Thursday, 19 June 2014

BBCh Nandi Epic Road Race

I bet you're wondering where I've been for the past three months, ey!
What's that? 
...You didn't notice?

Ah. This is awkward.

Well, after the previous BBCh road race, it was back to the drawing boards to tweak my training. Gladly that worked out and I secured the runner up position at the MVS Coimbatore crit in April. Following which I competed in the BBCh twilight crit in May. Boy, is the crit fever in India spreading! 

(All smiles!)

                  The month of June brought along my two and half month long summer vacations (yes, you read that right!) and also the Biggest and toughest race to take place in South India - The "Bangalore Bicycle Championships Epic Nandi road race". The Nandi hill, at 7.3km long and an average gradient of 5.7%, is a regular pilgrimage for many Bangalore cyclists and the annual race finishing at its summit provides for some of the best races in this part of the subcontinent. This year, with a distance of 100km and plenty of crosswinds, it proved to be a firecracker!

             As I lined along with 117 other riders at the start line, I looked around to check out the field. We had 6 from Team Trek Firefox Racing, 7 from Specialized-Kynkyny Cycling team, 12 from Team Lifeycle Racing, 3 from Team Globeracers, 6 from Trek Firefox juniors and several others including from Team Spectrum and team Procycle.

              We had studied the race route and the wind conditions the previous night and assigned roles for each rider in the team. Because of my lightweight physique, I was to be protected till the base of the climb. 
               With the wind coming in alternately from 7 o' clock and 9 o' clock, we knew that it would be tough to breakaway till the round about at the 42km point. So we assigned 3 of our riders - Vishwanath, Surender and Parikshith to ride tempo at the front and slowly but surely chase back any attempts at breakaways. As expected, a couple of riders from team specialized kynkyny took turns to attack and form breakaways. They were quickly shut down by the awesome threesome from our team at the front. The first 35kms were pretty uneventful with attacks being launched and subsequently being reeled back in.

(The first 35kms)

     2.5kms later, one of the race volunteers directed the peloton to move to the right to avoid road furniture, but due to a miscommunication, riders thought this was the roundabout and in action reduced the race distance to 92kms! As we had expected, two of the strongest riders from Team specialized-kynkyny launched an attack to take advantage of the cross/hind winds. Fortunately, our team captain Jetharam "Sher" Gat shut it down in time. 
With strong winds blowing in from 2 o' clock, the peloton was in a volatile condition. Ten minutes later Lokesh from specialized-kynkyny launched an attack and was followed by a rider from team Globeracers. I went to the front of the bunch to inform Vishwanath to begin chasing. When I settled on his wheel, he began to chase...a bit too fast! Moments later I found myself off the front of the peloton which was now spread out, which meant they were not chasing! While we were stuck in the "No man's land" a rider from specialized-kynkyny bridged across to us and took upon the role of the ticket collector. Eventually we were caught at which moment, Naveen, the strongest rider from specialized-kynkyny launched a counter and bridged across to the two escapees up front.
Unfortunately, our guys were napping at this time and it took a bit of yelling to get them organize a chase. When we did get around to form a chase group, we had blown the lid off the peloton, resulting in a beautiful spectacle of bike races - Echelons!

(Cool to look at! Pain in the derriere to be stuck in one)

                  Soon, we had lost Vishwanath who had cooked himself and Surender who had a nasty crash into the barriers. With Parikshith alone at the front, the gap to the breakaway was increasing slowly but surely. To add salt to the bruise, at this point one of the riders from team globeracers took advantage of the draft from a lorry and bridged across the gap.
I asked Jetharam to begin chasing, so that Mudit and I could save for the climb. Jetharam being the locomotive he is, went to the front and dropped the hammer soon bringing down the gap to 20 seconds. I was on the left side of the 20 odd bunch, inches from the sidewalk, elbows spread out and praying not to get a flat tyre.

                 With 10 kilometers to the turn off from the highway on to narrower roads wherein there would be minimal winds, I and Mudit reluctantly began to take turns at the front and we finally managed to catch the break 5km from the turn off. Instantly there was a counter attack, but he had managed to get on the draft of a lorry! With the adrenaline from the previous effort still gushing in my veins, I yelled "YUCK FOU!!"  and chased him to exchange a word or to.

(No, nothing of this sort took place!)
            As we turned into the turn off the highways, the pace slowed as everyone opted to save their legs for the climb 14km ahead. Phew! There was an attack from a specialized-kynkyny, realizing that he was a sprinter and was not much of threat, me and my teammates did not take up the burden of chasing him, rather we chose to refill our bidons and munch on some delicious rice cakes.

