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TfN: Day 2: To Get Into the Cool Hills, You Have to Climb

Route Name: First Blood
From: Mysore
To: Madikeri
Distance (km.): 122
Elevation Gain(m.): +1791 m / -1536 m

As is customary, to satiate his sweet tooth Chenthil found awesome kulfi last night. There’s something weird about this sentence but it still seems so right, hmmm, anyway… Che heard of a food street just a short distance away from the hotel and we being we, we headed off there to grab a bite while we waited for dinner. And it was a treat, we had some hot crackling crisp dosas with a chutney that left you wanting more. Since no meal is complete without dessert we looked around to see what everyone else on the street was eating and headed to the kulfi guy. Now I like good kulfi and its been a while since I’ve found good kulfi in Bangalore. This was not good kulfi, it was awesome. Rich and creamy with flakes of badam and pista in every slurp. This kulfi you should not miss.

The second day of the ride arrived all bright and sunny and at 8:15 there was an uneventful flag-off (uneventful is a good thing). The riders headed out towards Hunsur accompanied today by Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IG (internal security) who was joining the TfN riding pack for the day.

I had read up on Hunsur while prepping for the trip and was looking forward to see the town that was historically a resting station for bullock carts and hence called ‘Gaddi Palya’. But I was sorely disappointed, there was no air of gaiety, no colourful bullockcarts, Hunsur was a town that I hardly noticed as it passed by. My romantic mind felt so let down. We did run into a road-side wholesale saabzi mandi a little later though. :)

The riders were setting a good pace and by the time we reached Support Station 1 at 9:15 quite a few riders had already checked-in. Looking forward to getting into the hills before the riders we headed out from SS1 towards Periyapatna and Kushalnagar. There is no land in India that is boring, it’s just that some of them are a wee bit uninteresting. This section is just that and some time after SS2 I actually dozed off only to wake up startled when Vasu the Timing Turk stuck a camera into my sleeping face. Oh, those pictures are ‘candid’ but I ain’t sharing 😀

We’d made it to the CS start before the riders, which was great because now we could position ourselves well to watch and take pictures but not before a quick bite. My favourite dry fruit of all time is the fig. Its great in its fresh form but in its dry form it has this amazing texture, a soft crunch, chewyness and this awesome sweet taste that just seeps through your mouth with each bite. I’ve never come across anything else that good, ‘never’ until this afternoon that is, when I tasted honey-dried bananas. The SS3 at the CS start point had these dried sticky succulent banana bits that were not dry fig but I think I just found a contender.

Well past Kushalnagar we were now in coffee country, Coorg. The temperature dropped and the views got scenic as we left the start point to find a good up-hill corner to capture the ‘suffering’ :) It is a lot of hard work climbing up this hills with just your legs to power you but these guys seemed to be enjoying the suffering. There was this expression of euphoria that everyone of them had, every one of them, like cycling was a high.

Todays competitive section was a climb from 950mts to 1400mts within 10 kilometres. That’s a touch section that does have downhills but it’s a constant uphill climb and a fast ascent at that through winding coffee and pepper plantations. Oh yeah the boys did well, did you even have to ask?

We got to the CS finish to find a lot of riders had already checked in and were even almost finishing lunch. God if I had cycled up that hill I would have already finished lunch. (sorry, I know sad humour) Anyway we had lunch as we watched more cyclists race in to finish the CS and grab their well worked for lunch.

With Madikeri just 10 odd kilometers away no one wanted to idle around at the support station, so along with a lot of cyclists we headed to the stop for the day. Coorg is beautiful with rolling hills filled with green forests and coffee plantations, so I’m not going to idle here anymore and I’m going to be off enjoying the daylight left. Not that writing this post was idle in anyway, oh!, you know what I mean. Ok, I’m off, see ya tomorrow….

Here are the top 3 results for today –

You can read Venky’s Rider Report for Day 2 here.

Two Wheeled Trivia Of The Day

Every year since 1977 the winner of the Paris–Roubaix receives a sett (cobble stone) as part of his prize for winning this cobbled classic.

Today’s Pedaled Patois

Slopestyle, a form of downhill, is when riders do tricks such as tailwhips, 360s, backflips and frontflips.

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Here are the other days posts from the Tour of Nilgiris 2012 –
Day 1: It’s not cold, it’s just a breeze

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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