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Monday, July 25, 2005

A story of most of my bike rides, in approximate sequence

A story of most of my bike rides, in approximate sequence

Sub Title: The stepping stone (1)
Approx distance: 50km
Companions: none
Target destination: somewhere on NH47 towards Avinashi
Highlights: First experienced the pains of long distance riding.
Pictures taken: No

Bigger picture: Came back from College library to hit the highway for the longest continuous bike ride of my life then. I had just completed the successful and tough run-in for 2500+km of my first new bike. The one that promised to take me very near to what I like most- forests and mountains. It would give me that freedom that I longed for almost two years. I dreamt of riding to Valparai and Ooty to capture the mountain breeze is its freshest form. I didn't like being cocooned in the creature comforts of a car, which would also shield me away from being one on one with nature and the road.

I just wanted to test the continuous functioning of my bike's engine. I knew that I wont do more than 50km in one go as most of the places I dreamt of touring were within 150km of my home. I also didn’t want to end up far away from home on my first ride. Hence I planned on a 25km one way ride on the smooth NH47 from my home towards Avinashi.

I intended to carry minimum luggage. Just my jeans and full hand T-shirt. This T-shirt eventually becomes one of my most sought after ride wear. It was full-sleeved and had a rugged finish, what more can I ask for? One best thing about all my trips is that I had a helmet on.

I meddled with some meter called tacho and reset it to 0000. I was very eager to put it to use as I had only been doing petty rides to college, grocery shop, railway station and other measly commuting. I was singing all my way and also virtually simulated my future trips and the way I would ride. I didn't cross 50kmph, though slow on the highway, as I didn't want to push too much on my first go. This eventually laid a lot of discipline that I followed in all my lone rides- not more than 60kmph on highway. I did cross 60kmph when I had to hit home early or fight the darkness [and headlights of oncoming vehicles]. I just waited for 0025 to come up on the tacho just to turn back home.

I did a lot of experimentation like keeping my legs on the rear foot pegs and taking up a sports bike position, though I didn't cross 50kmph. I witnessed the dangers of riding near the treacherous inter-city buses as they hurtled past me with inches to spare. I was very particular about adjusting rear-view mirrors to catch good glimpse of the speeding vehicles before they came any close to me. My first tryst with the highway also made me thirsty while riding a bike. My longest ride till then must have been a 15km ride to Roots Horns Division on Mettupalayam Road and back. I also experienced some discomfort in my crotch area as I was wearing a tight jean with a heavy wallet. Thus the signs of pain hinted me of more in the longer and real version of this simulated ride.

I hit home in no time and was silently shouting to everyone that I had done a great feat by touring for about 50km non-stop. But no one seemed to care as they carried about their daily chores of commuting amidst honking and rash overtakings all around. I was happy that my bike is performing with no loss of performance. I got down from my bike to inspect it. It didn't like that coarse noise coming from the engine. I didn’t happen on short rides, but when the engine gets hot, especially after a long ride the noise is definitely disturbing, not to my concentration but to my biker soul that everything isn't right.

After a refreshing Tea, I headed back to the library to carry on with my student activity.
Extra: Readers, please do suggest a title for this series of bike ride articles. Please enter your suggestions in the form of comments.

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