           When the climb did begin, Naveen and Loki went up front to ride tempo consequently dropping several riders. Just 2km into the climb, the front bunch was thinned out to 6 riders - Me and Mudit representing Team Trek Firefox Racing, Naveen and Loki from Specialized-kynkyny, Michael Lehnig from Team Lifecycle Racing and Enaut Gonzalez Ruiz. With 3km to go, I decided to launch a false attack to put pressure on the others. Unfortunately I mistimed it, and when an unexpected counter went up the road, I froze for a few moments realizing that I had just lost the race. Eventually I gathered composure and caught up with Mudit and rode alone for the last 1.5kms finishing 5th overall a minute and a half behind the winner and 4th in cat1.
All in all a pleasant day of racing, wherein I learnt a lot in 3 hours 2hours 43mins 55.7secs.

The podium

Saturday, 22 March 2014

BBCh 100km Road race


I competed in the first road race of the Bangalore Bicycle Championships (BBCh) last sunday (16th march)  and its easy to describe the race in short - Surfing the bunch, Breaking away, Suffering..
But, since I have lots of time in my hands (not really, my internals begin in 10 days), here is a report about it-

noun. A rider or group of riders that has left the main group.
verb. Dish out pain on oneself and others in the race with the hopes of grabbing the 1% chance of winning. (I just made that up)
Jens Voigt version. Successfully drop the peloton on a number of occasions.

Situation at the start line-
 There were three main teams who would be influencing the outcome - Team SKCT, Team Globeracers and Spectrum Racing. Since this wasn't an official team event, I was the sole representative from Team Trek Firefox Racing but also had my brother from the newly formed junior team racing alongside.
              The way I saw it, Team Globeracer had a strong sprinter in their lineup and would be dedicating their resources to protect him till the finish. Team SKCT did have an equally strong sprinter, but since this was a (relatively) hard course, they would be spending most of their eggs in the basket to form a succesful breakaway with 2 or 3 riders. Spectrum racing would be ensuring that their rider in the women's category would be secured a win, but also at the same time give it a go at the masters'category.
And for myself, I had studied the route on strava the night before (got to love technology!) and marked out crucial climbs wherein I could cause mayhem in the race *evil laugh*.

Flag off-
The race was flagged off at 7:05am with 97 riders starting the race. The course was an out and back course with short steep climbs and crosswinds throughout. With just 4km after the start, two riders, one from SKCT and one from globeracers broke away from the bunch. This was also the point wherein I realised I had not reset my cyclocomp after the warm up! Rookie mistake. My initial reaction was to jump across to them, but I was stuck in the middle of the bunch and decided not to spend energy chasing them. Since their teammates were up the road, both SKCT and globeracers were not willing to chase and the pace was quite slow. I had decided to save energy and surf the bunch till the halfway point.

(Saving energy is what matters..)

        After 22km, there was a slight right hand turn. There was an attack and two of the SKCT riders went up the road. I followed pursuit pulling across two riders from globeracers including their sprinter. I thought this would be the winning bunch and was glad to be in it. But then, for no reason nobody wanted to work! I went to the front and put in a short tempo effort but looked back to realize that the peloton was within a stone's throw from us, and I dropped back to surf the bunch again.
      With 2km from the halfway point, I went to the front of the bunch to check for the wind direction. As my rule of thumb, I was always staying in the top 10 to 15 positions in the peloton so that I could have a clean view of the proceedings. As we approached the U-turn, I noticed thst Naveen John from Team SKCT, who is also amongst the top 5 riders in the country, swung around the apex of the curve. I realized that by doing so, he'll be coming out of the turn with a higher momentum and he'd be breaking away.
Battle positions! Battle positions! 
I took the inside of the curve smoother than I had ever done before. Good to know that the core workouts are paying off. With perfect timing I got onto NJ's wheel along with Santosh from Globeracer and we were "riding in the gutter" to avoid the wind. NJ was working on the front to make sure that the break would succeed. After 500m or so, I looked back and was amazed to see the gap between us and the peloton. My inital reaction was "Wow! That was easy" 
        Pretty soon, all the three of us started to work together. When I first went to the front to do my share of the work, it hit me how hard the crosswind was blowing across. NJ was taking massive pulls of 1.5 to 2mins at a time whereas me and Santosh would drop back after 15 to 20secs of eating the wind.

