Chiddu's miscellaneous blogs

A collection of miscellaneous experiences

Monday, January 03, 2011

BBC Trip to Anchetti on Aug 30, 2009

Me along with about 45 people went to Anchetti on Sun Aug 30th. This trip was easily the longest and the most arduous i've done for a long time.

I started off I think around 5:20 or so, and on the way, saw Sumit cycling. Caught up with him, waited for Vivek and then reached the starting point. The turnout I think was better than expected. I saw 47 people on the list but there were a few more. After the usual photography sessions, we started off at around 06:10 am. We reached Harohalli at about 7, which was really good.

We had breakfast at Jayaram's canteen. The food was quite good. I paid Rs 18 for 4 idlis and a kesari bath.After taking breakfast at Jayaram Canteen, I and Sumit started early, after the 1st group of road bikes had taken off and another set of cyclings including some girls had forged ahead to save time.
Kiran caught up with us when we took a short break before Maralvadi but after that we went ahead since he couldn't keep pace. The road to Maralvadi was nice and typical Karnataka country side. Beautiful fields with the occassional Kere(lake).

It is after Maralvadi that that we entered the Thali elephant corridor( the forest section) This was the best part of the ride, We were still very fresh and there were lots of extremely steep climbs and equally exhilirating drops. I was with Sumit throughout this period, alternately trailing and leading the ride. We came across a group at Kasivanahalli, which is a village after the Thali ghat section. Here I was almost gored by a bull while standing close to it. we continued though I was feeling a little tired. At many points, we had to stop because the cows/bulls/goats completely blocked the road. I ketp cycling till about 6 km before Hunsanahalli, the last stop before the TN-KA border. Sumit was probably a 100m ahead of me, and at some point, seeing a long uphill section, my body just shut shop, and I stopped on the road side . For five minutes I just lied there exhausted, then opened my bag, ate some dates and some juice that I had carried to hydrate myself. There was quite a long gap between riders here , since nobody came by that side for about 15 minutes or so. Finally one of the cars ( A lady driving it) and a driver came along. I got up at this point and continued cycling, replacing my plain water in the cycle frame with the juice I had made. I overtook the car and came across Dev Kishore abt 2 km before Hunsanahalli at the spot where his gear had broken. We went to Hunsanahalli together, and there I decided to eat something. There was a bakery but I looked for a place where I could pump in some complex carbs. Found one shop where I had Anna Sambara and Machige for Rs14. I normally eat very little rice but I finished a big plate of rice that he had kept in front of me. Even though I was exhausted, this gave me some energy. One of the support cars came, and Dev could put his bike in the car and went in it, while I continued. I was more or less cycling alone but was intertwining with Yohan, Anita and another guy who were cycling. At one point I came across Anita who was injured in a fall but it was just a bruise. ( this was a steep ride down as well, and there was water on the road with some serious algae growing). At a point ahead, there was wet sand on the end of a downhill section, but thankfully I was slow enough even though my bike skidded for about 4m and I regained balance.

Once I reached Anchetti, I just had a cup of coffee and waited for sumit to accompany me to the spot. The locals called the spot 'Metru' and said it was about 7-8 km from Anchetti town. But the ride ahead was more challenging
then what we had already done. It was quite steep. So for some strech
we walked also. We reached the Bathing Point (which was not actually
the Bathing point George wrote about) at 1:45 or so. Few road bikers
were already there. The place was not exciting, since there were no water fall or enough water for swimming. But since we were a little exhausted we sat in the water for 10 minor so. The group of road bikers left us and they started for
Bangalore, at around 2:30 or so.

Since I had not found the bathing spot, i convinced Sumit and Hidish (another non-roadie) to stay back till the rest of the group came to the bathing spot. I called up George and enquired about the place. We tried to search the place with the help of few localites and by the time George and gang reached there. We went back from the spot about half an hour after you guys had started towards Bangalore, trying to locate the spot, and finally Georg and Caravan arrived and took us to the bathing spot. We had to fight our way thorugh a path mired in the dense vegetation to get down to the river. Thanks to Georg for telling us/helping us with the bathing spot. For me , that was the highlight of the trip. he had baked some cakes as well, which were pretty delicious.

After we started back to Bangalore , I cycled with Sumit till Denkanikottai, and the support car was never far from us. However after that the bunch of cyclists went ahead and I had to trail the group by a few kms. I had to cycle from Denkanikottai to Thali in pitch darkness before joining the rest of the group. Had an interesting time as my headlight kept attracting insects , which would get into my eyes and mouth. Once I reached Thali, few of the bikers and Georg car were trying and organizing a way to transport our bikes to Bangalore.

In the ride, (on the downhill rides), two people broke their hands.

The bathing spot was really good, and its probably the best bathing, swimming spot near Bangalore.(roughly should be about 82 km from the Ring road/Bannerghatta road intersection).

When we came back with our bikes from Thali, I tried my best to convince the driver to come via Anekal/Bannerghatta Road but he insisted that Harohalli - Kanakpura road was the best. That road was at least 12 km more than via Anekal. Yogesh, me and Kamesh quashed each other in the front of the vehicle , though I managed short naps as well.

At the end of it, I was just exhausted. My limbs seem to be just fine. Though I've lost about 3 kgs for yesterdays exertion, possibly fluid and muscle loss.

During the ride,in most of the places I was surrounded by people asking me why we were cycling, how many people, where you are coming from, and where I could , I answered them in broken Kannada or Tamil. I think, in almost all the villages, the group of cyclists from Bangalore were the talk of the day. In many places, before we could ask for directions, people were pointing us to the way , since the roadies were ahead of us.

If we had not spent about 4 hours in the quest of (and finally indulging in) the bathing spot, we probably would have made it to Bangalore by 8 or so. The bathing spot is about 82 km. However, the bathing spot was very good, very deep in the center and a good dive/swim/relax spot.

Additional notes
Most of the thread in BBC centered around not carrying too much weight. While I agree with them, I felt that I could attach a little more luggage to the cycle, (the cycle itself was heavy). I would have carried a litre more of hydrating drinks, and that should have postponed the exhaustion.

I slept about 3-4 hours at night, but it was beyond my control. had to attend a wedding reception on Sat night and came back late.

Overall, I still have stiff legs, but I could run a few errands in my cycle today morning.

The heat was incredibly stiflling and to think that we managed to climb two mountains in that, is quite something. There were no tender coconut vendors observed in the entire route, which was a surprise to me.

My personal distance was about 142km, so even though i did not complete the 190 km I really don't feel too miserable.

photos posted on the ride by Yogesh


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