Well actually, as it turns out, it´s not exactly new. It´s the older version of the Sporterra Sport from the Schwinn stables (guess it´s the 2010) but anyway who cares, right? I just got this awesome awesome bike! And believe me, it´s the best bike I have ridden on and my friends will testify that!
Ok enough of the praises. Let me get to how I got this bike to my rented apartments. It was that Sunday morning when I got up and decided that I just have to get myself a bike. Not a motor-bike, but the good old bi-cycle. As mentioned in the previous posts, I love cycling. Anyways I headed out to one BSA Go store near Tirupati Temple in T.Nagar. The owner confessed that he doesn’t have too many of the good quality (and slightly pricey, by Indian standards) bikes, but he has certain Schwinn models that he had promised via phone was available on display. So went up and checked out the Sporterra Sport. The dazzling red bike was there and it looked good. Took it out for a test ride and it was a dream! I bought it straightaway!
And yeah, I rode this bike from the store to my place, that according to Google Maps was approx 25km journey. I never rode so long in one go before, so felt it could be a daunting task. But an hour later I loved it! Cycling through the busy roads, through crowded bus stops at night was a real experience for me and I realized how much I am gonna love riding on this bike! The gear shift was smooth (rapid-triggers) and how easy was to maneuver it through the bustling roads. It was so enthralling that I couldn’t wait for the morning the next day to ride to my office. The first morning I rode the 10km (train from Perungalathur to Kattangalathur and then ride to Mahindra City) and felt so refreshed after that. The next morning I decided to cover the full distance (that’s 25.4km!) and boy it was fun!
And then came Sunday, when I decided to ride to the East Coast Road. I never knew how far was it from my place, but determined to go there. I took the route to kelambakkam from Vandulur, and the road was deserted but not smooth. After an hour, I reached the ECR. I checked out for a beach front and rode myself to a presumably private beach called Olive beach. Boy was it a paradise and felt so much accomplished with the journey. One problem was that I never thought about the return journey. And that was a real tough one! I was so tired and drained (physically and mentally, hey the Sun was beating down on me!) that I couldn’t ride anymore 5-7km from Vandalur! I hitch-hiked in a auto truck and then rode home. Total distance covered (by bike) that day – 60km! I never got to do that after. 🙂
Well, it didn’t mean the end of my cycling as many friends of mine predicted. I rode at the least 2 times a week to and from my office. But few things I realized when riding for such long distances.
- Good sleep – Realized lack of sleep has hampered my ability to ride long-distances (partly the reason why I did not ride for last 2 weeks.. 😦 ). Need 8 hours of it.
- Physical preparation – Good warm-up exercises a must before starting out a ride.
- Energy – Need to have something before starting a ride (and during the ride too) to keep myself from over-exhaustion. I take 2 bananas on Dad’s suggestion before starting out for the ride.
- Mental preparation – All the above are required to keep focus on the ride, as riding through the GST road is a pretty risky affair. Lack of concentration could mean disastrous.
- Equipment – Though I never had real problems during the rides, I realized tools like pump, screw drivers, spare tubes etc are important to fix problems like punctured tires. Though I wore only in one ride, helmets are important (Hmmm, that helmet doesn’t fit me well.. )
Yeah, as I mentioned, it’s been 2 full weeks since I rode. Not that I am put off from cycling (actually it’s quite the contrary, 😀 ) but that work is getting into me. Finding the balance is the key here, as there are many factors I’ve to take into consideration with. The heat of Chennai has forced me to ride very early in the morning and waking up early has been the biggest problem. Maybe I’ve to ease down a bit and go slow on riding long distances. After all, I never would have thought of myself covering ~400km in the first month!
As for ride plans, there are many. I would want to achieve riding upto Pondycherry (or Puducherry) from Chennai. And I would want to ride in and around Mysore, Bangalore (lovely places aren’t they?). My ultimate aim would be ride through the pristine Western Ghats. I dream of going through the Ghat roads, riding through evergreen forests on either sides, chirping of the birds and gliding through the mists. Oh I oh so want to go through these beautiful places one day. Hey I’m gonna do that, and I make sure it’s on this blog! So long folks, and btw you can check out pics of my rides so far below(Which I’ll be uploading soon). Happy riding!