THE GRANDFONDO – 1000 BRM – HYDERABAD – PART 2

Part-1 : https://pathsandspokes.wordpress.com/2017/02/03/the-grandfondo-1000-brm-hyderabad-part-1/
Part 2 :
Lepakshi -Anantapur : ( 530- 655 km )
Small climbs welcomed me, when I resumed back. I had a banana to keep myself going. I have set myself a prize of cucumber if I could pedal further 15 kms, which is another mind game I have plotted to keep me going. As I hit the highway again, I gifted myself one more banana and when hunger was beyond my control, a cucumber. They tasted delicious.
I felt cheated by the roads.The roads which were uphill all the way were not exactly down today. They were either flat or going up. Down hills are very few. Headwinds spoiled all my downhill plots. As heat started to develop, it seemed that I burnt more calories trying to pedal fast, which made me weak and hunt for a hotel, though I felt nauseous.
One beautiful thing in south India is the availability of life saving dish – Idly. Yeah, it appeared as a treatment for much troubling nausea. I drooled over the thought of Sambar Idly, though I’m not a big fan of that combination earlier.Since I don’t feel like chewing anything, only thing I could have is Sambar Idly. They kept me going.
As I’m not pedalling faster, time is running out. Once again I’m neck to neck with next control timing. One thing I hate in brevet is finding myself at mercy of clock, which wouldn’t let me enjoy the scenery along the route. I pushed myself in the burning heat. As soon as I reached Anantapur, my eyes hunted for a ATM. Though I couldn’t find one, my eyes spotted a juice shop, where I gulped two orange drinks as fast as I can. Luckily in next centre, I found an ATM. I reached control with 25 minutes to spare.
Though, I tried to force myself, to have lunch I couldn’t swallow it. Even I couldn’t eat life saviour curd rice . As a token of gratitude, nature has shown me a coconut vendor. I gulped one and filled one litre of coconut water in my bottle, remembering advice of veteran Krishna Mandava sir.
Sun is not backing off. I felt it would be really waste of energy if I pedal in such a hot temperature.So I requested the coconut vendor if I can sleep in room behind him for one hour. That guy pointed me to other guy, who shouted on me. He told that they are a decent family and how could they let a stranger sleep in their home. I was baffled! I neither want to explain nor argue. So I slept at entrance of a closed shop beside their home.
Brevets often lead to very kind human beings. A person who is running a store beside, asked me to wake up and sleep inside his shop. Since he is going for lunch, he left the shop at my disposal, asked me to take rest and went away. I slept partially, giving much needed rest to tired body. When I woke up, he was with his son, who is looking at my bike in amazement. I bid them farewell, thanking a lot for their hospitality.
 
Anantapur- Kurnool : (655 – 796 km)
I have now around 9.5 hours to ride 141 kms till next control. It seemed very easy. I moved on drinking coconut water occasionally. Extreme heat is making me weak once again. I took multiple breaks. I pushed myself to reach in a hope to have food at Gooty, next town.
I met Col. Devinder and prakash on the way. Col, after hearing about my nausea looked in pouch for a tablet. Sadly, he couldn’t find it. He gave me his water bottle and asked me to go on. Also Prakash, helped me relieve by stretching my legs. I still felt that my muscles were arrested. I couldn’t do anything apart from cycling.
Here out of blue, I saw a cyclist riding a MTB in opposite direction. He took a U trun to ride with us.He introduced himself as Pradeep. I expressed my surprise, right on his face when he told that he is working in a bank, after graduating as Civil engineer from IIT.
He explained that, he has a hearing issue, due to which he has to be away from field and doing a silent job. I felt sad, yet proud that he is happily pedalling leaving all his troubles behind. I warned him against coming out, without a puncture kit. He accompanied me till Gooty. I enjoyed a beautiful sunset amidst all the chaos.
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Sunset before Gooty
Organisers have taken a room here for refreshment, but since it is evening already, everyone left vacating the room. I forced myself to have curd rice there. Sleep is hitting me terribly.Time is running out. I vomited entire curd rice I have taken. I lost hope, yet tried myself to push till the level I can. In uncontrollable situations, I took 5 mins power naps. When I realised that time is running out, I pedalled faster again. After a long time, I have maintained 19-20 kmph average to be awake. I remembered all the effort I have put till now, which made me not to give up. I feared that I may not be able to make it in time.
