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  • 4 Post By sayi89
  • 1 Post By Divya Sharan

Thread: Mumbai- Mahabaleshwar - Mumbai - 600 Brevet.. Completed but not successfully.

  1. #1
    Addicted sayi89's Avatar
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    Default Mumbai- Mahabaleshwar - Mumbai - 600 Brevet.. Completed but not successfully.

    Another 600 :-
    The confidence of multiple SR's boosted after finishing 600 in Bangalore which started itching in me to go a for a 600 right way. After observing that there is a big weekend near republic day and seeing that Mumbai has one 600 on 23rd of Jan, I thought there is every possibility that I can participate in it. Only concern was the route. Failing to complete bliss in the hills last year, I was sceptical about climbing many ghats in limited time. Yet, the number of brevets done in rolling terrains have instilled some confidence in me.


    Mumbai Once again :-
    I made train reservations for to and fro right away. In Chennai station, the parcel section has informed me that direct transport of goods in Luggage van to Mumbai was stopped and they can do it only till Pune. Other option they gave me is to dismantle bike in station to carry it with me. I have chosen latter.After enjoying the first longest train journey for 26 hours, I have landed in Mumbai. I got a room near CSTM, for below 1000 using goibibo app.After refreshing ,went for a small trip to Gateway of India, as it is start point for event.


    Shock - Absorbed :-
    I started assembling bicycle as soon as I returned back. Shockingly, the rear wheel started to fall out of axle ! I didn't have a clue of what is going on. Also a spring in rear quick release was missing. I nearly fainted . I tried fixing them again and again, all in vain.


    Without making any further delay I called Anil Uchil, event organiser. He directed me to Sudrashan Beri, who runs Baharat Cycle stores. It is so kind of him to bring a mechanic right away to the hotel and fix the issue. Not sure what happened but frame got extended which made rear wheel fall freely from axle. Mechanic, pressed frame closer using his legs. Also, he is sensible enough to bring another quick release ,from which he transferred a spring. All this, they have done free of cost for which I will be very thankful.


    After they left, I went for a little shopping of fruits and other small items. In a small gathering in Chennai, a cycling coach suggested using Marmite and peanut butter on bread in endurance events. I got marmite rightaway. It is something which one wouldn't want to taste. It has a separate way of eating and spreading on breads or other food items. My plan was not to stop till Pune. So, I have brought a pack of bread and made sandwiches with Jam and Marmite. Also, grapes became new staple food for me in Brevets.This time, I also carried two very small cucumbers and two oranges (Just in case if taste of marmite is unbearable).


    The ride begins :-
    Life always has it's own plans and different ways of teasing and testing you. After the start formalities were finished , riders started in a very nice pace. The start was very great that I felt very confident about everything that will happen ahead. Just as 10-15 kms were finished riding, I felt a bump and sudden decrease of seat height.


    Plot twist :-
    The clamp holding seat post came out of frame !!! I again had no clue how to fix it.I tried some ways which didn't work. I pedalled ahead in the lowest seat height for a kilometer on a rotating seat. I thought this wouldn't work. I usually carry a small piece of rubber, just in case tire bursts. So I have put that rubber to arrest the height of seat. It used do go down for every 3-5 kms. It became iterative to get off saddle for every 5 kms. Also since I missed peleton, I had to use navigation for route, which made me slow. All this process made me loose a good one and half hour of very valuable time.


    I regretted coming here all the way, I regretted everything that was going on, kind of a pressure situation. I then only realised Monk's words that bicycle is a simple machine and the discussion in forum that how cycling should be done happily.So there must be a simple solution. I got relaxed, used more rubber and paper to arrest the seat post going down in a kind of permanent way. But it is still rotating. In the given situation arresting the seat from going down is a big luxury for me.


    Aagaya Khandala :-
    Reaching Panvel in that situation is a big hope for me to go ahead. I had sandwiches on Saddle, saving time for breakfast. Headwinds and cross winds showed up, but I maintained my pace.Life was easy and hopeful, untill I reached Bohr Ghat. No regrets in accepting that it is one of the toughest climbs. Headwinds on climbs made life more miserable. I hopped on and off the saddle and with refreshment from Anil Uchil, some how reached the express way that leads to Lonavala. But the U turns were small and more funny. It would have been super fun on a normal day if ride is started at base of Bohr Ghat. Every now and then while climbing, I frequently travelled back in time to my Spiti trip. The terrain resembled Kinnaur in many aspects, except that the roads were very good here.


    In childhood every time Aamir Khan asked aati kya khandala, I used to wonder what Khandala is ? Now, I'm pedalling in Khandala.


    From there it was gradual climbing and rolling terrain upto Pune. Headwinds and increasing heat added challenge every minute. Regular stretching and hydrating kept me moving on. Having bread with marmite, saved food stops, but heat did took a toll on body, which also made me not enjoy the route much.


    Reached Pune control at Chandini Chowk with around 40 minutes to spare. I didn't waste anytime there in control point and hoped back on the rotating saddle to move ahead.


