26 October 2012

Rajankunte Ride

The plan for a relaxed group ride came not too soon. After months of randonneuring dominating the IISc bicycling scene, there was a yearning for the group rides of the past - characterized by a scenic route, some nice breakfast. Most importantly, these are not ride-by-numbers; one is not a slave to the watch and cyclocomputer. There is no pressure to complete so many kms in so many minutes, no pressure to maintain this average speed or cadence or anything. 

Bicyclists on Mathikere Main Road
Mathikere Main Road
Nine riders showed up at the start point. By the time we started off it was almost 6.30, the sky gray with the impending dawn. It was cold, but that improved as the sun came out.

We were making good speed past Mathikere and HMT when Nayan's tire had a flat. All tools were available and so we quickly patched it and continued north, past Gangamma Circle and M.S. Palya till Dodda Byalkere. 

IISc Bikers Network riding past Dodda Byalkere to Rajankunte along Avalahalli State forest
Past Dodda Byalkere
At Dodda Byalkere there  is a small mud road leading past one Ananya public school, which we took. We rode north, winding through rolling hills carpeted in a fresh green. There were some paddy fields and fruit orchards and lots of grape plantations as well. The sky remained partially cloudy throughout, which made for perfect weather; not too hot, and yet no rain or winds that might make it uncomfortably cold. At one point we went off the main road, wanting to explore a small mud road, but it turned out to be a bit of an anti-climax since we came right back onto the main road again. It started to drizzle lightly, which was becoming a little annoying.

IISc Bikers ride through Avalahalli State Forest towards Rajankunte
Hillsides covered in a lush green carpet
Single File on Doddaballapur Road
We were hungry by the time we hit Doddaballapur road near Rajankunte, and we stopped at the first place that offered thindi. After downing a couple of idlis and steaming cups of tea (which felt really good after riding through the intermittent morning drizzle) we set off westward towards Madhure. 

This stretch, known as Madhure Temple Road is mostly flat. It is also the training ground for professional bicycle teams based in Bangalore. The well paved surface was too tempting, and we took turns pacing each other. At Nandhini Sperm Institute we turned south and headed towards IIHR. This was the same route as the 55 km Populaire from last year - the Hesarghatta 'Loop Around the Lake'. The road condition was pretty much the same as then - lots of potholes, most full of water from the recent rain.

Riding on the mud road along Hesarghatta Lake, from Nandhini sperm institute to IIHR
The road to IIHR

On the way we met three other riders who had started late and were riding north to meet us. From IHAR we split up into two groups - some others and I headed back to IISc via pipeline road while the rest went towards Madhure / Gollahalli. It had started to drizzle, and combined with the climb back it made for slow progress. By the time we reached Gangamma circle, we made a welcome stop at the famous Bengal Sweets, before heading back to IISc.

On the whole, a perfect day for cycling - spent cycling!

1 comment:

sanyam jain said...

I would love to join you all . Keep me connected.