Sunday, January 10, 2016

Aisa bhi hota hai ! My 4th 100 kms, 1st puncture, and 1st medal !

Sunday, 10th January 2016, saw a event being held in Mumbai, called " I can ride  - creating confident cyclists!"

There were 4 levels of distances one could choose to cycle;

25 kms Mulund-Kalyan-Mulund),
50kms, (Mulund- Yewai-Mulund)
75 kms  (Mulund-Khadavli-Mulund)
100 kms (Mulund-Asangaon-Mulund)

I have already completed 3 100km cycling runs, and I wanted this to be my fourth.  Asangaon is a place i have visited several times en route to my many treks to Forts, and cycling to the place  sounded interesting.

As rides go, this one was very well organized. We would be flagged off from Marathon Avenue , Mulund. There were to be various checkpoints en route, where water, electral, biscuits and bananas would be made available to us. Each rider would get a ride card, a route map, route sheet , a bib number, and there would be a support vehicle and others constantly available en route.

Helmets, Reflective jackets , and registration/signed waiver forms were mandatory.  

My friends from my Powai Pedals group and I left around 5.15 am for Mulund. I had my faithful Strava software monitoring me, and I hoped to make some good timings.

Like us, cycles are also human, and have health situations. My faithful cycle was destined to have problems this time. But there is nothing that cannot be solved with such helpful fellow riders, and  cycle shop dadas along the route. I was carrying my air pump, as well as a spare tube.  But this was an experience in learning how it feels as the air very slowly leaks out of your tires, and what to do when this happens.  Sapinder Singhji, and Piyush accompanied me for the removal of the puncture, at the cost of their own timing. Thank you!

A hot day, lots of sun, and the Neera stalls along the highway appeared to be most welcoming.

I lost 20-25 minutes due to the unexpected puncture and the overall timing suffered.

My ride card duly signed at each checkpoint, I turned it in at the completion of the ride, and the gentleman looked up and asked , "Your first 100 ?"  

"No. This is my fourth !  "

I grinned. He smiled. And handed me my medal and certificate.  

Like someone called Walter Wintle said (and the I-can-ride-wallas quoted) :    

Life's victories don't always go, to the strongest or fastest man/woman.
Ultimately, the one who wins, is the one who thinks: "I Can"!

 Reaching Marathon Avenue in Mulund before the flag-off.

 My fellow riders from Powai Pedals . From L to R ,  me, Pradeep Nayak, Ravi Mishra, Nikhil, Ankit Jain, Sapinder Singh, Elan Chelian
 PC : Ankit jain

 A quick photograph for the road, before we pedal away !  The cycles (and us) now have bib numbers. And we all carry a ride card which needs to be ratified by the staff  at the various official stops  PC : Ankit Jain

 Cycle no 129 ! My chariot ! 

  Replenishing ourselves with water/electral, bananas  and/or biscuits at one of the official stops.  

 At some point, tea appeared on the scene , and was greatly appreciated.  Me with my cuppa. 

 Must be the first time so many cyclists crowded at a petrol pump.  

 At one of the further official stops.  The ride card needed to be stamped and signed by the responsible staff , without which your ride was invalid. 

 Hum Log!   Yes, and a selfie !
From L to R, Ankit jain, Vilas Sawant, Piyush, and me.

 My bike developed a puncture, a first for me. I've been praising its performance during all the rides.  Maybe it is a lesson that one must expect some bad along with the good, and be prepared to face it. 
Luckily, I was able to get help from this cycleshop dada, who fixed the puncture for me , very fast, but very carefully as well . 

I was able to make it to the last checkpoint at the Food Hub , just before Shahpur.  Hunger pangs after all that pedalling, and sandwiches and samosas were very welcome , and promptly devoured.  

 An uneventful ride back, except the sun was overhead now, and a quick photo here while taking a short breather.  Thane was 25 kms away .

 A medal and a certificate for those who completed the promised distance . You can see the folks who sponsored the rides.   The certificate indicates that I completed 100 kms in 6hrs and 18 minutes.   
I must emphasize that this elapsed time includes the puncture, the cycleshop search and the puncture removal. 

The faithful Strava , gives the real pedalling picture. 
5 hrs, 50 mins,53 seconds. 
almost 123 kilometres...

There is something called January Gran Fondo

You need to ride at least one 100 kilometre ride, if not more, between Jan 1, 2016 and Jan 31, 2016. 

This is a world wide thing. With leaderboards and lists. Turns out that my rank amongst  1,32,941 participants, riding a total of 7,910,208 kilometres,
is  9335 . 

Top 7.02%  . 

And I found out that I earned this Gran Fondo Badge for performance.

Like someone said, between sips of coffee,  leaning back in the sofa, 
"not bad, not bad....."   :-)

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