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Posts from — December 2012

TfN: Totally Random Rider Trivia

TfN (Tour of Nilgiris) starts off today or rather by the time you see this we would have started out and will be well on our way to Mysore. 🙂 Watch out for todays update towards evening (if the internet gods are willing that is).

Before I go into all the trivia today I’d like to introduce you to Venky who will not only be cycling TfN but also blogging it. I first heard of Venky last year when Che would keep talking about Lord Venky during TfN 2011 and I drew this image of a pompous ass in mind. It was only after Che got back that I heard the story of ‘Lord’ Venky and I must say that, that title is well earned! And now that I’ve met him I can certainly tell you he is neither pompous nor an ass 😀

Don’t forget to follow Venky on his blog Venky’s Monkey Musings and More.. for more TfN updates.

Now here’s some totally random trivia about the riders in Tour of Nilgiris 2012.

  • A total of 85 riders will be at the starting point.
  • 9 of them are women riders.
  • Only 1 out of 9 women is from Bangalore.
  • There are more riders above than below the age of 35 – 46 vs 37.
  • The youngest rider is 21 and the oldest is 56 year old Renu Mittal.
  • The nationalities other than Indian are American, British, Flemish – Belgian, Dutch and Swiss.
  • The three top cities riders have come from are Bangalore (33), Pune(11) and Ahmedabad(11).
  • The largest blood group present is ‘O+’ (36).
  • The most popular type of bike being used is the Road bike (61), but there are also 18 Hybrids and 4 Mountain bikes.
  • The three most popular manufacturers are Trek, Cannondale and Bianchi.
  • 400km is the longest ever day ride done by the riders at TfN.
  • 3 volunteers from TfN 2011 will be cycling this year.
  • 12 riders have participated in a previous TfN.
  • Non-vegetarians(53) are the majority group this year on TfN, followed by vegetarians(22) and eggetarians(8).

The last two weeks have been a lot of theory and numbers as you’ve seen in my last few posts (sorry for that). Now it’s time to try out the theory in practice and meet the numbers – the riders and their cycles. 🙂

Cheers to the next 8 days being filled with sun-soaked mountains and the ever-winding road…

See you in the evening. 🙂

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December 16, 2012   2 Comments

TfN: What Type of Cycling is TfN?

Yesterday I talked about the different types of cycles but there is also the matter of the different types of cycling. So continuing on the topic of cycles and cycling, here are some of the different types of cycling done around the world.

Cycling is categorised based on the use of the cycle into 3 broad types.

Utility Cycling – Utility Cyclists use their cycles to commute to work daily, for a commercial activity, to transport goods, etc. Some examples other than the standard work commute are cycles used in the postal services, urban policing on cycles, and the Mumbai Dabbawalas delivery cycles.

Recreational Cycling – Includes Bicycle Touring, Organised Rides and Mountain Biking.

  • Bicycle touring, also known as cyclotourism is exploration or sightseeing for leisure done individually, in small groups or as an organised tour.
  • Organised Rides like Cyclosportives, Challenge Rides, Reliability Trials, and Hill Climbs are organised by cycling clubs for all levels bicyclists participate.
  • Mountain biking originated in the 1970’s as a downhill sport, but today most of it takes place on dirt roads, trails and in purpose-built parks.

Racing – Some of the different racing formats are road racing, tour racing, mountain bike racing, time trial racing, and cyclo-cross racing.

So what is type of cycling is Tour of Nilgiris?
After reading an analysing I think TfN can be categorised under Recreational Cycling–> Organised Rides–> Cyclosportive + Challenge Ride

  • A challenge ride is a form of cycling where the riders challenge themselves rather than each other.
  • A cyclosportive is a short to long distance, organised, mass-participation cycling event, typically held annually.

Did I get it right?
Ah, wait, it also says a cyclosportive falls between a traditional cycle road race and the more challenging non-competitive randonnée or Audax events. So my revised answer – Recreational Cycling–> Organised Rides–> Cyclosportive 😀

Now that I know the types of cycles and types of cycling, how do I choose a cycle for myself?
One way to choose a good cycle would be to first figure out what kind of activities I’m going to do with the cycle and based on that choose the type of cycle I need. Then of course I need to check out and research whats available and in my budget before I measure myself for the cycle and test ride it. Another way (my preferred method) is to make puppy eyes at husband and ask him to help 😛

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December 15, 2012   No Comments

TfN: What are the Different Types of Cycles Available?

