Pahiya group cycling : 8 th June 2016
My formal introduction in the Pahiya group took it’s own sweet time. All I could do with the group was republic day group cycling and I had audacity to write photo blog.
Just imagine you are just an invitee and you join the group with a cycle of unknown brand , write a photo blog and even share the link with every one !
The exclusive club took it’s own time . I had my own reservations of having Wednesday as the selected day for weekly group cycling day. Wednesday is usually reserved for a visit to vapi factory (not a must as I have the liberty to decide ) . Once the cross training programme of BNP GR-Pahiya is announced I am able to join the group for two consecutive Saturdays.
Vinod is first to notice. “this guy can cycle even with a foldie of some weird,funny name and unknown origin and he is regular “
I am formally enrolled. !
Soon there is an announcement
“ this Wednesday would be our last ride of the season “
Oh what a perfect time to join the group.
Soon the group started talking in a language which I had tried my level best to forget when it comes to crossing some distance with physical human energy
“ kilometre per hour ( km/hr )“
Few years back when I joined running and BNP Gr ( borivli national park running group ) I was introduced to the concept of Pace.
“What will be our average pace ?”
“Oh I will be running at 6 ka pace ( pace of 6 )”
“ we have variable pace for Sunday run . Initially we will run at 7 ka pace and than we will increase the pace to 6”
For some one who is used to covering distance only by 4 wheeler and / or 2 wheeler ( external energy driven ) only with the language of speed shown by odometer in kilometre per hour ( km/hr )first two days in the running were very puzzling. ( apart from pace : time taken to cover one kilometre there were many other words like anerobic , aerobic , carb , lactic acid etc etc which were thrown / dropped randomly by elites and experts
- For an effect
- To impress upon
- As all these vocabulary had become quite normal for them
Welcome to world of cycling.
With cycling “pace” is not very “ sexy thing”
It has to be speed…….. and you have to train yourself to understand what is my speed. Yes initially you have all the gadgets which help you to measure your actual speed, but actual fun is when you can judge yourself ( with approximation ) “ oh I am going fast and my speed is 25km/hr plus.
So with the announcement of Wednesday last group run . elites started discussing …..what else ….speed !!!!!!!
“18 km/hr : average speed.”
The super elites started talking about “32-33 km/hr average “( so highest can be more than that ) to “35 plus”
Human race loves to introduce “brahminical hierarchy “ in whatever we do !
It’s quite natural and it is one of the greatest evolutionary trait which has shaped us , made us “masters “
“ spirit of competition “
So even in recreation sport (very funny word indeed: whoever coined this word must be master of camouflaging words ) soon a new comer has to find her or his starting point
Down the ladder: a kind of lowest grade : ignored janata ( I will not use the exact brahminical word )
If one starts some where in between than chances of getting a good mentor is bright and you can rise through hierarchy faster.
Like with running where in similar pace runners become natural friends ( they may have totally different interests /tastes) in cycling also one can have natural friendship with “ own speed band matching “ friends.
“How do I overcome this speed hurdle ?”
I am in genuine dilemma ……”what is my normal speed on cycle ?”
“What will be my high speed? “
“ is my cycle fit to go beyond some speed? “
I observe the increased chatter in my mind.
I decide to start from 90 feet junction ( cross road of thakur village-thakur complex road and western express highway) at 5.00 am
I call up Sree and request her so that we can start together from the junction.
Sree has reached before me and even calls me.”where are you ?”
“ On the way “ is standard reply cum excuse as I am bit late.
We start immediately and psychologically have some lead so that time lost in reaching the destination point as compared to others as compensated.
The whole idea is not to reach the destination point at the time when most of the cyclists would like to start their return journey.
It seems Sree has read my mind. Even after she has upgraded to a brand new Fuji , she still give respect to her roots of “ slow on MTB” …..so slow on Fuji.
We are able to cycle together and even chat ( when I say chat it’s I am doing talking and poor Sree has to zelofy me )
This looks my kind of cycling ….slow , talking and chance to observe. Soon one by one speed loving friends zoom pass.
Bhupen calls on Sree’s mobile and we stop to get the message….” I am also coming “
We are almost together till Oberoi mall/dindoshi fly over….once on the descending slope I decide to increase my speed to the fullest…..before I go full throttle the uneven surface gives couple of jerks to the cycle and the water bottle jumps out of the holder and starts rolling on the road with it’s own speed.
