42 KM Bicycle Ride

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42 KM Bicycle Ride

In continuation to the last week’s bike ride, me and Shanky decided to go for another bike ride. This time we were more sensible to go for 42 KM bicycle ride. We thought of taking another bike for me (last time bike was a big nuisance – it’s chain was slipping out and its seat was highly uncomfortable) and decided to go for about 40 kilometers to and fro. But, till Saturday we had no idea where to go. On Saturday, Shanky found out a news in a local newspaper. Since the news is in Hindi, I will inform that the news is related to a thousand year old place where a saint named Brahmagiri used to live. At this place, every year a fair is organized by local village Shivna. It is located near Amalpura which lies on Harsud Road and is about 19 kilometers from Khandwa. We could have travelled just like that but having a target in mind keeps us focused and gives a purpose to the journey. We found a purpose to visit this place. This year in January when we were not riding bicycles we went to a local fair near Pandhana which is dedicated to a freedom fighter named Tantya Bheel on motor-bike. That day we also visited Sukta Reservoir and enjoyed our trip. That day we must have travelled more than seventy kilometers.

Arranging Bicycles

I asked another colleague who owns a brand new Hero StreetRacer (again an MTB). At first look and feel it felt good except for the uncomfortable seat. I had earlier faced such a problem last week but we did not have a choice. A friend named Amit also wanted to join us for the journey. Our immediate task was to arrange a bike for him also. We enquired everywhere and ultimately we had to ask Adityaraj, our Office Boy for his classical bike. We paid him Rs. 50 as rent and the bike was ours for the day. I asked Amit to let me drive the classical old style bike and I let him ride Hero StreetRacer. Shanky already owns a wonderful bicycle with a wonderful seat Avon Paragon.

Begining the Journey

We had to leave early morning at seven but we could not leave till eight. We had out Poha and Tea at Bombay Bazar in Khandwa and we left Khandwa at 08:30 AM. The road was new for us as none had ever travelled that road. I love to travel new roads and see new places. But, the road was not double as was Khandwa Mundi Road but single. So, I knew we had to ride carefully giving way to heavy vehicles plying at speeds higher than us. This road goes to New Harsud. When Indira Sagar Dam and Power Project was underway, a huge portion of Khandwa district which included Harsud was submerged and all population was relocated to different areas. New Harsud was also developed during that period only. Click here to read more about New Harsud.

We enjoyed our trip as Shanky was with us. He is an interesting person and can communicate with everyone and anyone. He stopped somewhere to take rest when Shanky spotted a cowherd boy. He asked him if his cows are giving milk. When he replied yes, Shanky gave him his water-bottle and requested to fill it up with fresh milk in lieu of ten rupees. It was a good deal for us and the boy also agreed. But, I think the cow had more sense of business and she refused to give us milk. We had to go empty handed. In another incident Shanky stopped a bullock cart in which a father and three children were riding. They allowed Shanky to try his hands on the cart for a meter or ten. We too had a nice laugh. It was fun clicking photographs and documenting our journey.

What I really appreciated was that the old classical bicycle was quite good for such long distance rides. The seat was quite comfortable. It was also more efficient and had good momentum which helps me gain more speed weather uphill or downhill. The only problem was its front mud-guards had lost nuts and it was making noise. We reached Amalpura and decided to get a repair first. The shop-owner had for a daylong leave and his daughter, must have been only twelve years old was the in-charge of the shop. She checked air and filled up when found less using an air compressor. I asked her about the mud-guard problem and she gave me whole kit to repair but we had no idea how to work it out. So, we left for another bicycle repair shop after paying her for air where the problem was resolved. But, I can only appreciate the girl for her good work and spirits.

We reached the temple of Brahmagiri Maharaj at about 10:30 AM. We visited the shrine which is a cluster of shrines made for saints who came before and after Brahmagiri Maharaj. In the back side of the shrines, a small rivulet flows and water well is made where devotees were taking bath. We also washed our hands and face. Since, this was the first day at fair not many shops were open except for fast food shops. It fair was set for coming fifteen days. We had tea and bread-pakora at one of the shops and left for Khandwa.