Every mile stone appeared like a angel welcoming me to heaven. My desperation increased as I’m just 9 km away from Kurnool with 40 mintues left. 5, 4, 3 my heart beat increased as my eyes searched for an ATM. I almost felt that it is end of brevet as I may not make it. Just as I pushed myself little harder, I saw an axis bank ATM. I jumped in joy, as I made it to control once again, with 20 minutes to spare at 1 am.
I ate cucumber in celebration. Over Penna river bridge , on goers stared at me in wonder as I started brushing my teeth in middle of night. I went to the 24 hotel in bus stand once again, emptied my half filled stomach to refill it once again with few Sambar Idly.
I covered myself as much as I can to protect from mosquitoes, cold and slept in open near a shop. I resumed around 4.15 am to ride, the last leg. I have around 15 hours to ride 200 km approximately. It seemed easy once again.
Kurnool – Hyderabad : (796 -1005 km)
Volunteers Rajeev, Dr. Murali and Hemath, were checking upon riders. Dr. Murali gave me a tablet ( I don’t remember it now) for nausea, and gave me Avomine just in case if it hits back. He told me nausea might be because I was dehydrated.My mind response is “Doc . but I drank already a lot of water”..but that’s a lesson for me, to hydrate much more, especially in dry weather conditions. Stocking few frooti’s and gulping one, I moved ahead. Within 15 km, I felt sleepy once again and took a long nap in Ghar dhaba.
When I woke up , I have 14 hours left with 180 km to go. I only wanted to stop for breakfast and lunch and decided not be stop anywhere else. Sadly, the food at a joint I stopped turned out to be very spicy. That guy mocked me for not being able to eat their “normal” food. My tired mind which have ridden 830/840 km got instantly pissed off. I scolded him, paid full for little food I have taken and moved away in anger. I continued till I found another decent dhaba, where I filled my tummy with lots of Idly for not stopping till lunch.
As I mentioned in beginning, headwinds are not letting me ride freely. I stopped at bus stands occasionally to pour water over myself to save from the heat. Many bus shelters have a water tank beside them,which appeared to be a boon. This activity wasted some more time. After the mandatory food break some where before Bhootpur, I was left with 100 km to cover in six hours.
Just as to make it interesting, headwinds blew very intensely. I usually want the last 100 km to be absolutely tension free, especially if it is 1000, 900-1000 is a very beautiful zone to be ride. But, headwinds made it worse. They appeared like a cruel villain, who makes hero helpless by kidnapping all family members. I know there is no other option except to maintain 16 average. I sincerely put my head down and pedal as fast as I can. I’m maintaining 16 average ,just as to survive.
Intensity of winds decreased after Shadnagar. I pushed myself very hard now, as I don;t want to miss end control after working very hard past 950 km. I pedalled like a mad guy over downward slopes to gain the valuable one minute. It was just zooming through traffic till I have hit ORR.
It was like a maze as I rode through Himayat sagar. My self and Col.Devinder were the only two guys left behind. We got confused to find road leading to APPA junction, but somehow made it. I know I can make it now. I didn’t sit on saddle for next few minutes.With tons of energy and many emotions taking over my mind, I reached end point,,once again with 25 minutes to spare.
It’s never over until it’s over.
I finished my 3rd 1000 BRM and laid a strong foundation for my LEL training.
I happily accepted the memento given by Hyderabad randonnuers. Celebrated my self by gulping a coke. Aditya was still there. We spoke a bit, and among all these I felt very inspired that Mohan has finished within 67 hours on his MTB !
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Brevet card
Epilogue :
Later, I once again celebrated in my mind and appreciated myself for not giving up. Col. Devinder gave me lift till Mehdipatnam. I walked to home from there which is just 2 km away.
After reaching home, I met those two eyes, waiting desperately to see me. My wife was very happy upon my finish. I now have answer to everyone who asked me, if I will continue cycling after marriage? She always took care that I never miss any of goals I have set for myself in endurance cycling. She made Palak rice for me, massaged my feet, kept hot water for bath and made every possible arrangement to have much needed peaceful sleep. I can never thank her enough. for everything she has done.
I pedalled as usual to office next day.
Once again – It is never over, until it’s over.
Signing off-
Sayi mera naam,
Cycle chalana mera kaam.
Strava link for ride : https://www.strava.com/activities/841674656
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