Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sunday morning cycle ride to Nandi Hills

This was pending for long. I and Sreeharsha were planning this for very long time. Some how the plan never worked. Now that Sreeharsha was away on trek on the Sunday (16-Dec), I decided to go solo. I had never done a solo long ride, except for some 50-60km rides, if you call them long rides! I did not tell anyone that I am going to Nandi hills. I did not wanted to end up with a faster rider, who would make me gasp for breath Rolling Eyes . I wanted to go at a pace comfortable to me.

Plan was to be at the foot hill at 8am, and reach the top within 10am.
I had planned to leave at 5am. I had kept an alarm to wake up at 4.35 AM, but somehow I woke up and 4 AM and waited for alarm to go off Very Happy . I took two bottles of water, some chocolates, and tools like spanners and Allen keys. I usually used to wear a woolen cap, but this time I decided to sport my helmet Smile . So I started exactly at 5 AM from my home (BSK 3rd stage). I decided to go via Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha, then Bellary road. I stopped on Hebbal flyover to check the time, it was 5.55 AM.

There are two ways to Nandi hills. One is, continue in NH7 till Devanalli, take diversion towards left to Nandi Durga road. Second one is, take diversion to Dodballapur just after Jakkur, from Dodballapur, there is a small road to Nandi. I decided to take Devanalli route.

As I cycled on NH7 towards Devanalli, I saw a Porsche(?!) zooming past me. Later I saw it parked near International Airport site and lot of curious people around it. I kept cycling, looking for a hotel to take a break. A motorist showed thumbs-up and zipped past me. When I stopped for first pit stop near Devanalli, it was 7.18am. I gulped 3 yummy bananas, bought few chikkis (ground nut cakes) and started again. Just after Devanalli, I took diversion to Nandi Durga road. A milestone read 22km to Nandi Betta.

As I moved on, I saw some small hills towards right which were covered in mist. I was yet to get a glimpse of Nandi. It was 8.15am when I reached Karalli junction. I ate 2 bisi bisi tatte Idlis. The hotel owner told, that yesterday too there was someone going to Nandi from Yalahanka. He couldn't recall his name though. He gave a word of caution to keep to the left. He added that, 'enne hakikondu gaadi odistare, husharu!', meaning people drink and drive Surprised . I could see that there many people zipping on their bikes. As I left the Karalli junction a milestone showed, 12km to Nandi hills. Now I could see the Nandi romancing with the clouds. It was completely covered in mist, only foothill was visible.

I reached to foothill, the point where the ascent begins, at 8.40am. Stopped to apply sun screen lotion, gulped one more banana. I wanted to climb the entire ascent not stopping at any cost. I relieved myself and started the ascent at 8.45am. As I kept climbing, I could see the Nandi still romancing with mist, but mist had started to clear. Now I was going against gravity, and to add to that, strong wind too started blowing against me Mad . Thankfully the wind subsided after a kilometer of climb. I saw milestone saying 7km. Saw two more telling the altitude, 1138 or something and one more saying 1218. I don't recall exact value.

After 5km milestone, there was flat stretch, which was welcome break from continuous climb, though it was very short one. I remember Sreeharsha telling me that first 5km of the climb is easy and it was. Till now, I was using F2-R1 gear, now I had to shift to F1-R1. I saw 3km milestone, then 2km and 1km Very Happy . I could feel my heart pumping hard when I climbed to last curve which leads to the fort entrance! I didn't stop there, continued till the next entrance where those two morons stopped me Mad . I yelled at them and came back to rest at the bust stand.

I checked the time, it was 9.45 AM. So, I had taken 1 hour for continuous climb Smile . I was happy! I don't know if its good or bad. I was wondering, what might be the best time taken for climb.

Sadly, I didn't carry camera Crying or Very sad . I was not interested in roaming around there as I had been to Nandi on motor bike 3-4 times earlier. Was lying on the grass for sometime. Some curious motorist came to me and asked,
"Boss, did you come by cycle?!".
I nodded.
"Hats off to you!".

I took sometime to call home and tell that I was on Nandi. I ate a cucumber and rested till 10.15 AM. Decided that it was time to go. Started descending. Boy, I liked the speed at which gravity was pulling me down. After 5 minutes, maneuvered a curve to see two more cyclists climbing. Said hello to them and continued. I didn't apply brakes after first 3km as there were not many curves. But some stupid guy in Innova, trying to overtake the slow bus from opposite side entirely blocked my way Mad . Downhill ride was very fast and I was at to foothill at 10.30am. Continued towards Karalli junction, took diversion to Devanalli.

Journey back was slow, with sun making his presence felt. I stopped near Devanalli to sip a tender coconut. I love to sip tender coconuts on my cycling journeys. I tend to stop where ever I see tender coconuts Very Happy . When stopped near Yalahanka to sip two more tender coconuts, it was 12.40. I felt that my bike was not going fast enough, no matter how much ever I tried Crying or Very sad . I continued at slow pace. After crossing Hebbal flyover, I got opportunity to do some off roading as well, as the road was dug for construction.

I decided to through Majestic as it was near. I was feeling damn hungry. I stopped to gulp one more banana. Did not stop anywhere else. When I reached home, it was 2.30. Luckily none of my body parts complained at the end. But my legs from knee to foot had turned dark :( . Had nice lunch went out for shopping in the evening, recalling the ride.

Start time was 5 AM and end time 2.30 PM. From my home, Nandi hills is around 72-73km. Total ride length may be around 140km. I guess Nandi hills altitude is 1479 meters. The foothill altitude is around 950-1000 meters.

I keep a Hero Thunder MTB. I used the same bike for 'Mountain to Sea' (Ooty to Kasargod) cycle tour.

A very satisfying ride.

1 comment:

Uday said...

nice blog..