Teamwork Reduces Discomfort and Makes Ride More Comfortable

By this time, Amit was tired of uncomfortable seat of the Hero bike. He asked us to share his pain in the remaining journey and we did so gracefully. We three were changing our bikes like every five kilometers as a team. We reached back to Khandwa at 01:00 PM. This time the journey was comfortable and less painful. I think our legs are slowly getting used to pedaling and we truly hope to continue this every Sunday.

Long Distance Bicycle Ride

Long Distance Bicycle Ride

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About a month earlier I went along with my friend to get a bi-cycle (from now onwards bike). We brought a low end AVON Paragon bike with no extra shockers and gears. He has been riding for a month and suggested we aim to ride upto Mundi and return back to Khandwa (MP) on last Sunday. I also liked the idea of a long distance bicycle ride as I had never ridden that long distance (64 KM to and fro) ever in my life. On the negative side I have not peddled since a long time and I do not have a bike. We both agreed to carry out the adventurous task.

Starting point of our first long distance bicycle ride at the outskirts of Khandwa.

My friend posing for the image along with our bikes at the start of our journey at the outskirts of Khandwa.

So, I asked another colleague for his bike and got an old Hercules Vector-Ex. Both the bikes are by their exterior look like mountain bikes (I don’t know if anyone of them will really survive in mountains). They had broad wheels and all the fancy stuff which children like. But, we had to carry on with what we have.

Beginning the Bicycle Ride

So, in the morning of Sunday I took my colleague’s bike and my friend also came along with me. We both started at 0740 hours. Initially the ride was smooth but within first five kilometers the old bike’s chain slipped out twice. But, we carried on with few short breaks up to the first 12 kilometers. The chain again started slipping out and this time quite frequently. We stopped at a village and purchased a Mango Frooti (it contains Mango and it is sweet) which would be a good source of energy for first half of our journey. I had also taken a water bottle to keep hydrated and we did not feel a pinch till now.

In the next village we found a motorcycle mechanic who agreed to have a look at my old bike and its chain problem. He found that the alignment of chain was out a corrected it after adjusting the position in rear wheel. And here we go, the chain did not slip for some time and only a couple of times in between. We reached Mundi after many short stops and gulps of water at 10:40hours.

A friend is living there. We called him and had rest, water replenishment, biscuits, orange fruit and had a look at news channels showing how in recent State elections, BJP party has swept four states and Congress party is left with little to cherish. Another important aspect of these elections was the emergence of Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man Party)as the second largest party second to BJP in Delhi. This has given one more option to the citizens of India other than the two traditional parties.

After we had a look at the election results, we decided to leave Mundi and return back to Khandwa immediately. We left Mundi at 1130 hours and returned back to Khandwa. In between we purchased one more Mango Frooti from the same shop. Once we were just five kilometers short of reaching Khandwa, the chain of my cycle again started slipping out. It must have slipped out at least ten times in those five kilometers. I think the chain again got mis-aligned due to long distance covered on a relatively old bike.

Back to Home

When we reached back to Khandwa at 1430 hours, I took bath and lunch. By this time and also on the way, my thighs were almost burning. It felt like the threads of my muscles were breaking one by one. This burning sensation was to last till the next day morning. I remained on the safe side. I took a Paracetamol (so I don’t get fever, pain becomes less and I can sleep) and slept with peace till 1830 hours. Now I had to return the bicycle to my colleague but I was too tired and in too much pain to be able to do that. I called my friend and asked him to help me. He suggested me to wake up and return the bike on my own as it would be better for me and my legs. I accepted his advice and did the same. But, the pain was same. I was not worried about the next day’s pain which is quite common when one exercises after a long time. I was not worried because I was already in so much pain that it was not possible to have anymore. Still, the threads were breaking. At night, I went along with my roommate and another colleague to the one of the best restaurants in Khandwa and celebrated my achievement.

Next day, there was pain but not as much as last night. I felt accomplished and confident after my first long distance bicycle ride and want to accomplish more. I also hope that such physical exercises will also help in preparing for the Basic Mountaineering Course at HMI Darjeeling.

On long distance bicycle rides, we meet a lot of people and have great experiences.

My friend tying a flower we asked from a flower seller in the mid-way using a thread.