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TfN: Day 1: It’s not cold, it’s just a breeze

Route Name: Fast and Furious
From: Bangaluru
To: Mysore [via Kanakapura, Bannur]
Distance (km.): 168
Elevation Gain(m.): +1377m / -1551m

Yesterday at the pre-tour brief I met a lot of TfN riders and they looked just like normal people, like just about anyone I know, not like ‘riders’. But today morning at 5:30 I met the real ‘riders’ at Sullivan Grounds. All geared up they turned up with their cycles on time to get fitted out with the Beacon gps trackers. There were a large variety of bikes out there but there was not one I could recognise yet. I could tell the difference between the road cycles and MTBs but thats as far as the theory seems to have taken me. Lot more to learn, yippee….

At 7:15, after tagging, numbering and breakfast the riders assembled for flag off. The chief guest Mr.Bhaskar Rao, IG (internal security) said a few words followed by Mr. Katti, DGM, Bangalore division from SBI. This year SBI is sponsoring Arun Marc DSilva who is one of the four charity riders cycling for a cause. Post some tour announcements it was flag off time. Mr. Bhaskar Rao flagged off the riders at 7:45 and they took off towards NICE expressway while we gave chase. Cutting across the city would be difficult even on a Sunday morning and we wanted over take the cyclists and wait for them to enter the NICE road, so off we went. And it paid off; the entry to NICE is a beautiful curved climb-up and it was a joy to watch the riders pack climb lined up in a train of colour.

Leaving the NICE expressway that was a nice treat to ride especially since cyclists are not allowed on it on regular days, we headed towards Harohalli and Kanakapura the first rest stop. The riders were making good time and I couldn’t help but be amazed at how fast the human engine can go. By 10am the first riders had started to report in at Support Station 1. A quick stop for a snack and they were off again towards Halaguru to start the first competitive section of TfN 2012.

We hung about a bit to see more riders arrive while I took in the Kanakapura air. Its been almost three years since I was last here. Kanakapura is a quaint little village-town that has not only great bene (butter) dosas but also a long history. It is a town that was burned down twice by Tipu Sultan to hinder the British in their march to Shrirangapattana. Remains of the twice burned fort can be seen by the bridge over the Arkavathy river which is a tributary of the Kaveri and also supplies almost 20% of Bangalore City’s water supply.

Heading out we sped up to get to Halaguru before the riders. Today’s day on the tour is the longest in terms of distance but shortest in time and effort. Its all flats today I’d been told but there was nothing flat about the gentling undulating terrain. Bordered with the green of winter the road reminded me of the soft ripples on a silk saree teasing you to smooth them away. The riders seemed to be enjoying the ride as they coasted along in groups. One group of four riders in file were even having an animated all out discussion!

At Halaguru we met up with riders getting ready to start the competitive section(CS). Not wanting to miss the finish of this CS we hurried to Malavalli 16km away where the section would complete. We set up cameras and along with the timing team, we settled down to wait to the first rider to show up. And man did they show up fast. The first rider took just 21-22 minutes to finish the section! Before we knew it a large number of riders had zipped past us to the rest stop and were relaxing there waiting for lunch.

The section after Malavalli towards and around Bannur has terrible roads with not potholes but moon craters, so it wasn’t surprising to see riders wanting to be over and done with it as soon as possible. A few riders decided not to wait for lunch and headed out towards Mysore and the last rest stop.

Crossing the chasm of potholes at Bannur we reached rest stop-4 only to realise just like some riders there, that we were just 20 odd km away from Mysore. ‘Why wait’ was everyones expression so we headed out quickly again toward Mysore passing a few riders on the way. We reached the KVC International hotel in Mysore closely followed by the first riders trickling in between 2 and 2:30. Before long the hotel lobby was filled with the clip-clop of riders and not long after that the corridors got filled with riders exchanging notes. I can still hear them out there. Ok, I’m off to do some catching up in the corridors, see ya on the road tomorrow 🙂

Dialogue of the day –
Overheard on a Winter morning in Bangalore – “it’s not cold, it’s just a breeze.”

Before I go here are the top 5 results for today –

Open GC

Master GC

Women GC

Read more about Day 1 in Venky’s Rider Report.

Two Wheeled Trivia Of The Day

The most exotic road bicycles can weigh as little as 3.2 kg.
The highest priced bike in the world is the custom Madone by Damien Hirst, sold at $500,000 USD.

Today’s Pedaled Patois

A brevet or randonnée is an organized long-distance ride where riders attempt to complete courses of 200 km or more within specified time limits. A rider who has successfully completed a 200 km brevet is called a randonneur. This is a lifelong title!

Sponsor Spotlight


Spectrum Physio Centre was founded by Dr. J. Dhanajeyan M.P.T., who has been practicing physiotherapy and rehabilitation since 1999. With almost 10 years of service to society they are experts in physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

Here are the other days posts from the Tour of Nilgiris 2012 –

Day 2: To Get Into the Cool Hills, You Have to Climb
Day 3: The Unniappam and The Elephant
Day 4: Even A Trickle Piss Counts
Day 5: An Entrée and A Proposal
Day 6: Loopy Loops
Day 7: It’s All Downhill From Here
Day 8: And On The 8th Day It Was Done!

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