15 December 2013

Winter Ride to Alur

Some forgotten photos from a cold winter ride. 

A vendor carrying cotton candy

Bumpy road to Alur

The Three Ovals Cricket ground at Alur
Condensation on my IXON IQ headlamp

View 20131215 Alur Exploration in a larger map

27 November 2013

Hessaraghatta and Madhure

Another short trip to Hessaraghatta and Madhure, with lab folks this time. A fairly relaxed ride, with lots of bird and plant watching included.

Hessaraghatta Lake in the early morning mist
Hessaraghatta Lake

17 November 2013

Impromptu Ride to Hessaraghatta

I've been falling behind on my ride reports, but I'll try to catch up before 2014. Here's one about a sunday ride last month, to Hessaraghatta and Madhure.

14 November 2013

Huliyurdurga 200

The Huliyurdurga 200 is the route of the first BRM hosted by the IISc Randonneurs, and was my first ACP brevet too. Its certainly not an easy route, and the wind and weather can make it harder. This year, however, I was better prepared (mentally and physically), and better equipped as well, so hoped to finish well within the cutoff time.

(Click on the photos to see the full sized versions)

27 October 2013

Cycle Day at Cubbon Park

Last Sunday there was a campaign in Bangalore called Cycle Day. It was not immediately clear who was organizing it or what the campaign was for; but the usual phrases about "Green" and "bicycling" and "reducing traffic" seemed to float around. One of the concrete things about the event was that BMTC, one of the 'partners' for the event, had launched a scheme to allow carriage of cycles in bus for free on the last Sunday of every month from 6AM to 11AM.
Carry your cycle on our bus: 6-11 AM Last Sunday of every month starting Oct 27. <Cycle Day Logo> BMTC is a proud partner of Cycle Day

21 August 2013

Bar Tape Installation - Clockwise or anticlock?

So I've got a new roll of bar tape, and the question is - which way do you wind it? In-to-out or out to in?

Here is a quick summary of what I did...

DIsc compatible Dynamo Hub

Just got my new Disc Compatible Dynohub - the Shutter Precision(SP) PD-8. Its a 32 hole hub dynamo with a 6 bolt ISO disc mount.

Here are some photos from the unboxing. Will post more details later.
Big Thank You to Arvind Ganesh / Happy Earth Enterprises!

Click on the image to view the full sized version.

05 July 2013

The Yelagiri Control

This is the story of a ride that got botched, at least partially. Long story, and sorry, no photos either.

For the 2012-13 season of the IISc Randonneurs we had created a new route - the 400km long "Fourteen Poets" ride to Yelagiri and back. One of the biggest problems was that the route required a manned control at Yelagiri base to ensure that riders took the correct route. We decided on keeping this an 'information' control - there was a regular control at the top of Yelagiri anyway. The proposed was at 190km as per the cue sheet which meant that the fastest riders would be there at or just before dawn. This was by design, since we designed the route so as to have even the fast riders start climbing only in daylight. This unfortunately meant that the volunteers would need to get there before that - inclusive of error margins. As per the original plan the volunteers would start out with the riders at 2200h on Friday, and breakaway at Krishnagiri, getting a ~45km / 2 hour lead over the riders.

Kalpesh and I had volunteered to man the control, and we decided to start early (1700h instead of 2200h). By sunset we were across the border past Attibele. It was a fantastic experience, riding with the setting sun right behind us. After lots of timepass at the Mc Donalds at Shoolagiri we reached Krishnagiri just after midnight. The town was asleep, so we went to the bus stand. For an hour or so we kept ourselves busy with some tea, biscuits and chips, but then boredom set in. Staying awake was quite painful. The uncomfortable metal chairs, the cold and hordes of mosquitoes started taking their toll as we waited for the first riders to report crossing the Karimangalam control. The first call came nearly at 0300. Two hours later, we reached the control and set ourselves up. The first riders came in just after sunrise.

For the next 6 hours we sat at the control, next to a petrol station. Kalpesh rode to the top, but such feats were beyond me. By the time we closed the control it was nearly 1300h, I was mentally drained. After lunch I told Kalpesh there was no way I could get myself to ride back, so we went to Vaniyambadi and got a bus to Bangalore.

Moral of the story:
  • When designing brevet routes think of where volunteers are needed and how they will get there, and how long the control stays open. For example, a control at Yelagiri stays open from 0400h - 1200h; thats 8 hours!
  • Riding to a control can sometimes be harder than just riding a brevet - there's no option to drop out. Never take it lightly.

17 May 2013

Gollahalli in May

A couple of photos from last week's Gollahalli Populaire. There was a good turnout, and other than a couple of riders who got lost (and one crashed), most completed the ride. The crash was caused by a pothole lurking under an innocent looking puddle after the heavy rains of the last week, but rider was not severely injured.

Riding to the first control, past a bright red telephone booth
(no, there is no telephone inside)

01 May 2013

Anchetty Again

Five of us rode the Anchetty Brevet Route to check (and update if required) the cue sheet ahead of the June 1 BRM. We had planned to ride as fast as possible, at least within randonneuring limits, but ended up making a super relaxed ride of it.

A mud road descending into Anchetty from Jawalagiri

24 April 2013

Varadenahalli Loop

I wanted to do a 100k ride as preparation and equipment check ride before the second Anchetty Recce, and the Institute holiday on Wednesday provided the perfect opportunity to do so. I had no route in mind, so when Sree suggested exploring a village route from Mangalore highway to Bachchenahalli I quickly agreed. We ended up discovering some new routes and rediscovering some old ones, over the slow ten hour ride.
Road to Varadenahalli

22 April 2013

Overhauling a Bicycle

A priceless excerpt from Jerome K Jerome's 1900 novel Three Men on the Bummel:

He said: "Have you overhauled it?"

I said: "I have not, nor is anyone else going to overhaul it. The
thing is now in working order, and it is going to remain in working
order till we start."

I have had experience of this "overhauling." There was a man at
Folkestone; I used to meet him on the Lees. He proposed one
evening we should go for a long bicycle ride together on the
following day, and I agreed. I got up early, for me; I made an
effort, and was pleased with myself. He came half an hour late: I
was waiting for him in the garden.

10 April 2013

Checking for Chain Wear

Last week I checked my chain for wear using the Park Tools CC2 (thanks to SP), and I read up some stuff about chains and wear generally, and here's a jist:

04 February 2013

Locking a Quick-Release Wheel

I noticed at least two bikes in campus being ridden with the QRs not correctly locked. The proper way to use the QR is to use its cam, and not as a 'handle' to tighten the nut on the other side. Most QRs have "open" and "close" etched on them - if you can read the word "open" your QR is not locked.

Image showing a Quick release locked correctly, with the word CLOSE visible. Front disc hub of BTwin Rockrider 5.3 used for demonstration. Image showing a Quick release not locked, with the word OPEN visible.  Front disc hub of BTwin Rockrider 5.3 used for demonstration.

25 January 2013

Saddle Selection

Saddle selection has been a sore point (it's not a joke if you're suffering) for many potential bikers. With an uncomfortable saddle, a new rider will most likely just give up biking. Luckily I came across a nice article on saddle selection, one that covers the anatomical aspects as well. The article is on the cervelo website, and is well illustrated too.