    The teaser climbs :-
    Since I was hungry, I didn't mind going to McD for food. I didn't carry lock for bicycle this time, I went to the drive in counter :P. They were more than happy to serve knowing that I'm on the way to Mahabaleshwar. After eating and taking rest simultaneously,I started back at 6 pm. So 60 odd kms to Surur Phata and 40 Km climb up the hill all the way to M'war. I thought maintaining 15 average wouldn't be difficult and 6 hours will be sufficient to reach just within cut off time to next CP at top of hill.


    Ride was never easy. The Katraj tunnel showed up as soon as I got out of city. It was a different and pleasant experience to ride inside tunnel as part of Brevet. Some rolling terrain, few breaks and a redbull later I reached Kambatki Ghat climb.I had one of the Aloo tikki burger, I got packed at McD, as climb has to be refreshing. It was not very tough, but definitely slowed me down. A pleasant downhill welcomed me to Surur. I Brought a redbull as back up just in case if I couldn't climb properly and started climbing the much awaited part of brevet.


    Saddest Happy ride :-

    The road began to climb very gradually till Wai. All I feared is sudden dog chases. While the darkness scared me a little, I prayed to Batman pedalling ahead. Moon said hello occasionally coming out of clouds. I remembered that last full moon, I was riding a 600 and for new moon a 400. Wondered if my brevet calendar is following a lunar calendar.


    I reached the base of much awaited Panchgani. The solo night ride on a ghat has it's own pleasantness. None of vehicles going up or down minded me. Nature offered me cool air, night gave me the peace and climb gave me the best challenge it can. As usual I started on a bit higher gear. My legs accepted defeat too quickly and I had to shift to lower gears. Spinning at higher cadence is my weakness, which I couldn't over come. Due to that the ride time became longer. Also I had to hop off saddle for every 700 meters or so. (The saddle is still rotating)


    The occasional sight of lights in the town below hill is a great refreshment. Enjoying them and challenging myself about the longer saddle time, I somehow completed the climb. The time limit for reaching control point is crossed in this process. Also I consumed the redbull halfway through the climb.While about 16 kms away, I felt very hungry. I had Parle-G biscuits I'm carrying.Throughout the climb, though I'm surrounded between lush green hills I never felt cold. The climb to Madikeri, during bliss in the hills was much easier than this one. I reached control point 45 minutes after close, ie around 2,15 am.


    Anil Uchil, gave me the option either to sleep or to ride with group. Since I had to descend Medha ghat, I felt it will be safer with the group and choose the latter.


    Down and rolling :-
    I thought it would be downhill all the way to Satara for 40 kms, but sadly after 10-15 km the super steep Medha ghat ended. I missed group when I had to stop for changing batteries of front light.Down hill in winters is the best friend for sleep. As the cold air hits face,one would instantly feel sleepy. I started singing at the top of my voice, murdering the lyrics. Lucky, no animal came to chase me listening that.


    I rode with fasterpace, luckily caught up with group again. We wall reached Satara around 5.15 am missing the control timing once more. After taking a power nap everyone set for Pune.


    Up, up and all the way up :-
    If one assumes that all the climbs were finished yesterday, he will now be surprised with the amount of climb to do on the way to Pune again. Neither the tramac, gradient nor the winds, nothing supported. All one has to do is to pedal accepting the cruel scenario. Only the landscape and occasional strawberry fields are refreshing.After thinking for around 400 kms, I have also figured out that tapping the seat post clamp on to frame is solution for arresting motion of seat. I felt so confident after fixing it myself without taking help from anyone.

    The welcoming downhill to Surur, turned out to be terrible gradual uphill today. Lucky, some speed is recovered in Kambatki Tunnel.The redbull and Parle-G ,I had yesterday didn't work too well. Puking breaks became new addition.

    With increasing heat there are more and more woes as I headed to Pune.There is a local drink called "neera" being sold on roadside for nearly every one or two kms.It used to refresh me. The Katraj downhill was a thriller,as I have overtaken many bikes.

    Every flyover in pune apperead like a mini mountain from a kilometer ahead. Taking service road is not an option as I do not know where they will lead. Anyway, continued riding and reached cafe nook at 2.15 pm, nearly two hours after the close for control point.

    Aur Ek bar Khnadala:-

    Now, I was excited with the thought of going downhill at Bohr ghat. So I had a quick lunch and started again. All I assumed is 150kms with 8 hours left is still doable. But riding on this terrain is not so easy. It was rolling again till Lonavala. I enjoyed a very beautiful sunset here. As expected the downhill was very exciting and steep which recovered a lot of time.

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    Sunset at Lonavala


    To Panvel and beyond :-
    Reaching Khopoli is a very big relief, as I was only 70 or 80kms from finish. Throughout only body was little exhausted but mind was never. It was major contribution for me to complete the ride.Ride to Panvel is easy. Head winds yesterday were turned to cross and tail winds. I pedaled as hard as I can. I was quick in some places, slow due to traffic and route confusion at other places. Taking 20-30 second breaks in between, at end of finish time i.e 10.30 pm,I reached Vashi creek. The air on the bridge, though polluted welcomed me with a pleasant kiss. Traffic was very much even at that time of hour. It took me an hour and few additional minutes to reach IIT Mumbai entrance. I have done it. I have finished riding in one of the toughest brevets accompanied by cruel head winds and climbs along with the rotating saddle. I was very happy. This brevet must have multiplied my confidence by tenfold. Since I missed many controls and even reached late, this ride cannot be approved but many did appreciate the effort. Only aspect I felt sad is that I couldn't enjoy the beauty of hills properly. Probably another time, there has to be some compromise in endurance cycling.