“ oh u cannot just stop your pace and pick up….” My runner mind unnecessarily gives me advise as I keep going straight in the same fast lane, take slowly on left as there is fast moving traffic, take a U turn , adjust my front light to the incoming traffic and move against the traffic , push the bottle before it gets crushed by any of the moving vehicles , lift the bottle .
High way cycling
( or one can say “ western express highway cycling” as I believe every highway can be unique in India when it comes to life of cyclist on highway )
Disclaimer : I am a new comer in the world of cycling .Riding regularly on highway I may not have enough experience but nonetheless I want to write so that I can look back as I add more years to my cycling and analyse my own observations of june 2016 .
Is it risky ?? not at all
Is it adventurous….yes fulltu
- You genuinely understand what is relative speed
- You become very alert
- You can identify sound with the vehicle ( with little practise )even before you have seen it.
- You become humble : if you are used to driving Toyota fortunner kind of vehicle which at times give false confidence of “baap ka road hai “ ( road belongs to my paternal family )……on cycle you become humble
- You understand the phrase : there is jungle out there and you are allowed to survive.
- You learn art of lane cutting: part I :
- as you move from left to little off centre so that you can come in the line of extreme left of incoming flyover
- assuming that your decision is understood and respected by large number of vehicles which are marching behind you , who may want to do reverse of you : move from right of road to left of road so as to avoid moving on the fly over.
You learn art of lane cutting: part II :
- as you descend down from fly over you become aware of any rattling sound (from your cycle and/or your body)
- you are moving fast realising that your so called fast speed is really slow .
- All the vehicles which are coming down with you are much faster . The vehicles which are coming from side of flyover (as they are getting freedom to increase the acceleration post signal crossing) are even more faster.
- You have to keep going straight in your chosen fast lane till the time you get chance to slowly move towards left
All above is to be repeated at the next flyover.
Exceptions to above
Exception 1 category : they are cyclists who bother less about others and enjoy their own existence. They do lane cutting at their whims and god takes care of other vehicles.
They suddenly decide to shift their lane either getting on the incoming fly over or coming down the fly over.
Exception 2 category : these cyclists just avoid flyovers. There are always on left side of law ( in turn ….on the left side of highway )
Thrills of highway cycling: this happens when some very fast moving big car just zooms past your cycle with few inches of margin. The air column displaced by this phenomenon also tries to push you . this is very similar to the experience of driving a maruti Suzuki 800 CC car ( fronti )and suddenly a fast moving truck brushes pass you giving the beautiful jerk to your sweet Maruti 800.
I also have two of these thrills .One on main andheri fly over by faster than speed of light kind of car and one by a fast bike rider who loved to move in zigzag pattern . When he was near me he moved as if he wanted to dodge me.
Post Aarey fly over I am riding solo. Intermittently I meet Manish ji as he overtakes me , stop for fellow cyclists friends, restart again so as to again overtake me .
We are almost together in this pattern till bandra kalanagar flyover .
I see him off the cycle on the flyover.
Soon I realise this is not one of those voluntarily stoppage.
His chain is off the chain rings and sockets.
I join him as we put the Cannondale cycle upside down ( on the fly over itself : ideally we should push the cycle beyond fly over to a safe off the road lane . (this was indeed suggested by Manishji ).
We are quick and chain is relocated.
Punit and Sanjay R approaching and I get my first break to click some photos.
As we are near our destination I spend some more time clicking photos on the reclamation road .
By the time I park my cycle near “love Mumbai ‘art ‘the maximum friends have already ‘checked in’
Pradeep and Deepa have arranged idlis with sambhar and chatni for every one. God bless them !
Like good hosts they see that every one is well served.
Avani is surprised to see me as we stay in the same complex and we must have crossed our main gate within a very short time difference band width.
The group photos and individual photos with mumbai skyline, worli sink bridge and ‘’love Mumbai art’’ keep every one busy .
May be for few this is weekly visit but masti of having your photos with same props/back ground remains same .( but today with clouds in sky )
Maheshbhai cuts the cake as group celebrates his comrade run.
Post dosti time it is obvious that every one is now free to pursue return journey custom made.
It’s a Wednesday and many have priorities.
Sidhhi, Sanjay R , Punit, Maheshbhai , Bhupen and myself take U turn from toll gate and ride back.
Soon sidhhi zooms ahead followed by Sanjay R , Punit and Bhupen.
Maheshbhai , myself and Sree remain together till thakur complex.
Maheshbhai is going aaramse as he is just out of comrade phase.
I want to take more photos but being a working day I stick to cycling .
At thakur complex me and Maheshbhai have our Tea break at Nagori chai wala .