Beyond the basic design of a cycle (it has a frame, two wheels, a handlebar, pedals, a chain and gears) I don’t know much about cycles, and lately I’ve been trying to remedy that. After all in a cycling event I should at least be able to recognise the basic cycles. If not in practice, at least in theory 😀

So here’s the dope…

Cycles are classified into types based on various factors like – function, number of riders, construction or frame type, gearing, etc. and each cycle can appear on more than one list. Since this means a lot of different lists I figured I’d try to understand the types of cycles based on the function they are created for.

Cycles in the function category are broadly of two types – road and mountain bikes. There are also other types like Freight bicycles that are designed for transporting large or heavy loads, Railbikes that ride on rails, etc.

Road Cycles are built for traveling at speed on paved roads. They have a lightweight construction and narrow, high-pressure tires that are smooth to decrease rolling resistance. Some of the types of road bikes are:

  • Touring bicycles: designed for touring hence robust, comfortable, and capable of carrying heavy loads.
  • Hybrid bicycles: designed for a variety of recreational and utility purposes.
  • Utility bicycles: designed for utility cycling like commuting and running errands.

Mountain Bikes (MTB) are made for off-road cycling like traversing rocks and washouts, steep declines, dirt trails, logging roads, and other unpaved environments. To handle the stresses of this kind of off-road terrain mountain bikes usually use wide, knobby tires for good traction and shock absorption. Most bikes also come with front and rear suspension. Mountain bikes can be classified into four categories based on suspension:

  • Rigid: A frame with a rigid fork and fixed rear, no suspension.
  • Hardtail: A frame with a front suspension fork and no rear suspension.
  • Soft tail: A frame with small amount of rear suspension, activated by flex of the frame instead of pivots.
  • Dual or full suspension: A front suspension fork and rear suspension with a rear shock and linkage that allow the rear wheel to move on pivots.

They are also designed and categorised based on different styles of mountain biking like Cross country(XC) bikes, Trail Bikes, Enduro/all-mountain(AM) bikes and Freeride bikes.

What all of this tells me is that there is going to be a large variety of road and mountain cycles at TfN. And my chances of recognising a cycle are slim. With all my reading just guessing whether its a road or mountain bike correctly will be cool. 😛

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December 14, 2012   2 Comments

TfN: 27 Things I Didn’t Know About Mysore

Mysore has always been next door to Bangalore and like all things next door, I’ve always put it off thinking it was next door after-all. I did visit it often though either as a stop on the way to the Nilgiris or to visit Dad who would be working there for part of the year.

Lately as I’ve been reading to prep for Tour of Nilgiris, Mysore surprised me. There was a wealth of information on the city and I knew so little of it. So here’s some interesting info I came across. Mysore is the first stop on the tour!