(We rollin! We hurtin!)
Photo credits: Rolling shutters

         We soon caught up with a rider from globeracer who was in the earlier break. and passed him. Slowly but surely I was burning my matchsticks sooner than necessary when I went to do my share. At 60kms, we entered a stretch wherein the crosswinds were blocked by boulders on each side of the road, creating a valley effect of sorts wherein I had a tough time to stay in the group. After the 65km point we hit the base of the longest climb of the day. Noticing that I was suffering, NJ attacked midway through the climb, and I did not have it in my legs to follow it. Not a pretty sight when that happened.
             With 30km to go and no strength to catch with the trio up front, I began to pace myself referring to my powermeter. Did I mention I love technology? I got caught by the chase group containing 2 riders from SKCT, the main sprinter from Globeracers and a rider from Team Wheelsports, with 23kms to the finish. But by this point, I had burnt almost all my matches and could not catch up with the chase in the group. Getting dropped twice can have a negative impact psychologically and I was having one of those days wherein my body was not doing what my mind was telling it to!  
          With 12 or 13kms to go, I was caught by the second chase group and managed to latch onto them. I tried to sprint at the end to get into the top 10 but found myself boxed in with 300m from the finish and finished in the 15th position.

All in all, a good day of racing. Bit disappointed with the result which was outweighed by the gratification about knowing my ability to be there when "the shit hits the fan". A big kudos to the BBCh organizers and also to Sangamesh from SKCT who was sick with how slow the peloton was riding at and stayed away from it for 96kms!

Next Events:
1. Spectating the Milan Sanremo a.k.a Il Classicissima a.k.a. La Primavera on 17th march.
2. TCC Criterium at the Kari Motor speedway on the 30th of march.
3. 2nd internals from 1st April.             

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


        Two weeks ago, I headed to Sriperumbudur to attend my first race of the season, the Madras Motor Sports Club (MMSC) criterium organized by the Tamil Nadu Cycling Club (TCC). Fortunately I have good memories of all the races I attend, including my first race which was coincidentally a Criterium (wherein I got overlapped...3 times...and finished in the last 5! goosebumps), so here is a report on it-

Saturday / the day before the race-

  Fortunately our team director was able to obtain access to the race track on the morning of Saturday, so I went for a reconnaissance ride with some of the riders from Chennai. Having been accustomed to the dry weather here at Bangalore, I was mildly shocked to find myself sweating profusely while riding at 20 degrees! (Tough day at the office tomorrow).
          The course was pretty cool, being 3.7km long with 12 corners which meant bike handling skills would play a vital role, which I would elaborate later on. But with minimal elevation and strong winds, it was pretty clear that it would be a power course (in other words, I would not be dreaming of a win).

There was a 3 lap warm up race conducted that day to open our legs and also inflate one's ego a bit. The race was a handicap race wherein the women riders would start first followed by the junior riders after a certain gap and then the open/elite category riders would start at the end. I worked well with the riders in my group and caught up with the rest after 2 laps and would have won if my left crank had not come off the bike! (felt a bit like Andy Schleck at the moment)

(Yikes! Note: ignore white socks)

Fortunately, I obtained tools from a fellow rider and fixed it Phew! 
While putting up the bikes onto the car rack, we heard engines revving. Curious to find out more, me and a couple of my teammates entered the pit-stop region. What I saw can be described as every mechanical engineering students' dream-

 Narain Kartikeyan's Paddock 
(He would go on to win the next day's F2 race)

His engine!

Aerodynamics - the one thing common between cycling and Formula sports
(Safe to say that I have got myself a descent haircut now!)

Race day / Sunday:

