Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Maiden Campaign Ride

It all begins in the mind. If you have the mental strength, you can achieve anything. I have always thought of myself as mentally and physically unfit for activities like running, cycling, trekking etc. I was happy, writing and clicking pictures and leading a sedentary life instead. My better half is an aspiring runner. He tried to inspire me to run. With great difficulty, I started doing 2kms on the treadmill. We then bought a cycle and I slowly started with 3Kms. Went on to 4, and then went on to 6 and then 8. I thought that is it. I have set my benchmark. Beyond this, is not possible. Today, at the Go Green Campaign Ride, I startled myself by doing 23Kms.

We all assembled near the Apple iStore JP Nagar at 6.30AM. Started towards Lalbagh and then to JC road and finally Cubbon park. At the start of the ride, there was an uphill @ jayannagar. I was exhausted. I was the last one to tag along and the others were way up ahead. Mr.Rao, caught up with me, and asked if I wanted to take a U-Turn and get back. I said, "No" and kept going. Each time I would slow down, he would catch up and say a few words of encouragement. He shot pictures, took videos and generally kept up the mood of the group. When we reached Cubbon Park, he gave me a huge smile and a thumbs-up saying, "That is it. You have done it.” It made the sweat in my brows worth its while.

Life's most profound philosophies will probably realized during an uphill. An uphill is Life's challenges. We struggle and fight with them. We cross them and Zoom off.

I met quite a few guys from the GGI group and the conversations around were very interesting. Ranging from cycles to Amitabh Bacchan :). A certain "Aiswarya" will know what I am talking about.

The return route was similar with enough ups, to kill me. Mr.Rao again cycled along and was talking constantly. I never realized how I finished climbing one mini-hill! With limbs aching, i reached home to an exuberant husband who was proud, that I managed to complete the ride. (He is the one who knows how terrible i am with my stamina levels). All said and done, I haven't had this much fun in ages. I intend to ride again wearing the Go Green T-Shirts, which is soon turning into a cult, and I must admit, I feel a sense of pride wearing it.

I have often heard Balaji say, "Pain is temporary, Pride is permanent". I would hear that, nod my head and move on. But, I know today, what it truly means.

Today's ride map on Nokia Sports Tracker.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gooooooooo Cycle!

Cycle. That very word brings in a memory of my mom holding the cycle and running behind me all over the apartment complex that we used to live in Baroda. After three days, when i learnt balancing, i started cycling with friends in the colony in the evenings and then from then on, it became an obsession. I just would keep cycling all over the place.

Slowly as years passed, i needed an upgrade and moved to a cycle with motor. I mean my Scooty ;)

Then that obsession also wore off. I started traveling to office by office transport and then that was the end of all cycling/driving.

Till recently, i started observing loads of people on the road with very nice looking cycles. I was tempted to ask the husband, but refrained, lest he thought i was crazy. Then one fine day, he asked if we can buy a cycle. I was a little apprehensive, since it had been years since i even touched one!

Then we took a few test rides , spoke to a few experts, read opinions and reviews on bike Discussion Forums. We went to buy a used cycle through an Ad.Unfortunately, the frame did not fit me. But the owner was kind enough to give us a few tips and gave us a contact. He also asked us to visit the Firefox showroom. Which we did. And after talking to the showroom guy and also the kind friend, we decided on a Firefox Cosmic.

I rode it around , finding it enormously uncomfortable. Saddle was real hard. Handlebar was very low, saddle very high. Helmet loose and so on. I rode back home in my brand new cycle in the pouring rain.First ride was a damp squib...literally so! Half way, i gave up, and asked the poor husband to ride it and i drove home the car.I looked at the husband after we reached home and he says, "you rode the cycle well. You did a decent job with the car too.". Ok. That was some optimism.

Second try was with the saddle a little low. Better ride but, with a bad back ache, and an elbow pain.

We were clueless. Balaji kept telling me, there is an entire family that stays close to us, and i have seen them wearing "Go Green" T-Shirts. Lets see if we can contact them . We searched and got their contact. He invited us over and we got to meet the Rao Family. Mr.Rao, who is the founder of the Go Green Campaign in Bangalore , is an amazing gentleman and was so very helpful.Apparently, Go Green is a community now, with around 200 guys who cycle for a purpose! We told him our issues and he instantly recognized the issue, and just raised the handle bar a little bit. Now the bike fits me like a dream. For the last three days, i am regularly doing about 4.5kms.

Why should you cycle?
-Why Not ?
-Saves money on fuel.
-You are not confined to 4 walls of the gym.
-Fresh wind blows on your face in the morning.
-Get to see the sunrise :-)
-Shed those excess kilos :D
-End up with well shaped Legs ;)
-It is the latest style statement.


Few Observations/Tips for cycling:
-Never cycle on a completely empty stomach.
-Never cycle on a full stomach.
-Always stretch after cycling.
-If the saddle is hurting, shift on various positions , till you find the right one.
-Don't give up on a UP road.There is plain terrain further ahead.
-Have control while zooming on the DOWN.
-Never lock your elbows. Keep them slightly bent away from the body.
-Bikes and Cars have NO respect for you. They cut you badly and scare the hell out of you. Beware of them.
-If you see fellow cyclist, show a thumbs up. It boosts morale , cheers you and helps enormously.
-ALWAYS wear your helmet. No matter what.

Do you live in South Bangalore and are looking for a cyclist group? Join http://www.gogreengocycling.org/Home

Go Green. Cycle. Sing on top of your voice.Get Fit. Just have Fun.