Sunday, September 6, 2015

Blazing saddles Part 2

4-september:

I inspected my bike. Pulled wheels apart and doused the hubs with Silicon lubricant spray/ cleaned the drive ..Then I put some light machine oil. Adjusted the brakes. (The main aim was the bike ride and not the run.)
I mentioned to Sujit and Umesh that I would start along the viaduct. I being the weaker member I should gain some distance before they catch up with me.

5 september:
Woke up at 4AM. Glass of milk. The dogs in Kondhwa were less receptive. It’s nice and cold. I bike to Sinhagad road till the Bangalore road junction and get on to NH4. I message Sujit that I will carry on. The road has a slight incline. Road side Dhabas have some sign of life in the otherwise desolate world. A dog playfully chases me. I come over the viaduct and then pedal towards the tunnel. Sun is up and there is more light. I pull on the head torch and flp it to the back of my neck for caution. The tunnel is a queer place for a cyclist. I have never heard such a droning noise. Its worst when a motorbike passes by. Soon I come out of the tunnel. I message Sujit that I shall carry on.
It is now early morning. I hear the birds chirp. I listen to the sounds that I would never get in my Car.
Great wind,.(And greater slope) I put on the top gear and I whiz past a few motorcycles. They are offended and they soon make their point by claiming their supremacy. The highway is a place where supremacy is at test. Egos are being flashed around. Sense of urgency displayed though manic overtaking. Showdown is all time high. Abuse the weaker is the Law. I keep the bike rolling on the white strap almost like an outcast. No vehicles even notice me.

I wonder at the aggressive and arrogant drivers. I am not sure how many of these will end up treading the same path uphill satara. Would I make way for them or they for me..when we are on equal terms.
Barefeet can get trampled upon. Enough of negative thoughts. I pound my Cranks on a high gear. I am near Shirwal now. I ride to a favorite hotel. Lock my bike to the separator on highway. People stare at the strange colored animal with odd colored tights walking somewhat odd. Nothing in his attire matches..The gloves are blue black. Helmet is violet. Tee shirt is red with Wide Text that claims “I train seriously”. The bike is gray.
I am interested in art..but it doesn’t show up in my dressing sense..I perhaps have no taste for the aging man that no exercise resurrects.Dressing comfort is vital to carry out my activities at peace.

I dig into a plate of Poha and have a Wada paa. Food immediately gets me back to my senses. I punch a message to Sujit that I will meet them at top of Khambatki. A tall climb awaits me and I will take my rest at the top.

Lone cycling allows me to talk to myself.
Why am I thinking in German after so many years? Not even sure its correct grammar? Hallucinating? I recollect the last time I climbed Khambatki was 12 in Midnight with My friend Prasad on a gearless cycle. I was 17 then and I am 49 now. I now enjoy the climb on 24 speed cycle that I can afford. I can eat as many times as I want and I do not have to worry about money. It is no more a shoe string affair. I remember that I had got down twice then. I do not plan to get down now.

Huge Hitachi machines are digging boulders on the side. A truck goes close by. Bit unnerved, I stop to have a sip as my throat is dry with the dust. Sujit has caught up with me. He motions that he is moving on. Now that I have company, I start again afresh. We are at top of Khambatki and Umesh is also with us. Time for a selfie!
With my buddies by my side, I pay more attention to the need for hydration and fuel supply that I have forgotten as a lone traveller.

Eventless ride to Satara. Beautiful fields, that us city rats miss.
We steer into a Vithal Kamat at outskirts of Satara. Hotel for food. Masala dosa and cold coffee douses the fire. It is getting really hot at 11 AM.

We pedal to MIDC satara for Bib collection. Later part of journey thru traffic towards RajWada is tiresome. The final slope that takes us to our lodge has me reeling and I prefer Khambatki. Its almost 120 km cycling to this point.

The room at our disposal is a large marriage hall with a stage. Our Luggage is with Bhari’s car. I have not carried spare shorts.. Quick bath in cold water. We go down for lunch. Fortunately this place “Supanekar lodge” has homemade food very cheap. A Satarkar has engaged Sujit in a ‘Satara’ talk. I have been there and I know enough to never ask questions. (But I like to limit talk too wheras Sujit gets on very well socially.) Mr Memon talks about the quality and cost of food , almost bets can never be procured in Pune. Bramhini food! Sujit’s neighbour, Mr Memon, is a milk supplier, impacted by the Marathon as his route to collect goods is shutdown. I smile at the thought of a Vegetarian Muslim guy in love with Pure Brahmin food. Reason for my smile is my flawed thinking and type casting people. I realize that people are bound by lifestyles and basic common necessities. Religion is just a shroud to wear if the above is already met. I could have sworn that Mr Memon even looked like a Maratha.

Mr Memon also mentioned that we should have a snack at Mr Supanekar’s stall at Rajwada.
Bhari and Ashish arrived at noon and the PTC marathon troop was now complete. A few of Umesh Running circle joined in. Mattresses were rolled and we still had enough room to accommodate 20 people.

In the evening we did go to taste Mr Supanekar’s Pattice (Coconut filling) and a marvelous Batata Wada. But then it was just a starter prior to the main course ie. the Dinner at Supanekar’s mess.
Phase 1 of our rally was complete. No damage to the body apart from slight misalignment of right knee. It was time to sleep and recuperate.
I did not set any tall goals for the marathon (i.e phase 2).

Phase 3 – the return was more important than the marathon.
Almost a Duathlon

Contd...