My Centurion ride

As usual waking up early in the morning, and getting ready by 7 AM, I’m all prepared to complete my 100 kms cycling ride. A large group of 141 cyclists have attempted this the previous day, many of whom were first timers on their centurion. I’m a first timer for a centurion too, however had this on my mind from many months, but couldn’t make time to do it. I thought it is never late, and started today. I tried to follow the same itinerary of yesterday’s cyclists. But why didn’t I join them yesterday and making this trip all alone? The reason or the excuse is the tube of the cycle’s back wheel has a small puncture, which I couldn’t detect and fix at home. So took it to the cycle store on Saturday to have it fixed.

I left home by 7.05 AM when the reading on the odometer showed 408.59 kms. I very well knew the stretch until the Decathlon Mysore Road store, as I have cycled a decent number of times here. As this stretch is still the prime part of Bangalore, it is expected due to the heavy traffic, cyclists are pushed off the road by the speeding vehicles. However, by my experience, I’ve learnt to cling on to the edge of the road and this was accomplished. Once I passed the Decathlon store, this stretch towards Mysore is new to me, as I never cycled here. So, I started looking things around me. Only then I realized I’m on a very slow pace and need to concentrate on the road. A wondrous journey started from here. I am concentrating on the road ahead, as I am not familiar with any possible potholes or spread breakers on this stretch. This road is flat and downward steep throughout, while passing by the industrial area on Bangalore’s outskirt.
While have passed by a group of Royal Enfield bikers taking photos. I guess there are all heading to some place on to the right of the road, as I saw few of them in the front taking the right turn to some location. My ride was filled with anticipation to reach Bidadi in the first place, as it was shown as a very close neighbor of Bangalore in the map. All this while I was cycling over an average speed of 30 km/hr. I’ve passed by the road that connects to Wonder La and still Bidadi, the town which is very well-known for its piping hot Thatte Idlis is nowhere near. I have passed by many hotels where ushers are inviting passing vehicles to stop by their hotel and have a hot breakfast. Even I was asked to come in, but in response I gave a smile and went ahead. Though last night I had some trouble adjusting the gears after re-inserting the rear wheel, I didn’t have any issues till now in this ride. I was just zooming and felt like I was flying. All these downward slopes, though they are easy now, I am constantly being reminded that I have to climb the same slopes again. But somewhere I have a faintest hope that these wouldn’t be killer climbs and the road would be laid very scientifically to make it almost flat.
Though there was no distinct border between Bangalore and Bidadi, I’m waiting for the center of the town to arrive, which technically would be where the bus stand is situated. After kilometers of ride, I passed by the center of Bidadi at a good speed. Till here from my starting point the vehicular traffic was moderate and there are no killer climbs at all. The reading on odometer when I passed by Bidadi is 431.00 kms. Though we see a lot of buses to Bidadi on Mysore road in Bangalore, till I reached this place, I haven’t passed by even a single BMTC bus, which is very strange. All the trouble started after I left Bidadi and speed reduced by 50%. I’m cycling at an average velocity of 17 km/hr. This continued until the next 4 kilometers. Though I was able to reach Bidadi with in an hour, this 4 kilometer stretch seemed to take the longest time possible, as it has almost 4 climbs, though none of them is a killer. I was wondering how far this kind of  terrain continues, and then I see a long downward slope ahead. Shifting my gears to match the slope, I started cycling in full speed, and the traffic became very sparse at this point.
At few places the railway track was just passing by the side of the road, and now I’m eager to see Ramanagara which is the next closet town. Everywhere the signboard shows Janapada Loka(Fold World) and the distance to that place, but none of them have the distance to Ramanagara which is well before it. I started feeling the density of traffic was increasing and readily knew the town should be round the corner. I passed by the district jail and was awestruck that a jail could be just on the highway. When I reached the “Silk City” – Ramanagara the reading on odometer was 447.33 kms. The ride was easy and quick in this entire stretch. My halfway destination – Janapada Loka, is very close to me now and suddenly I felt hungry and the urge for food. However, I need to wait till I reach the place, where I would get some delicious breakfast. I saw signboard saying 6 kms to reach halfway and I knew I can cycle this distance in less than 30 minutes. After few kilometers of ride 3 more climbs, I was completely distracted and lost myself looking at the buildings and structures by the road. I completely forgot that I was cycling until I came to my senses checking how far should I cycle.
