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  • 6 Post By MTB
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Thread: Testing waters....Renuka ji

  1. #1
    MTB
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    Default Testing waters....Renuka ji

    GFR done and the time was ripe to test myself on another mountain. What's better than riding up the iconic Dehradun - Mussoorie -Dhanulti stretch eh


    But it was not to be done.


    But the moment I shared the plan with my riding buddies (Arun and Surojeet), to put it mildly, they red flagged it.
    "Too steep!", "We aren't there yet".


    Maybe next time.


    But the climbing bug had bitten so a quick plan was hitched, "let's ride to Renuka ji".
    Renuka Ji...where on Earth is it? Go here

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    Renuka Ji lake


    Google Earth revealed a fairly decent climb and something is better than nothing.


    In due course more people joined and the group swelled from 3 to 11. The only thing constant, the number of riders, 3.


    Plan-
    We ride to Renuka ji from Kala Amb to day 1. And from Renuka ji to Ponta Sahib on day 2.
    The return journey was from Ponta Sahib to Delhi via Nahan.


    Awesome plan...


    The bikes were prepped, food and spares stocked and we were set.


    The plan to was to leave from Delhi at an unearthly hour (4 am) so we can reach Renuka ji on time.
    But what use are plans if they don't get messed up.


    Arun's kid was down with fever. And we sort of deliberated for 3 hours about the next course of action.
    Meanwhile Car number 2 had already crossed Delhi and was at rendezvous point, Sukhdev da dhaba.
    Gorging on Parathas, damn them


    Finally Arun decided not to come. The occupants of the car number 3 also dropped their plans, one of them was sick too.
    Now there were Seven Surojeet, Abhimanyu, Arvind, Kamalesh, Rahul and Santonu and me.


    It was 7.30 am by the time we (me and Surojeet) finished up racking the bikes on his car.


    We drove like crazy to catch up with the rest.
    Schumacher would have been proud and our parents to say the least, horrified.


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    Crossing Delhi


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    My ugly mug


    Route was Delhi -- Kurukshetra -- Shahbaad Markanda -- Kala Amb -- Nahan -- Renuka ji.

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    Some random toll


    The other friends were waiting somewhere between Shahbaad and Kala amb.
    After a flurry of WhatsApp location sharing we managed to reach the right place.


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    Yep it rained too.


    Circumstances made us modify the plan. I'll be riding towards Renuka ji from Kala Amb and Surojeet will ride from Renuka ji towards Nahan. We will meet up at some place and then we will ride to Renuka ji together.
    Good enough for me


    Stopped someplace after Kala Amb and assembled the bike.
    And I was off.


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    Surojeet and Abhi helping me prep the bike.


    Time Check 2.30 PM


    The good thing about this route is that the climb does not hit you suddenly. It sorts of allows you to come into its fold, and then sucks you dry.
    The only thing I remember doing this are the Pitcher plants


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    Some river on the way to Nahan

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    Awesome Fig tree

    Honestly I was pumped up after doing GFR and Ridge road. Strava results had boosted my ego
    'Now I can climb well, let's bring on the hills'.


    Well, be careful what you wish for.


    After some 2 kilometres, the real climb started and to be economical, it flattened me.
    One thing is very clear--
    No amount of training on GFR can prepare you for the Himalayas. They are known as Himalayas for a reason.


    But those long rides with NCC (Noida Cycling Club) really helped. I was panting but was not out of the game. Not yet

    And then She (the Climb) upped the ante and the Game was On.

    In NH72 (road connecting Ambala with Dehradun-Rishikesh) there is a fork where the road splits for Nahan.
    It's steep uphill to Nahan.

    And it's from here that 'She' tests you.
    Mark my words this climb is torturous. It keeps on hitting you, pounding you relentlessly till you give up
    It seemed like a bloody slugfest.

    Only I was not giving up. Not yet.


    But nothing lasts. 'She' let up only to strike again

    A respite came, a 100 m down hill. Ah Thank GOD.
    Then came the booster, kids waving, onlookers with stunned expressions and the Elixir of life, Tea with biscuits


    Nahan---Done and dusted.


