19 November 2012

Bangarpet Brevet

Short summary: It was an easy ride. Feel-good moral boost. Other than Kolar - Hoskote headwinds, no trouble at all. Super scenic roads. Four controls (an extra one at Chikka Tirupathi added as a last minute surprise) meant very little error margin for slow riders.
The rocky hills near Bangarpet

It was to be an easy ride - with a nearly flat route looping east towards Bangarpet and back. There were four of us from IISc - Sreepathi, Roshan, Shreedhar and myself. Not knowing if anyone else was riding, Roshan and I started at 4.45 from campus, and it took us an hour to reach the start on sarjapura main road. We quickly completed our  registration formalities and started off by 6am.
Getting ready at the start
It was quite cold, and my fingers were soon numb. The first leg passed without any problems, and we hit the first control by 07.40.
Misty sunrise on Sarjapura Road
After getting our ATM slips we started looking for a place to eat. We finally found one and had some breakfast, and much time was wasted by slow service. We finished up as fast as we possibly could, topped up water and turned off the highway off towards Malur.
Hosur to Malur
This road is in excellent condition and a pleasure to ride. There are no trees, however, and in peak summer riders will probably get toasted nicely. Roshan was having trouble with his saddle since the beginning - and after Bagalur it was becoming worse. Added to this was a problem on the front derailer which wouldn't shift to the largest chainring. In brevets and in touring, one quickly realises how perfect one's equipment must be. A creak or wobble that is barely noticeable on a commute will drive you mad over a 200km ride. The most minor annoyance aggregated over a long distance can totally kill your ride. By the time we crossed the border into Karnataka he was unable to sit on the saddle at all and decided to drop out and take a bus back from Malur. After seeinh him off near the bus stand I went on towards Bangarpet, hoping to make it to the control in time. I passed only two riders on the way, so I was probably among the last to reach Bangarpet control in time.
A field just after Bangarpet

It was getting quite hot and I wanted some lunch too. There were no places on the main road in Bangarpet, and I did not want to spend time gong into the town, so i downed some stuff at a bakery and pushed off again. From here on the headwinds made their presence felt. The effect was much reduced by the trees on the side of the road, and the full force of the headwinds was seen only after reaching the national highway at Kolar. Like all national highways, it is a treeless strip of road that runs seemingly endless to the horizon.
National highway, Near Kolar
This torturous stretch of ~35km took nearly two hours, and I reached the Hoskote control with a good 20 mins to spare. Sreepathi had come in just ahead of me, and after some refreshments we started off together.

After Hoskote, life improved vastly. A long gentle downhill (possibly only the mind) with no more sun, no more wind and very little traffic helped make good time till Chikka Tirupathi. I had a tense moment because I could not find anyone at the temple as mentioned in the cue sheet. A quick phone call to the organiser sorted that out. It had become dark and the temperature was falling too. We made good time till Sarjapura, after which the traffic was just insane till around Dommasandra. Traffic is heavy, everyone has blinding highbeams on, there are no streetlights, and no shoulder. Eventually we made it to the end control with about 15 mins to spare.

Update: Cue sheet and route info here.

1 comment:

Deepak Malani said...

Great going with Brevets. Way to go IISc Randonneurs!