Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ride Gallery is now online!

It's taken time, but here it is at last : Click here to watch pictures from this fantastic journey!

Thanks again & hope you enjoyed it !

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Total weight lost

Anywhere from 5.5 to 6kgs. When I started off on the tour, I tipped
the scales at 82.6 kgs or so. Now, I'm at 76.6kg.

Weight loss is generally a good measure of either how unfit I was at
the beginning of the tour or how strenuous the tour was. During my
first trip - South India in 2003, I lost 4kgs in 12 days, and that was
a raw measure of the strain due to the ride - 140km/day! I looked
emaciated at 72kgs at the end. Chennai to Kolkata, in 2004, saw me
lose nothing. I had been in top shape the whole year, and that showed.
Mangalore to Ahmedabad, 2005, I lost 5kgs again. I had started off at
an unhealthy 85 and ended at 80, courtesy 110km/day. The most relaxed
of my trips, North East in 2006/7, still made me loose 5kgs, again
from 85 to 80.

So does all this mean that this trip was the most difficult? Nope.
That title definitely goes to my first trip - 1752km in 12 days: All
the way from Mysore to Kanyakumari and then onto Chennai.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Back in Bangalore

Raghav reminded me that I hadn't updated my latest position :-)

I reached back yesterday. The Indian flight left Ahmedabad at 7:10,
and reached Bangalore at 10:45 or so. Of course, by the time I had
collected my bike and bags and pushed them out, my watch had moved on
to 11:15. I wanted to ride in style to office, so I quickly found a
convenient place to assemble my bike. First phone call - KP calls from
Singapore. I hadn't tightened the headset properly, and had lost one
tightening nut! The thread on the bolt that was keeping the seat post
in position was gone for a six too! So visited Raja Cycle Mart in an
auto, holding the bike! Guys there didn't realize I was coming
straight off the plane. The problems were fixed/worked around soon. A
puncture was fixed too, and I have no clue why that had happened. All
fixed by 2, and I started off towards office. Near MG Road, one more
puncture. Fixed near the ulsoor lake. 10 minutes of riding later, one
more puncture. This was it - I had had enough of this business. So
caught an auto to office, finally eaching at 4 to the gang of

My bike is still lying in the parking lot! I'll change the tube on monday.

Now, how does it feel to be back? I've clearly lost considerable
weight. How much I'm not sure. Major losses in the legs, waist down by
2 inches. Need to find a weighing machine before I start putting on
weight again :-) I'm also feeling somewhat weary at times. This is one
aspect that doesn't cease to amaze me every year: how is it that just
the next day after the end of a trip i feel so weary? The weariness
goes off in a few days. I've noticed that I am improving over the
years. All good reasons to be happy. Quite some time spent retelling
the stories to colleagues and friends! I've even cut a welcome cake,
courtesy Harsha, Priya and Manohar! Started distributing some goodies

Lastly, what about the pictures, you ask? Too many I've shot, and
choosing needs time. One of my uncles expired, so I am out of station
this weekend. Next weekend, hopefully!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

REACHED Ahmedabad!

Yes! My ride has come to an end. I reached Ahmedabad more than three hours ago.

3800kms of riding, 37 days of fun have come to an end.

More than half the shops are closed here, but the ones that matter to
me are open: cycle shops and hotels :-) One cycle shop owner was
helpful enough to give me a box, and I have packed my cycle already.

Last day of riding generally turns out to be boring, and today was no
different. But reaching the end is always special. And this has been a
really long and rewarding journey.

Before I sign off, thanks for all your wishes and comments. Without
you, this blog wouldn't exist. Sometimes I do think if it is a good
idea to blog at all. Some contend that not forcing oneself to write
most days has its benefits, e.g. Like allowing for more time for
thoughts to stabilize. I had tried to write once a day to acheive some
sort of balance between writing everything at the end of the trip and
writing everything as it happens. Live blogging is no easy task, and
can be distracting at times. One fine day, who knows, it might become
possible to broadcast everything non-intrusively. But watching the
stream will take as much time as generating it! That's the charm of a
summary. Enough said about blogging. I hope you had as much fun
reading as I had writing the stories.

I have many more people to thank, but I'd be failing duty if I didn't
thank at least two people. First, KP. Right from getting the
components for the bike to reserving my return flight ticket, KP has
been my biggest help. Second, Raghava. Raghava made all this blogging
and the website possible. The mobile I'm carrying is his fantastic
E-70. It has this keyboard which makes typing a cakewalk.

I'll write a summary, detailed maps and pictures once I reach back. My
return flight to Bangalore is at 7:10 tomorrow morning, and after that
will be work as usual. But now is the time to relax in the hotel room
and remember the glorious moments of the trip...

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Jan 15: Just 99km away from Ahmedabad

I'm writing this from Sevaliya after riding 185km or so. Ahmedabad is
just 99km away.

Honestly, there isn't much to write about today. Gujaratis of all ages
celebrated Makara Sankranti in style by flying kites. And I celebrated
by riding on the superb roads of Gujarat. The bad roads ended in
Madhya Pradesh, and riding after that has been a breeze. I've ridden
at speeds in excess of 20km/hr without too much effort.

One welcome change in Gujarat is the availability of buttermilk. It's
quite hot here at daytime, and buttermilk tastes superb in those

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Happy Sankranti folks!

If you are from South India, you are probably wondering: isn't he a
day off? Not so. Today is Sankranti in North India. And I am just past
Dahod in Gujarat. The kids here are having their time of the year
flying kites. There are so many kites flying over Dahod city that it
seems a spectacle at times. Unfortunately, I'm taking the bypass.

90km more to go before I can rest. And that will be past Godhra.

@faiq: :-) next time I'm in MP, I'll check with you first!

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Less than two days to go!

I'm writing this from Rajgadh in Madhya Pradesh, 282km away from
Ahmedabad. I have to reach ahmedabad tomorrow sometime in the
afternoon. That means a 180km ride today.

The road after this is supposed to be dangerous for a while. I'm at an
altitude of 500m or so. The road climbs down after this, a ghat. And
that's the danger area! No vehicles move after this place at night for
fear of the robbers, who do everthing from throwing stones to jumping
on top of moving vehicles!

I had been advised to start late in the morning, after vehicle
movement starts. I seem to have taken this advice rather seriously -
having slept all the way till 6:30. I hope to start by 9.

Meanwhile, I've written the story till day-before-yesterday, so you
have something to read for the moment!

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