Being a novice, I planned to do cycling to ooty (2240m above sea level) from Bangalore, distance of 280km. but due to few reasons it got cancelled. First being, frequent cases of elephants attacking motorist. Madumalai forest department was reluctant to permit cycling. Secondly, suggestions from friends not to attempt that much distance for first time and also altitude being a considerable factor.
I had given much publicity and had already neglected friends suggestions arrogantly. I knew for sure they would tease me a lot for “box office failure”. Myself, my bro-Suneeth,my passed out student- santhosh and colleague sharanbasappa decided to reduce only altitude. Plan was to cycle to coorg (280km) and altitude being much lesser of 1068m and trek tadiyandamol (2nd highest peak in Karnataka-altitude of 1748m)
Myself, suneeth and sharan hired cycles having 21 gears and pair of disc brakes. Disc brakes are worth mentioning to do “mountain cycling”. Santhosh joined us later. All assembled in vijaynagar, Bangalore and started our journey called adventure. We left suneeth’s room at 4am and by the time we reached my room near kengeri, we were skeptical about reaching our destination. We were exhausted. All were pedaling after 7 long years. We dumped tents in my room as we were clear by that time that cycling with tents on our back is highly impossible.
Left room and covered 20km in first hour, 15km in second hour and gradually reducing……
In between, had bidadi thatte idli and took our first rest in a park in ramnagaram. By the time we reached maddur, speed was reduced to such an extent that a walking cow overtook us. Just exaggerating!!. We rested on the boulevard of SH17 (Bangalore-mysore state highway) for a while and decided to reach kushalnagar by night.
It was dark, raining heavily and intensity of lightning was so much that it reminded me of thunderbolt experience in kumara parvatha. Suneeth assured me of safety as we were not at the peak. It was impossible to ride under such conditions. We decided to stop a truck and ask for a drop till next town. We went till Periyapatna in open truck experiencing rain and lightning. I felt as if nature is taking snaps of “crazy 4” to memorize and cherish our adventure in future! 🙂
We took rest in a hotel. Woke up early to start journey before sunrise but found punctured wheel. Visited Periyapatamma temple by the time puncture got fixed. I decided not to bath as cycling for 10 min would anyhow overcome the freshness of a cold shower!
Visited Buddhist monastery (Golden Temple) even at the midst of lashing rain. Visited Nisragadhama.
Loading and Unloading bicycles in a hurry had damaged; My disc brake, sharan’s gear system, suneeth’s gear indicator. Jamming of disc brake created a hell lot of problems to me. I needed to use my body weight to climb the height of coorg. Sharan was unable to shift to lower rpm gears while climbing steep inclines. Suneeth was leading us most of the time after periyapatna without taking much rest in between. Finally we decided to remove the wheel and fix the disc brake problem and succeeded but wheel started to wobble. (much better problem compared to jammed brake!)
Reached madikeri. Booked a resort. Took rest and again next morning dumped our bicycles in resort to trek 2nd highest peak of Karnataka, tadiyandamol. Grass lands after the peak is kerala.. on the way visited tippu sultan’s nalaknad palace. (please read “tippu sultana swathantrya veerana” by PRATAP SIMHA.
We had experience of hiking kumara parvatha (3rd highest peak in Karnataka) but hiking tadiyandamol (2nd highest) that too after cycling 222 km was completely different endurance and strength testing task.
This time also a dog followed us till the peak. A Sheppard told that dog will follow everyone who is going to peak. Locals warned us not to camp at the peak (because of a suicide case and police investigating it). Reached peak with little hurdles. First being a roar heard from the bush. Even today I wonder what was it!?. second, feeling of returning back. Even a super hit song will fade gradually from people’s playlist but Chillness and zero visibility will never fade from our mind. We returned back to notorious Nalaknad palace, rang up auto driver who came within 10 min. Dropped us till bus stand. Took a bus to madikeri, packed bicycles on top of a private bus and returned back to uncivilized civilization, Bangalore. Suneeth, sharan and myself had plan of going to mangalore but had to return because of damaged bicycles and santhosh’s family function.
After coming back, all of us were of the same opinion that heavy hearted return journey by bus was more painful than cycling.!!!
ADVICE FOR NOVICE:-
- Never race (cycling trips are not races. Person who race ahead will definitely fall back for longer duration than being ahead)
- Have an idea of repairing your own bicycles. Carry basic tools.
- Don’t use higher rpm gears while climbing and don’t use lower rpm gears to cruise flat roads and cycling down the hill.
- Drink sufficient water at equal intervals of time (sufficient ≠ liters of water at once)
Maintaining body fluids play an important role in maintaining endurance for longer cycling durations.
People who encouraged, who kept congratulating all along the way, their expression of astonishment,
who told plan will be a failure; all of them are responsible for the success. Would like to thank them all.
Also hoping more adventurous people to follow our blog and be in contact for coming adventures.