Nandi 200

The good start to the year continues. Cycling-wise I meant.

Started the Nandi 200 km brevet yesterday with some good hours on the saddle thanks to the commutes and the previous weekend’s long ride. I did some last minute changes to the bike – always a tricky thing to do just before an event. Got the rear tyre changed, and then did some do-it-myself cleaning of the chainring, cassette and derailleur. Being not too experienced at this, I ended up screwing up the gear shifting a bit, and got a quick fixing job done at RR Cycles. Even then, I didnt have a comfortable feeling switching gears. Note to self: No last minute tinkering hereon.

Some 40 odd riders kicked off the ride from the Airlines restaurant. Quite a good turnout.

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The ride went smoothly upto Nandi Hills with a few gentle climbs with a bit of a chill near Doddabalapur. A flat in the riding party was a minor delay. All in all things were going pretty fine when we reached the Nandi Hills base.

I have done the climb only twice before, with the most recent one in July last year. This time I was confident of doing better and shaved off a good 12 minutes off my previous best with a time of 1:02:53. Yes, still a lot of room for improvement there. Now if only I do the climbs regularly. Even then, for a leisure cycling who does not really train, I will take this.

Conquering Nandi was a deceptive high; I still had a good 130 km to go, and a clear sunny sky to ride under. Not the best combination. The idli-omlette breakfast notwithstanding, I could feel the drop in energy levels the climb had brought in. Rode with several breaks till the next control point at Chintamani, and made it 20 minutes before the cut-off time. After a quick lunch, it was a simple equation: 73 km, 5 hours. Didn’t take any long breaks and rode through Hoskote before the perennial

finished the ride in 12.5 hours. The last 10 km seemed the toughest, having to navigate through the Bangalore city traffic.

Other highlights:
As happens most during a brevet, made some friends during the ride. We had each other’s backs, whether it was a puncture or anyone feeling any fatigue.
Yummy pulav by the organizers at the control point.
A couple did the brevet on a tandem bike. In a post-ride conversation, I got to know how syncing the riders’ cadence is critical to minimize effort.

Didn’t click many pics. Just a few at Nandi and some post-ride ones. Sharing a couple of them.

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