After a quick breakfast I was off to the race track at 6 in the morning to attend my brother's race in the under 18 category. After witnessing the under18 race, I headed off to the parking lot to get a good warm up on the trainer (am I the first person in the country to do so?). If you own a trainer, I'd highly recommend using it to get a proper warm up before a crit/TT, it makes a HUGE difference!
    Fortunately, I timed my warm up perfectly and arrived at the riders' assembly area 10mins before the start of the event. I collected my transponder (which is pretty cool) and downed a caffeine gel. Ah! The joy of knowing that my preparations were perfect! 
    At the start line, I was looking around and marking the strong and weak riders. I also might have have scared my teammate when I told him that my main goal for the race was not to get overlapped! The way I saw it, there were 5 main teams-
1. Trek Firefox Racing Team:
We had two guys from the main team for the race including myself. A couple of riders from our development squad and a few more riders invited to the race as a try-out.
2. Specialized Kynkyny Cycling Team:
They had a squad of 4 riders. These were the guys to beat and it was not going to be an easy task, with all the guys in their team being medalists at the National C'ships.
3. Trichy cycling team:
They had one of the fastest sprinters in the country on their roster list, so he'd be riding with a bull's eye on his jersey!
4. Team Wheelsports:
Their strongest rider was absent for the race. Phew! But they could play a major role if one of their guys sneaked into a breakaway.
5. Indian Army:
Quite frankly, I realized that they were in the race only when I saw the results sheet! With each rider riding for himself and wearing different jerseys, it appeared they were attending just for the sake of the travel, accommodation and to attack aimlessly during the race!
       Pretty soon, we were flagged off  at about 9AM, and I sprinted to the front of the bunch because positioning before the first corner would play a major role, or so I thought! I sat in second place as we approached the corner, the pace was quick but not fast enough and soon other riders were coming to the front. The "Mushroom effect" was now in action and I was finding any gap to slip into the front again.
When I did the warm up race yesterday, the pace was not quick enough so I could take the corners at my own time coasting through them. But now, every time I coasted through the corners, I would slow down relatively and get mushroomed. (It also important to note that while racing in India, riders behind you tend to make hissing noises to let you know that they are approaching) I would be in the top 5 position before the corner but find myself somewhere in the 15th to 20th position while coming out of it. This went on for the first lap leaving me gasping as I accelerated after each corner.
            I knew I was wasting more energy, so I decided to take more risks and load up on my bike handling skills from the 2nd lap onwards. Each time while approaching a corner, I would "hiss" my way to the top 5. While in the corner I would shift weight to the leg on the outer side and pedal through rather than coast the corner. And it worked! I would come out corners in almost the same position I started!        
 According to the rules, there would be a sprint on the 3rd, 6th and last (10th) lap and the riders in the first three position would be awarded points. in the end, the rider with the most accumulated points wins. With the excitement realising that my tactic had worked, I lost count of how many laps had passed. With 400m from the finish line, I moved to the front only to realize that this was the second lap! D'Oh!

Close call!
(Photo credits: Photogalaxy)
On the brightside, 50m from the finish line, there was a crash in the middle of the bunch. I was at the front and escaped when it caused a spilt in the bunch. Good choice to accelerate at the wrong really..
           Viewing the crash as an opportunity some of the riders moved to the front to increase the pace while at the same time my body needed to recover from the previous acceleration. As I was struggling to stay with the pack, the SKCT riders controlled the pace and grabbed all the points on offer.


As in any criterium, there was a breakaway formed after the sprint lap, since we had one of our guest riders in it, we decided not to chase. By this time, the wind speed had picked up and positioning was more crucial than ever. The Trichy riders took up the responsibility to chase, and a couple of laps later the breakaway was caught. Immediately there were counterattacks forming left, right and center! Our team captain, Jetharam had successfully broken away with 3 SKCT riders, and it seemed like that was the winning move.
At this point, I positioned myself in the top 5 in the main bunch to cover any attacks. Ahead of me was Lokesh (who is one of the strongest and most respected riders in the country!) from Team SKCT, and that's when it hit me-

I'm on Loki's wheel!

With 4 laps to go!

Despite my form resembling a lean Homer Simpson!

Criteriums are friggin awesome!!

                  As the saying goes "Three cyclists are better than one...unless your name starts with Rajni and ends with Kanth". The Trichy riders once again took up the responsibility to chase while the SKCT riders were happy to allow Jetharam do all the work. Pretty soon they were caught. And predictably there was another counterattack. From the same 3 SKCT riders. With the Trichy riders riding on empty tanks, the break had managed to escape. I went ahead to form a chase with one of the rider from Team Wheelsports.  After my first effort, I dropped back into the bunch to recover. With strong crosswinds blowing, the guy in front of me lost contact with the bunch, and before I realized it, there were 10 or 12 guys ahead of me! I quickly began to chase, resulting in my longest...pain-dangle...ever!
               For 4.5kms I was chasing alone with the bunch just 7 to 8secs ahead of me. Just when I was about to give up, I noticed that up ahead, that the bunch was spread out on the road, without hesitation, I quickly shifted down a couple of gears and accelerated to get back into the bunch, while going into the red and squealing like a rat for a few moments. Only to realize that no one was working despite Jetharam trying to organize a chase. I went to the front again and chased for a while, but I was no match to the 3 riders ahead working in unison! After my effort, I dropped back into the bunch to recover, but since no one else was chasing, 30 secs later I went ahead to the front to slog it out for one last time. I had gone into the red while doing so, but my efforts were fruitless as the gap wouldn't nudge. Pretty soon I was cooked and got dropped from the bunch with 5km from the finish.
        With 3k to go, an Army rider caught up with me and he was glad to do all the work. Sucker! I sprinted past him with 150m to go and finished in 12th place.
It was a good way to start the season, although a podium for the team would have sealed it. Despite my physical capabilities not suiting criterium racing (for now), I look forward to my next crit race because they are fast, fun and sort of an ego booster (when one does not get DNF'ed!).
Pretty neat results sheet!