Already, my right palm started feeling numb as I was continuously cycling. I was passing by a place which looked like a waste water recycling plant and then I could make out in a distance, my breakfast point, or was I just day dreaming. Surely enough it was Janapada Loka and adjacent to it was Kamat Lokaruchi. I crossed the road with ease and straight away parked it inside the hotel premises in spite of parking lot being full. Reading on the odometer was 451.26 kms when I reached here by 8.51 AM. Once I am there a curious staff of the hotel, who makes Jeelabi’s came to me and picked up a conversation asking why didn’t I join yesterday’s group or if more cyclists are coming today too. He was under an impression that yesterday’s group headed towards Mysore. After completely securing the bike, I headed to the rest room to clean up my sweat. Once back, I was looking for the buffet counter where breakfast is served with 12 varieties of food, which also includes fruits just at the price of Rs.120/-. Once I’m in the hut and started enjoying breakfast, I observed that the place was filled with many families speaking in different languages, and all of them heading towards Mysore for a one day trip. I helped myself with the yummy breakfast till my stomach felt full and heavy.
Rewinding the onward journey. Till Bidadi from Bangalore, the ride was very easy and you will feel like flying. From Bidadi an other 4 kms the stretch is hard and again till Janapada Loka it is either flat or downward slopes. There are no killer climbs in this stretch. Though there are many climbs, which one can tackle with the momentum from the downward slope, I have counted 7 climbs where you need to toil a bit. Otherwise, this ride is so simple and awesome. The entire stretch of road is also in very good condition and you can comfortably cling on to the road, and never have to go off.  I never even had a sip of water on this stretch, which indicates how easy this stretch is. However, right from Bidadi I have a pain in one of my nerves which passes from the bum into the  left leg. I was constantly making moves so as to shift the pain down into the leg, as continuous pain at the bum can cause a SBS (Sore Bum Syndrome). In this context, I love my right leg which doesn’t give pain or even doesn’t have much sense in it, as it is physical challenged and most nerves don’t function in it.
After the breakfast and a little chat with the staff, I took a few photos(end of the post) of Janapada Loka in the background and started heading back at 9.39 AM. Only then I realized, how badly I lagged in covering my last few kilometers of my onward journey. Now my first 4 kilometers went with ease and all this while I wanted to sip water, which I did after great resistance. Hardly few more kilometers again I wanted to quench my thirst not with a sip, but lot of water. Now I started feeling the effect of the breakfast, as it was so uneasy cycling with a heavy tummy. I tried cycling few more kilometers to reach Ramanagara. At Ramanagara, when I am passing by the jail again, a KSRTC bus was trying to overtake another. The bus on the left and closer to me was waiting for me to move on. When I noticed the bus, I voluntarily went off the road to make way, but one of the passenger screamed at me, which I retaliated with a shouting to mind his business. I was a bit pissed off, but was back to normal looking at the climb ahead of me. It is just painful to write how many minute-stops, water refilling and other stops to hydrate myself. I had water, glucose, butter milk, coconut water and even tea and a half litre of 7Up to hydrate myself. But the body used to dehydrate very soon, mouth and lips becoming very dry. Every other kilometer looked painful with Sun beating my back. The only best thing was the helmet which was protecting my head and face from the heat.
I was struggling so much, I lost the track of number of climbs. Everything seemed to be a killer climb, though it was the Sun and the heavy tummy playing the spoil sport. Bidadi never seemed to come close, the same applies to Kengeri. My pit stops increased as I was getting closer to Bangalore. Time was flying by and I wanted to complete the ride by 11.30 AM or at least 12 PM. I noticed indication that Bangalore city is fast approaching looking at the road. The bay area and the road were very distinct and the separation was visible all through out. But as Bangalore approaching, this faded out and no one can say which is the separation line between them, as the soil from the bay has crept on to the road. After lot of struggle, my spirits were raised on reaching RV college of Engineering. This is my home turf and I badly wanted to reach home and drink lot of water. I knew I wouldn’t fall on reaching home and still have lot of energy in me. When I reached home it was 12.40 PM and the reading on odometer was 493.99. Sweat was all over me, and still I took few shots of my battered self and headed for a cool shower.
I pledge to make this trip again but in a shorter time. I wanted to make it within 180 minutes, as I finished now in 229 minutes. With this confidence, I can ride till Mysore and back, but never at noon with hot blazing Sun above me.

Total Cycling Distance: 85.4 Kilometers (Still considered as my centurion)

Starting/Ending Point: BHEL Layout, Rajarajeshwari Nagar (Adjacent to Global Village Tech Park)
Turning Point: Janapada Loka (Between Ramanagara and Channapatna)

You wouldn’t believe the energy levels in me.

After the ride till now(9 PM), I haven’t had any food and still not hungry.


Janapada Loka (Folk World) in the mirror.

Janapada Loka (Folk World) in the mirror.

My bike parked at the Janapada Loka (Folk World) and my selfie.

My bike parked at the Janapada Loka (Folk World) and my selfie.

My bike parked I Janapada Loka (Folk World)

My bike parked I Janapada Loka (Folk World)

My bike parked at the Janapada Loka (Folk World)

My bike parked at the Janapada Loka (Folk World)

Hotel Kamat Lokaruchi

Hotel Kamat Lokaruchi

Skin tone variation on my hand :P

Skin tone variation on my hand 😛

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