I love riding in the night. If biking is hazardous in the day time, night just quadruples the risk. But it also makes the ride cooler and you can get more speeds because you can always see vehicles that come upbehind you and the ones in front.
This was my first non solo 100k+ ride. The previous two were early morning rides.
We started the ride on my Bergamont Helix 2.3 21 speed and a Decathlon RockRider 5.2 24 speed.
We started the ride at 530 PM and the route was:
Edappally> Fort Kochin > Chellanam > Arthinkal > Mararikulam > Cherthala > Kundannur and then split so that I can go to Kakkanad via Pettah and +Ajay Appaden can go to Edappally.
The trip was planned quickly and neither of us were prepared for a ride, let alone a 100k+ one. I had an early brunch and that was my only meal of the day. Ajay had never ridden a bike for more than 20k. Ill conceived plan, but we were sure that we will make it up with determination. As usual Ajay was a pile of energy and though I was ahead, I could hear the screams and the ” I love it“, “This is awesome” etc coming up from behind.
The first hassle was the fact that, though Google Maps told us that we would be biking right next to the beach, we were not. Even though I had switched on the Google Maps Navigation, it decided to shut up and did not tell me the turns to take and we lost our way. We corrected the way and rode through some near-dirt trail roads. Good scenery on the way though.
Made another not so critical boo-boo and forgot to switch on my Endomondo+ for about 15kms. It got dark and the roads were comparatively clearer and we stopped over for getting some fluid onto our systems. It was an awesome bakery ran by two ladies, we had some superbly made Soda Sarbath and a bit of food. The lady there took this as an opportunity to brush up her english. It was hilarious and felt so good.
The ride onwards was nothing but eventful and super slow. I realised that Ajay was getting more silent as the trip went on. The usually exuberant dude was tiring, we were straining. We also realised that the most dangerous on road hazard for the biker are casual cyclists. No lights, dirty reflectors and completely indecipherable from the darkness. Scary.
There is a light-house on the way and it was awesome. Everyone on the road were super helpful, gave us exact directions, gave shout-outs and thumbs-up’s. Encouraging lot for the bikers. The last stretch to Marari beach was un-ending and we reached the beach at 845PM.
Sand never felt so good against my ass till then. Rested on my back for 30 minutes and then we started back. Ajay was almost totally wasted and my only aim was to reach the planned rest-stop, The Indian Coffee House. We reached NH 47 and were biking along, I had to slow down to get Ajay come up next to me.Finally at 945 PM we got there. They were about to close and we had to order everything we wanted at one stretch. I was eating light and got a Butter roast and 3 lemon juices, while Ajay went with three Lemon Juices and Porotta and beef. The people there wanted to know about how long we were on the road, about biking and were very helpful in offering us water again and again to fill up the bottles. We were there till 1030, way past their closing time and they were all awesomely cheerful.
We started from there with a 52km target distance at 1045. And boy wasn’t it awesome. After food and the juices, we were back on track, no distance looked too far. We were going at some awesome speeds. Ajay was back always on my right or left. ( My bike is faster than his, I could match his speeds at more relaxed pedalling on 2-7 as opposite to his 3-7/8. )
The story is not about us and our expensive bikes anymore. There was this guy on an old, rusty hero cycle whom we overtook. He pedalled up and was right on our heels for about 1 or 2 kilometers. And boy! He over took us and he rode away! Pedalling like a pro and we were left wondering, what if he was on one of the machines we had. We never saw him again.
Another on the road surprise was meeting Sanjay Asher from the Gear Junction on the road. Even he was talking about the biker who went like a “Tracer Bullet”, if Ravi Shastri was commentating.
The ride back was unadulterated awesomeness. 50k in about 2 hours. We even averaged 1 min 44 second for a few kilometers.
Ajay started his biking with a 100k ride. I completed my 3rd 100k+.