Next Event:
March 16th - Bangalore Bicycle Championships 100km Road Race
Back to racing in awesome weather and "normal" amounts of humidity.


Monday, 17 February 2014

How to survive a REALLY hot trainer ride

After yesterday's crit race (which I will blog about this weekend) I still had two hours of training left. There were no good roads and the hotel rules did not allow me to take my bike into the room, damnit. So I decided to do the ride on the trainer in the parking lot ( temp : 30 to 35degrees + humidity: 70% + wind conditions: nil = worst possible conditions to get on the trainer )
Here's how I managed to survive the ride

Step 1: Obtain ownership of a chilled can of coke

Step 2: 

Step 3:

Step 4: Carry on with the ride as planned (and get a neat tan while doing so!)

Friday, 24 January 2014

365 days ago: Chikmagalur road race

I attended the Chikmagalur district road race last year on this date, here's a recap into it.

I was part of the KW development team at that time and I got a call from a senior rider if I was game to join the main team to race at the Chikmagalur road race taking place on the eve of Republic day. I was looking for an ego-boost after the horrendous experience at the Inter-University games the week before so I jumped on board.

                I had been to Chikmagalur a few months ago, the town is like any other in India, bad roads, noisy, careless driving and delicious food. But, outside the urban area, the place is a treat to the eyes. I was looking forward to some good climbs during the race, more on that later.
             I joined a bunch of other riders heading to the race from Bangalore on the morning of the 24th and reached the town about 7 hours later. After 2 hours of confusion, we finally reached a school about 60kms from Chikmagalur where we were accomodated for that night (its been too long ago to remember the name). The race route and distance were not announced and there were a LOT of rumors being passed around on that night.

Race Day:

I had a quick breakfast, which I am guilty about not finishing, warmed up with most of the riders attending the race for about 20mins and headed to the start line at 8am thinking that the race would start in a couple of minutes. The route had been finalized and the finish was going to be at Chikmagalur.

A couple of minutes passed by.

10 minutes.

45 minutes.

An hour passed by and I was still at the start line with 40 to 50 riders. Apparently the race organizers were waiting for local politicians to arrive and flag off the race. I joined a few other riders for a quick spin at that point.

At about 9:30, the politician arrived and I took a quick loo break thinking that the race would start soon. I couldn't have been more wrong as the politicians took turns to give speeches! 
There goes my warm up!

 The race organizers started to assemble all the riders and we were flagged off at 10:30, finally! 
As soon as I clipped in to my pedals, there were attacks taking place at the front. Thanks to the sleep-inducing speeches,my body had switched to standby mode and I was gasping my breath just to stay in the bunch. 
   Bad breakfast, delayed start, soporific speeches, body in a hibernating state, it couldn't get worse than this, right? Right? Well, 2km into the race, the bunch was greeted to gravel roads. One of the teams with the largest numbers and the best bikes decided to split the bunch and began driving at the front. 8kms in, their tactic worked, there was a group of 14 up the road, with 8 from the same team and I was caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. I was with a bunch of about 8 other riders and the bunch up front was disappearing ! Soon! Because nobody else was willing to work, I attacked and was chasing solo. By this team, the organizers and the press convoy thought the chasing group was not worth sticking behind to and sped off! despite being less than 45secs behind the main bunch! In the next 5km I caught up with 2 separate riders who were dropped from the main bunch, but seeing that I was doing the lion's share of the work I ditched them and went chasing solo.
         At this point I was plain angry, angry at the organizers, angry at the guys who had attacked early, angry that I had to spend to nights sleeping on the floor at the University games! I was yelling at all the vehicles ahead to clear out of my way, screaming at spectators to not come in my way. That's the only part I remember, being angry!
         After the 20kms mark, I was 15 secs behind the main bunch, who were riding like they were possessed! At the 20.5kms mark, the neatly laid roads were a welcoming sight. I took a left turn at a town (whose name I don't remember) and at the bottom of a short climb I could see the bunch right ahead of me, I knew I was going to catch them before the descent.
         5secs later, I saw a teammate of mine standing at the side of the road with a rear tyre puncture. He yelled out to me for my wheel. 
To this day, I don't understand why I did what I did, I gave up! I gave up convincing myself that it wasn't worth doing the race and I'd better give my wheel to him. And that's what I did!