    A perfect Host:-
    Before coming to the event, I saw that there is 200 in Bangalore in which Kirshnagiri- Bangalore stretch is there. That was last leg for bliss in the hills event and I desperately wanted to do that. Things worked out in my favour, Indigo has a low price offer that I booked flight in return from Mumbai. I have kept all the packing materials in drop bag, which is now with Anil Uchil. After I reached IIT, I called him. After telling my where abouts, he guided me to his home for collecting the drop bag. He then offered me to take bath, then food and strawberries too. Through out ride I felt sad that I couldn't eat strawberries enroute which I can see growing in fields.It is fulfilled now. He didn't stop there. He requested me to sleep and he himself dismantled and packed my bike ! It is all happening like a dream, I never imagined such a perfect reception and treatment for which I will be thankful for a long long time.


    Throughout brevet only one thought was lingering in my mind. If life ever shows a middle finger, all we have to do is show it back the middle finger along with index finger accompanied by a smile.


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    Why so serious ?



    Bangalore 200:-


    After I had a long power nap of about two hours, I woke up to reach airport exactly in time. This time Indigo didn't charge for bike(Another surprise). I had a very good sleep in flight. Took leave from work on that day(Monday). In the evening, I assembled bike again and pedalled to CMBT, Chennai. Reached Bangalore finished 200 in about 12.30 hours. The first 50 kms were terribly painful, but then it was super fine and I was so fresh. This even multiplied my happiness.


    After this brevet, I went on to finish even a 400 in Chennai on Saturday. With this tally of January ended with around 1800 Kms of riding, which includes four brevets (400,600,200,400). I was too satisfied with the way my body supported. Looking forward for another great month of riding in February.

    Sayi mera naam, Cycle chalana mera kaam.

    Nightfury -
    Schwinn Frontier Sport
    Fawkes -
    Cannondale CAAD 8 -2013- Tiagra

    My first bicycle tour to Spiti Valley

  2. #2
    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mumbai- Mahabaleshwar - Mumbai - 600 Brevet.. Completed but not successfully.

    Approved!

    Awesome stamina and determination you guys have. I bow to you all!
    I didn't ride my motorbike for 1800 km in Jan.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mumbai- Mahabaleshwar - Mumbai - 600 Brevet.. Completed but not successfully.

    Wow good to hear this... nice route you guys took. While I've done a couple of 600s but not with panchgani in it.

    What I felt you missed was a little thought process... you could've asked someone from the peleton to get some help the moment you had a issue with the seatpost. What you could've also done is since you decided to go ahead till pune you could've asked someone for a small detour to a bike shop like lifecycles & got the post fixed there itself. probably could have costed you a few mins but would've saved a ton of time later.

    Although I'm a bit perplexed at hearing you seat clamp falling off. It's pretty unusual.. it can get loose but never fall off. since it's circular & surrounding the seatpost.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mumbai- Mahabaleshwar - Mumbai - 600 Brevet.. Completed but not successfully.

    Quote Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
    Approved!
    Awesome stamina and determination you guys have. I bow to you all!
    I didn't ride my motorbike for 1800 km in Jan.
    Thanks for approval.
    He he , I'm just enjoying a lot and hence the distance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaushik Iyer View Post
    Although I'm a bit perplexed at hearing you seat clamp falling off. It's pretty unusual.. it can get loose but never fall off. since it's circular & surrounding the seatpost.
    Not sure if it is because of improper packing in transport or any other reason, but unexpected happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaushik Iyer View Post
    What I felt you missed was a little thought process... you could've asked someone from the peleton to get some help the moment you had a issue with the seatpost. What you could've also done is since you decided to go ahead till pune you could've asked someone for a small detour to a bike shop like lifecycles & got the post fixed there itself. probably could have costed you a few mins but would've saved a ton of time later.
    As soon as I stopped riders passed by me just like flash, and just in five minutes I'm the last rider so couldn't ask anyone from Peleton. Also,I was under the feeling that I have already taken lot of help previous night, which made me to think for solution by myself. By the time I have reached Panvel, the height was arrested so I went ahead from there since I was short of time, I couldn't stop in Pune . Finally happy that I figured it out myself.
    Sayi mera naam, Cycle chalana mera kaam.

    Nightfury -
    Schwinn Frontier Sport
    Fawkes -
    Cannondale CAAD 8 -2013- Tiagra

    My first bicycle tour to Spiti Valley

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mumbai- Mahabaleshwar - Mumbai - 600 Brevet.. Completed but not successfully.

    Awesome brother... Kudos to you

    I am waiting for you in Pune for the next brevet on the same route and we can make sure together that both finish in time.

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