Numbers are merely statistics as long as they are in theory, but once they find an owner, it becomes a milestone.
Boredom, anxiety and lack of confidence. I must confess I had these feelings. Lockdown had taken a toll. I had to pull out myself of this ‘forced’ comfort zone. Relaxing became a pain at one point and a new order had to be set.
I decided to dismantle the routine and venture out for a long ride to test my mental and physical ability. This self-imposed challenge was necessary and getting lost in the outdoors was the urgency. Hence, I told myself, ‘Bro let’s chase a big number’.
How I approached my ride:
For any project to get through, one must plan well. ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. Once I had decided on the route, I used Google maps to calculate the distance. I chose the safest routes since I was doing this alone and wanted to avoid too much of adventurism.
Planning ahead meant factoring in these critical aspects –
- Start time
- Weather forecast
- Inspecting the bicycle a day before
- And everything else that the experts suggest
Due to the ongoing metro construction projects in several parts of Mumbai city, I preferred riding by the bay – Juhu, Bandra – Reclamation/Fort, Worli and Marine Drive in loop. These are low traffic, non-commercial activity routes and cycling near to the sea is refreshing to the eyes.
I found energy in the air and that helped me a lot. More importantly, many of you would agree that the cool wind helps to whisk away the moisture and those sweat points get ventilation. Passing by, sometimes you also see ‘humanity in love’ which I did, ‘Lovey-dovey’. ‘Cool’ and ‘Warmth’ make a great pair, isn’t it?
Don’t hesitate to take a break:
100 by 5. A break after every 20 kms of distance covered ensured – I consumed adequate liquid. I had also carried sufficient to eat. Breaking your target into segments becomes easier. And trust me, stretching helped me stay motivated. I used these intervals to observe other riders enjoy their temporary authority over the streets which are otherwise have cars in commanding position.
A Yellow Fellow:
To welcome the first rays of the morning sun, I dressed all in yellow (minus my helmet, glasses and shoes). I was shining bright, blooming with energy and trees staring at me. I wasn’t seeking attention, but experts say ‘A cyclist must be visible, especially when starting a ride early morning’. My fashion focused on ‘Safety’, it was symbolic with added radiance. Literally, I was a ‘Mango Man’ that day.
A Classic end:
My bottom started hurting after 80 kms and by 90, it became intense. Although my legs were responding normally, it seemed like the padded shorts failed to support in equality. To keep away from fallacy, I wouldn’t blame the quality.
I tried a few tricks – riding in standing position, lateral movements, and ultra-slow motion before a speed bump. Honestly, it didn’t work. Tell me if you have better tricks. (I respect you and I referred you as an expert in the previous para).
At the back of the mind, I knew I could meet my target and it was a matter of few kms now. I struggled for those last miles but did not quit. Punjabi’s never give-up!
This blog is written with courage and wit, if you found it interesting share it in your network.
My Strava activity: https://strava.app.link/MELATvEYfab
Now that I have joined the centurion club, I hope the record keepers will make a note of this.
Photographs have stories, which one you liked?
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai