The Bicycle Diaries: 50K

Everyone remembers certain milestones in their lives, no matter how trivial or frivolous said milestone might seem to others. It might have been your first 100, your first love, your hard-earned medal, your first salary and…well, you catch my drift. Those milestones shape the person you will turn out to be and may very well turn out to be a turning point in your life.

I too have one. My first 50K on a bicycle.

I’m not sure what made me to buy a bicycle or ride a 50K. It was one of those gut instinct moments that I rarely have. Seeing as it was a slump in my life, I decided to go for it. I went for a single speed Mach City iBike which was right up my alley. It looked minimalist, it wasn’t as heavy as I was expecting it to be and it was cheap. I decided on a single speed option since maintaining a geared bike was a hassle in my opinion. I didn’t know about gradients until later on.

After a month of riding 25km back and forth commutes, something in my brain said, “Let’s do a 50K. What could go wrong??”. Yeah, what could go wrong? While my decision to buy a cycle was pure gut feeling, I’m analytical by nature. So, my brain conjured a different number of “Here’s how you can fuck up a 50K” scenarios. That made me to go to the nearest Decathlon store, which was 27 kilometres from my home. For those not in the know, Decathlon stores are pretty much heaven for fitness freaks, athletes or even someone with a passing interest in anything outdoors related. Boxing, Surfing, Skating, Weightlifting..You name it, Decathlon has the perfect equipment for it.

So, I packed up on a hand pump, a front-light, a bottle cage, a 650 ml sipper, a Red Bull and 5 packets of Electral to boot. Nothing would stop me in my pursuit of a 50K. I had decided to pull off the 50K on 20th October, a Saturday since the ensuing journey would definitely render me a limp vegetable from exhaustion and I would have a full day for rest. I decided to go upto Mahabalipuram, since it was a tourist destination and was a perfect stop for me at 51 kilometres. Going there would entail me taking the East Coast Road, which is dotted with private and public beaches, resorts and the like. It was a perfect road for speed demons wishing to unleash the potential of their machines.

But luck wasn’t on my side since I had a last-minute project delivery on Saturday, thus derailing that plan off the tracks. No worries. There is always Sunday.

21st October. Sunday.

I woke up at 6:30 AM and did the necessary prep-work. And by prep-work, I mean stuff all the equipment and necessities in a small black bag. After a small breakfast, I started my journey at about 9:00 AM.

50K, Here I Come!!

The weather was slightly on my side, being a cloudy day. But there was always the danger of the sky breaking into a heavy rain, looming over my head. After nearly an hour of riding in the stifling streets in the city, I reached East Coast Road, or ECR as it’s known. It was a smooth sailing after that though. While there was always the ever looming threat of the sky breaking into a downpour at any second, I cruised anyways.

Water Hyacinths.

I did stop along the way for some pictures. For there must always be pictures.

Not sure why I took this.
Trees, shrubs, grass and a whole lot of green.
My trusty steed.

I had finally reached Mahabalipuram after about 2 and a half hours. I gotta say, that feeling of finally having done something was worth the pain and exhaustion that followed pretty swiftly.

I think I already told that Mahabalipuram was a tourist spot. It had some attractions, with the Shore Temple, the Lighthouse and Arjuna’s Penance, which is a series of sculptures, being the main draws. I rested on some rocks after the ride which was a major relief. Tip: Always have a ton of water. Always hydrate.

Not the main temple, but this should suffice.
Boulders, boulder, and more boulders
The Lightbouse

Having achieved my goal of 50 kilometres, I ate a small lunch and started the journey towards home, which took a lot more time since,

  • The lunch didn’t do jack to restore my energy
  • I was exhausted from the 50 kms ride first, which was obvious.
  • I didn’t rest enough, or get enough calories to burn

So, there I was, reaching home at a much slower pace, taking a rest every now and then in the bus stands dotting the path. Half the time was spent in pushing the bike along, since I didn’t have the necessary energy to ride like I did in the morning.

By the time I reached home, it was around 7:00 PM. While I was physically exhausted, my mind just said one thing that made my day.

You pulled it off.”

You’re not a loser that you thought you were

While I’m currently sitting at home pretty with a broken leg, once it heals though, I’m gunning for a 100K.

Mind Ready. Body will be.