Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Pedal to the Mettle : Bangalore - Mysore - 146KM - Cycling Maniacs

Yake, But Why ?

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.
~Albert Einstein

Do we have an answer ? No idea.

Four gypsies set out to cycle from Bangalore to Mysore. Distance 146KM. Time, 12 hours. Weather conditions, cool, breezy, hot, humid and then rainy (in fact that's how the day progressed). Call us junkies if you want to !

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.
~James E. Starrs

This bunch was a highly motivated bunch. It was more to set personal goals, test of endurance and perseverance. After the 100KM ride couple of months back we were looking for a 100+Km distance to be covered in a single stretch and yes we did it with all the more ease this time.

The man, the machine and the power
This one reminds me of "Street Hawks" when the zooming bike goes across the streets awing everyone. This is what almost everyone from Bangalore to Mysore did as they kept on looking at us. Everyone was curious to know, some gave askance look, some stared, some jeered, some turned back twice in disbelief, some inquired, some puzzled, some gave their thumbs up and some mistook some of us to foreigners !

“The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.”
John Howard

The Journey: Tour De Mysore

Stage-I: Kickstart

We all met up near the outer ring road - Mysore road junction and by 5AM sharp we all set off by "tring tring - tring tring" and a cheer huddle ! Some of us sporting the complete bicycle attire and reflective dress for the early morning ride. Our first destination was to stop for a chai (Tea) after covering close to 20Kms.

Stage-2: Breakfast

Next destination was to stop for breakfast at Kamat Lokaruchi. 40Kms from where we started we paddled our way through swiftly. Started off with kodabu and finished off with coffee.

Stage-3: In between
Next we reached Maddur Tiffnay, got the Maddur Wada, refilled water and headed towards Mandya. From now on the sun started to set in and the inclines began. We reached Mandya close to around 11.30AM and took a refreshing lemon juice break. Man, what a refreshing break it was.

This stage was eventful as Prashanth suffered some cramps and luckily he coped up with it in a jiffy.

We also saw some angry villagers blocking the roads just about where we stopped to take a water recess. They stopped a truck and threw stones at it and barged into the truck and ruffed up with driver. Later we figured out that the truck was involved in a hit and run a few minutes ago.

The stretch from Maddur to Mandya was little tough. But we did manage to survive it.

We also stopped by to have some freshly prepared jaggery (Alli Manne ?). We wanted to try this potion that gets formed during sugarcane to jaggery conversion stage. Guess we had to wait an hour more to get to it and because of time we headed forward.

And thanks to Manjula's driver who was playing our SAG driver to perfection. He was keeping in sync with us for almost every 20KMs. We had covered 100Kms by now and it was longest in a single stretch in a day for Prashant and Rajneesh.

Stage-4: Lunch

Reaching Srirangapatna was next big thing and finally we reached just in time for lunch. We visited this amazing Govt. managed river facing restaurant, Hotel Mayuri (?)and had some quick bite and really chilli gobi manchurian.

Stage-5: The Final Assault
Had a great hour's break before we headed for the last stage. It was getting overcast and within minutes it poured cats and dogs. We all regrouped at a bus shelter drenched and shivering. As the rains showed no signs of receding we decided to get drenched. Slowly but steadily with lots of cars and buses zooming at treacherous speeds and some respite from rain we finally reached the Mysore Palace.

We did the customary cycling salute after covering 146KMs in 12 hours now !

Team Effort
This cycling trip also will go down as an amazing team effort. Split in pairs of two each of us pushed each other in really torrid stretches, especially after Mandya.

We all started together and after almost every 5-6KMs caught with each other, synced up and then went ahead.

Food and The Best Masala Dosa I ever had

Food was also an interesting factor that added to this trip. We had some great food in this entire trip and post trip.

This place in Mysore, Hotel Original Mylari, serves just two things, Idli and Dosa. The best Masala Dosa I must have ever had. If you are in Mysore, you must seriously think of going here.

The Big Boys

Manjula and I had to attend Martial Arts camp at Mysore on Sunday so we decided to go back in her car with cycles hooked to it.

But here are the real two heroes, Prashanth and Rajneesh who cycled back from Mysore to Bangalore on Sunday as well. We in fact caught up with them at around Chennapatna. Great job folks, you are the true heroes !

Post Cycling and Day 2
After a great cycling ride we all headed to Sensei Rani's house for a wonderful dinner and couple of us stayed back overnight at her place.

Next day morning we left for some rock climbing stuff and it was my first hand at it.

Then we headed towards the Martial Arts workshop conducted by Sensei Rani and we also collected our yellow belts to be given to us later by our Sensei Manjula.

We had sessions on Kobudo (bow fights and blocks) and Kata using them. We attended the session till lunch and then headed back to Bangalore. We loaded the cycles back onto Manjula's car headed back to Bangalore.

We stopped by Indradhanush restaurant near Coffee Day for a neat lunch and Coffee Day for some coffee and muffins (Ohh.. food .. not again !)

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.
~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"

Ashte ! And that's about it (What's next?)!

Pics Courtesy: Manjula
Comment on the wall to get more Pics !

Some Pics from Rajneesh Here:


KV said...


Ramprakash said...

good job bro! but i guess the 90 mile trip was negated by the melt-in-the-mouth dosas :P :D

Satnam Singh said...

Great Balu and Manjula
Proud to see ASHA runners doing all great things on bike as well..
See you soon in 8K run

rajitha said...

The stage five: final assault pic is kool....! Btw,(since u had expressed a doubt), it is " Aale Mane " where fresh jaggery is prepared...!

Pulkit said...

Raw energy! Excellent photos. I guess it was mind over matter again and you did this ride also with the same cycle! Bravo!

Balu said...


Thanks everyone. Hope to bike more in the coming months. Keep reading !

Balaji said...

Great effort! Get a better bike and look forward to climbing mountains! The real test for any biker is in the mountains!
Keep Rocking

amrit said...

What make are these bikes if I may ask?

Balu said...


a mixture of firefox, merida, hero octane, mTB

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Vachan Mg said...

good job

Vachan Mg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

whr were these Martial Arts camp conducted ??

sushmitha dev said...

Cycling is always good for health. But travelling from Bangalore to mysore is a crazy idea, though seems very interesting after reading your blog. Thanks for sharing the info. Great Experience.

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