  • The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishūru, which means the abode of Mahisha in the Kannada language. Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, a mythological demon that could assume the form of both human and buffalo. According to Hindu mythology, the area was ruled by the demon Mahishasura. The demon was killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hills.
  • Until 1947, Mysore served as the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore.
  • Mysore Airport is also known as Mandakalli Airport.
  • The city was the location of the first private radio station in India.
  • 1897 an outbreak of bubonic plague killed nearly half of the population of the city.
  • With the establishment of the City Improvement Trust Board (CITB) in 1903, Mysore became one of the first cities in Asia to undertake planned development of the city.
  • A fire at a television studio in 1989 claimed 62 lives.
  • The highest temperature recorded in Mysore was 38.5 °C (101 °F) on 4 May 2006, and the lowest was 7.7 °C (46 °F) on 16 January 2012.
  • Among 63 cities covered under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Mysore City Corporation was adjudged the second best city municipal corporation and was given the “Nagara Ratna” award in 2011.
  • The city got its first piped water supply when the Belagola project was commissioned in 1896.
  • The city has had an underground drainage system since 1904.
  • Mysore was rated the second cleanest city in India in 2010 and the cleanest in Karnataka.
  • The first college to be set up for higher education was the Maharajas College, founded in 1864.
  • A high school exclusively for girls was established in 1881 and later it was converted into Maharanis Women’s College.
  • The  University of Mysore was the sixth university to be established in India and the first in Karnataka.
  • The Mysore Medical College, founded in 1924, was the first medical college to be started in Karnataka and the seventh in India.
  • The Dasara festivities, which are celebrated over a ten-day period, were first introduced by King Raja Wodeyar I in 1610.
  • The main palace of Mysore, Amba Vilas was burned down in 1897, and the present-day structure was built on the same site.
  • The Mysore Pak  traces its history to the kitchen of the Mysore palace.
  • Mysore is the location of the International Ganjifa Research Centre, which researches the ancient card game Ganjifa and the art associated with it.
  • Kannada writers Kuvempu, Gopalakrishna Adiga and U. R. Ananthamurthy were educated in Mysore and served as professors at the Mysore University.
  • R. K. Narayan, a popular English-language novelist and creator of the fictional town of Malgudi, and his cartoonist brother R. K. Laxman spent much of their life in Mysore.
  • Sudharma, the only Indian daily newspaper in Sanskrit, is published in Mysore.
  • Mysore was the location of the first private radio broadcasting station in India when Akashavani (voice from the sky) was established in the city on 10 September 1935 by M.V. Gopalaswamy, a professor of psychology, at his house in the Vontikoppal area of Mysore, using a 50-watt transmitter.
  • In 1957, Akashvani was chosen as the official name of All India Radio (AIR), the radio broadcaster of the Government of India.
  • Javagal Srinath, who represented India for several years as its frontline fast bowler, comes from Mysore.
  • India’s first youth hostel was formed in the Maharaja’s College Hostel in 1949.

All Facts Credited to Wikipedia.

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December 13, 2012   No Comments

TfN: 20 Things I Didn’t Know About Tour of Nilgiris

Less than a week to the start of TfN and I’m all excited. It’s time to start blogging TfN 🙂
To prep for the trip I’ve been reading up on TfN, Cycling and Places we’re passing through on the tour. So, that’s what I’m going to be blogging about over the next few days. Starting with my list of 20 things I Didn’t Know About TfN. How many of these do you know?

  1. The first TfN in 2008 was just a few friends who got together and decided to combine their passion for cycling with a mission.
  2. The Supermarket chain Nilgiris was the first – title and main Sponsor in 2008.
  3. The most number participants on a tour was in 2010 with 100 riders.
  4. 2009 had the most number of women riders – 12!
  5. Oldest Rider on TfN in the last four years was Peter Clarance Smith [aged 60 in 2009]
  6. In 2010 Rishi Nair (8 years) became the youngest rider on tour ever.
  7. The maximum kilometers ever done in a day across events is 180km in  2011 on Day 3 from Hasan to Medikeri.
  8. The furthest any rider has come to join TfN is  USA.
  9. The most competitive section in  2011 was Day 5 – The Climb on the CS was Category 1, with some heat and humidity 🙂
  10. Most expensive bike ever at TfN was a  Pinarello Dogma ridden by Rajesh Nair.
  11. The coolest cycles ever at TfN are Venky’s Fixie (2011), George’s  Moulton (2008), Mark Anderson’s Bike (2011)
  12. The most difficult cycle to cycle on TfN ever was a full suspension Hero Octane in 2008.

8 Things You Should Know About TfN 2012

  1. You get to ride on the NICE expressway. Cyclists are not allowed on NICE road during rest of the year. 😀
  2. Three states are covered on the route –  Karnataka,  Kerala, Tamil Nadu
  3. The tour also goes through three National Parks  – Bandipur National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Nagarhole National Park.
  4. An average day’s ride at TFN ranges between 100 and 180kms.
  5. 70% of the tour is non competitive. There are separate categories for Men and Women.
  6. The most competitive section this year will be on Day 6 – The day involves a lot of climbs,  and the CS is at the end with some 30 more km to climb to reach home.
  7. The results of each competitive section are announced at EOD and the accumulated time for the 6 days is summarized at the end of the tour.
  8. The leader for each day of the tour gets a Blue jersey that can be worn by the cyclist the next day.

How many of these did you know?

I’m looking forward to TfN and I’m all butterflies. It’s going to be a fun ten days in the mountains. 🙂

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December 12, 2012   6 Comments