"Sarvesh, you a ride a 9 speed!"

Wait! What?

Turns out my wheel was not compatible with his bike! Without thinking I began putting back my wheel. With my fingers shivering, it took me more than a minute to get the wheel in position and start riding! Anger was replaced by disappointment at this time.

To make matters worse, the traffic was allowed back onto the streets after the first bunch passed through, another session of screaming, yelling and being knocked off the road by a bus followed. 

I managed to calm myself down and told myself to just enjoy being there. The next 25kms were a bit of a blur, I was riding with my head down, focusing on my pedaling, picking up some water at a couple of support station along route. 

With 7km to go, I caught with a rider from the main field (gave myself a pat on the shoulder). After a couple of kilometers I attacked and rode solo to the finish line at 12th position and feeling totally gutted. 
It was a nice feeling to know that a couple of my teammates had finished 2nd and 3rd, but was also filled with a lot of "What if-" thoughts in my head.

Fortunately, I had experienced teammates who gave me important lessons about bike racing after the race. And soon thoughts of quitting the sport were replaced by excitement to look forward and to the next race and also to the theme song of madagascar which was the most played song in the team van. 


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Last three weeks

My classes began on the 6th and this is what my daily (weekdays) timetable has looked like-

  • Wake up and get ready
  • Head to 6 hours of classes and spend 2 hours travelling to college.
  • Have meusli and coffee on returning
  • Get on the trainer for 4 - 4.5 hours depending on the training plan.
  • shower
  • eat
  • Get some homework done
  • Sleep
Thankfully my recovery week begins next week and I'll have time to blog something interesting. To keep yourself busy until then, check this out.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Being a trainer rat and my two training routes

                 The marathon-ic classes began at college last week and coincidentally did my "winter" training rides. Although winter's long gone in Bangalore, these  rides are called so because everywhere around the world, these rides are performed during the winter months when there is no road racing happening. Unfortunately, due to the irregular cycling calendar in India, I'm doing them now (better late than never). These rides are long rides (4+ hours) and constant efforts, so what better place to do it than on a trainer? Well, if you stay in Bangalore and are aware about the "mind and body"-numbing traffic then you would realize that the trainer is a much safer option despite having to deal with the never ending boredom. Fortunately I was able to complete all of last week's workout thanks to Armin Van Buuren's "A State of Trance".
 (Wonder if we can organize such a race)


     Last thursday, I came back early from college and decided to head out on the road rather than slog it out on the trainer for 4 hours. One of my usual training routes in the evenings is the Bangalore University campus. This has neatly laid roads for 8.2 kms with 3 short and steep climbs (perfect). The backdrop being this is a crucial route linking the National highway and Western Bangalore which means there is a high vehicular density (it feels kinda cool when I drop many vehicles on the climbs). Back to thursday, the ride was pretty calm except for 10mins of exceptionally large amounts of traffic at certain sections. But 4 hours of repeating the same loop can be mentally taxing. My thoughts varied from "Will the Pettachi-Renshaw-Cavendish train work this season?" to "How would my performance vary if the air was 10 percent more viscous than it is?". 
        With the large amounts of traffic I did run into some nincompoops, three guys on a motorbike who thought it was "funny" to shove me of the road at 7:30pm! Idjits.

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(This is what the elevation profile of the BU route looks like!)

      Last Sunday, I decided to head out on a route which I had previously been on only once with a friend of mine. This route is B-E-A-utiful. Its about 55kms from where I stay which involves 50mins of navigating through traffic, but its totally worth it. The best part about this route is the silence, other than the villagers and the occasional moped passing by, there is nothing else to disturb the equilibrium. I did the same route today and the weather was nothing short of perfect. With the clip of Simon Gerrans winning the Australian Road championships (like a boss) playing in my mind, I was tearing up the tarmac on today's ride. The directions to this route are strictly confidential and will be revealed only over a DBC.

Displaying image.jpeg 
(the vineyards alongside the road are a treat to the eyes and nose)

Lastly a big shout out and congratulations to my team captain, Sachin Panwar and also to Jetharam "Sher" Ghat on securing one-two at the tour de polo last weekend. Looking forward to my first race this season.