Sunday, January 18, 2009

A quick hop to the hill down the road!

The trip was decided just like that. Sumeet, my colleague, is a native of Delhi. He had a plan to visit places in South-India. This time it was Mysore. I suggested we go by bike. Abhijit, another colleague of mine joined in as well and we were three on two bikes. My Unicorn and Sumeet's Suzuki Max-100 R.
We started off from MG road at 7:30 AM, Abhijit rode behind the Max-R, not willing to enjoy the obvious ergonomic 'comfort' the Unicorn would offer to its pillion.
It was a cold Saturday morning. The Max, being middle-aged, would only do 65Kmph with a 150Kg payload. The trip to Mysore was slow and stress-free. First stop was at Kamat-Lokaruchi, Ramnagar for breakfast and a lovely cup of coffee. We stopped again at Mandya to finish the tasty Pav-Bhaji Sumeet had prepared. The drive-chain on my bike was excessively tight for some unusual reason and one mechanic at Srirangapatna loosened it for me. The wheel was all smooth now and we moved on. Reached Mysore at 11:15.
GK and AJ (I hope you remember them) waited for us near Jaganmohan palace. We moved into a lodge, dumped our bags and freshened up. We then headed to the famous Mysore palace. Although I have been to Mysore countless times before, this was the first time I was visiting the palace. Nice and splendid indeed!
After marveling at the architectural masterpiece and a photo session, we were out by 3:30PM. This is a weird time of the day in the sense that its too late for lunch and too early for snacks. So no hotels would entertain us. The next best option to have a meal was pizza hut.
Adithya, an ex-colleague who'll now be off to France to study in a few days, joined us too. After lunch we set off to visit Krishna Raja Sagar dam. Kitta and AJ joined in on the former's Pulsar. We visited Balamuri and Yedamuri waterfalls on the way. Sumeet happened to enjoy the water a lot. He decided to take a bath. I quenched into the water with my clothes on and the short two metre waterfall offered a nice relief hammering my bald head with cold water.
After spending about an hour, we headed to KRS. Someone said there was a short-cut to KRS from Yedamuri falls and we need not take the main road. So seven of us on four bikes started on this road-hunt. Ten minutes into the ride we were off-roading on our omni-purpose motorcycles in sugarcane farms, on loose gravel, patches of tarmac, loose stones and all that our bikes were not designed to be used on. Man, it was fun!
We reached KRS by 6:00 PM to find a quarter of the Mysore city population there. We visited Brindavan gardens and a funny musical-fountain.
The ride back to Mysore was again worth mentioning. The road was damaged as if hit by asteroids with a lot of vehicular traffic too. We raced back to Mysore, had a light dinner at Nalpak hotel and the famous Nalpak coffee!
Sunday morning began at 7:00 AM. First thing on the agenda was the visit to Chamundi Hill. The morning hill climb was beautiful and riding alone on my bike, I could bend it to my heart's content on those curves. There was moderate crowd and the temple visit took about an hour. AJ and Kitta had come up cycling as a part of their fitness exercise. We sprinted downhill and had a heavy breakfast at Mahesh-Prasad hotel.
We then visited Shri Ganapati Sachidananda Ashrama and the Bonsai garden inside it. Though I did not have any idea of Bonsai, it was nice to appreciate the amount of effort and care that had been into growing each of those plants.
We left Mysore with plans to visit Srirangapatna on our way back. GK and Adithya took leave of us. Abhijit rode pillion behind me and Sumeet was all ready to set the BM Highway on fire on his Suzuki Max. (I don't know what inspired him all of a sudden).
We were in Srirangapatna at 1:30PM, quite an unusual time to visit a temple!
As expected the temple was closed.
The ride back to Bangalore in the hot sun was actaully enjoyable. We stopped for lunch and Kamat-Lokaruchi and ate for a full hour. We rode back at top speed to avoid getting stuck in the infamous traffic jams of Bangalore. We reached MG road at 6:00PM clocking 460Km in total. It was an enjoyable trip overall.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bengaluru Midnight Marathon 2009

Atlast it was time for the Bengaluru Midnight run. After completing 5Km and 10Km runs in the BSNL and Sunfeast-10K, I had registered for the Half Marathon this time.
Practice for this run was not all that good. I had trouble getting adjusted to those running shoes. I thought I wouldn't run this time. GK kept insisting that I atleast walk and finish it.
The reporting time at the venue was 10PM on 10-Jan. The run would start from Hope-farm along NH207, turning right into Varthur main road upto Tubarahalli and back along the same road. Two such laps to make it 21.1 Km.
The run started at 12:00AM sharp. Luckily I got into a rhythm and it didn't feel very hard till the 17th Kilometer. It was a mixture of run & walk after that. The total run took me 2 hours and 56 minutes to complete. It was the longest run of my life and was just happy that I finished it.
The cold weather and the run has taken a toll on my muscles. Both legs feel like logs and I've forgotten how to bend my knees! Hope I'll be fine in a day or two!
The pain was worth the gain eventually ;)