tiring due to sun. I was accompanied by a fellow rider who rode with me till Vijayanagar on our way back.  Took a few breaks to hydrate ourselves and finally reached home completely exhausted and with that sense of accomplishment.  All in all it was really a SUPER event and special thanks to you ANIL for organising it. Please organize more of such events so that it would be more fun:)  I'm aiming a 200 next time. Let's keep this ON. Nice meeting you sir.

Prashanth Hiremath at Janapadaloka

I am Chitharanjan, I started cycling in the month of September(2013) after I bought a MTB. My rides were limited to max 30-35 kms and it was only in the weekends. The max I had cycled was 37kms in the month of January(2014) with ICycle team.

The ride to Janapada Loka was fun, exhausting & surprising(as I had completed my 1st 100km ride!)I took up the ride because of the encouragement given by my brother Harishankar that I can do 100kms easily & it'll not be as tough as you think.  Yes, it was not that tough as i'd thought.  I started off from home that day by 6:15am & came back by 1:45pm.  It was nice to have people of all age group participating in the event.  Looking for another such kind of long ride, but never ever in the months of March, April, May & June, the sun is a killer in these months.

Chitharajan Rao....Photo credit: Icycle
This pic tells a lot about the kind of fun what we had.....i just love this!!!!


  1. Thanks a lot for organising the ride and this post. Will always cherish my first 100+k ride.

    1. Alok Shrotri,

      It was pleasure meeting so many bikers and riding with them.