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    Nahan


    Once you cross Nahan, its easy going for approx 4 kilometres. There's this downhill for almost 2 kilometres and then a fairly even ride for 2 kilometres.

    Then 'She' comes back, with vengeance.
    A thousand cuts is her strategy now.

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    The Climb is there, hardly perceptible, but it's there.
    And these sort of climbs drain you. Coz mentally you are somehow unable to accept that there is a climb and you should shift to low gears.
    By the time you realize, the damage is done.

    I'm no exception.
    A thousand cuts it is


    What to do now? Well! improvise (read take breaks).
    After a ton of improvisations and gorging on chocolates I somehow made it up to the Maggie point.

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    The Climb to Maggie point


    Here the road splits for Shimla and Renuka ji.


    I was getting late. It's 5.30 PM already. But first things first.
    Maggie point means energy and ahh Tea.

    More good news. The lady at maggie point told me the climb is only till Jamta (~5 km from here) and then its pure bliss (read downhill)


    Had my fill and I started out. Brother Fog also decided to accompany me
    It was a whiteout and it was peaceful.

    I am Home.
    Now that I knew the conditions ahead, I utilized the opportunity in taking pictures.


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    Fog covered road to Jamta

    Ohh I forgot to mention, my buddy Surojeet had started out from Renuka ji. And he had died multiple times already

    Reached Jamta.
    Renuka ji is 24 kilometers from here. 24 Kms of pure downhill.
    Here I come.

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    Jamta is the highest point in this climb. So once I crossed it brother fog decoded to part ways.

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    Monsoon in hills is special.
    Mix fog, Pine trees and a sprinkle of sunshine and you get magic.


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    The downhill was frequently interrupted to take pictures.

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    After a point I realize the sun is setting.
    Having burnt my fingers last time (Kaladhungi to Sigri ride) I'm fully aware what it means.


    No more Photo breaks. But some things are so damn hard to resist.


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    Well this was the last photo.

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    The waterfall before Renuka ji


    I called up Surojeet, he was nearby and was dead
    Gave him my spare chocolate and he gets back into the realm of the living.

    He had ridden approx 12 KM. A commendable effort considering this is is first decent climb.

    Lord Sauron was spreading his wings, so we sped off.


    Surojeet had had his share of climbs and even the slightest of ascents would knock the wind out of him.
    And the road to Renuka ji had numerous ascents, albeit small ones.
    By the time we reached the Hotel, he was like a zombie.



    A ride of 52 Km and a total elevation gain of 3500+ m ..this calls for a feast.
    However I need a hot shower to cool myself first.


    Good food and a sound sleep followed.
    Tomorrow will be a big day.

  2. #2
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing waters....Renuka ji

    Awesome.

    You ride on GFR and the Ridge. I frequent those two places as well! And yup nothing in Delhi and prepare you for climbing in the mountains
    MTB likes this.
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

  3. #3
    MTB
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    Default Re: Testing waters....Renuka ji

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    Awesome.

    You ride on GFR and the Ridge. I frequent those two places as well! And yup nothing in Delhi and prepare you for climbing in the mountains
    Yeah Monk I do ride there sometimes. Nowadays I've a new haunt, Damdama lake trail. And yes nothing in the NCR prepares us for the mountains

  4. #4
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Testing waters....Renuka ji

    Quote Originally Posted by MTB View Post
    Yeah Monk I do ride there sometimes. Nowadays I've a new haunt, Damdama lake trail. And yes nothing in the NCR prepares us for the mountains
    Nice. Care to share that route with me Please!
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

  5. #5
    MTB
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    Default Re: Testing waters....Renuka ji

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    Nice. Care to share that route with me Please!
    Sure. Below is the Strava link to the run.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/682198093

    Trying to upload the gpx, but it's ~ 700kb so unable to attach.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Testing waters....Renuka ji

    The location for cycling is mesmerizing. All I can say is awesome.
    avhad sitaram likes this.
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