Tuesday 14 February 2012

Memories of my first ride on Valentines Day 2010

Srinath Ragunath at Start Point
                     To many 14th February Valentines Day is symbolic with love between a boy and girl but to me fortunately or unfortunately it was on this day in 2010 that I rediscovered my love for cycles and cycling. Getting fed up with "monotony of being within four walls" which the neighbourhood gym provided, the year long favourite morning aerobics class coming to a sudden close since aerobics instructor moved to another city, vacuum arising in commuting due to selling of all the vehicles in an one day swift operation followed by a verbal altercation with share auto driver who demanded me to sit in the place he wanted me while coming home from gym were series of events leading me to buy a cycle. Having no knowledge about cycles and eager to avoid money being
Pattu at Scenic Spot
spent on other mode of transportation on the 13th February 2010 along with my friend I landed up at BSA Go Adyar to buy a cycle, a white coloured MTB Schwin on the display impressed me a lot and a test ride was more than enough for me to go for it but there was shortage of money since I thought minimal amount was adequate and bicycles can never cost big, lucky my friend who accompanied me went back to my home to fetch the remaining money while I was waiting for his return to make the payment and take delivery of bicycle between a man bit dark in appearance wearing formal and busy speaking on his mobile phone entered the showroom soon after he came to the billing section where I was seated and thus begun our conversation. This man was none other than Suresh Kumar during our conversation he wanted me to join the CRX Reaxion Ride to Mahabalipuram scheduled for the next day morning and told me that the ride would be a great fun and assured me of help since I was a newbie. Upon arrival of my friend we made the payment and took delivery of the bicycle eagerly awaiting the next day ride to Mahabalipuram which would be my first cycling experience after school days.

Near Scenic Spot 
 A very cool February morning and the darkness adding flavour welcomed us and as participants began to assemble at the starting point in Tiruvanmiyur few cyclist with their helmets and lights in their cycles garnered attention but it was with an UFO feeling, the briefing about the ride and the start of the ride now look like a distant dream but one cannot forget some notable faces like singers Miss.Tanvi Shah and Mrs. Anuradha Sriram in the gathering. Now getting on with the ride till ECR Toll it was nothing but darkness and as we reached Scenic spot which was a pit stop the day light began to ascend. The destination coming closer pedalling became slower but the thought of a lavish spread of breakfast at the Raddison Hotel keeps me going. For the first time ECR Road looked very beautiful even though one gets to travel
umpteen number of times on this route all through the year,
Suresh at Hotel Raddisson
this could have been due to cycling, it even felt like an wonderful experience most importantly because you are riding as a group. All through the ride Suresh would cheer me even as an array of super bikes like Hyabusa's & Honda's zipped past and at last I just managed to reach the finish point of the 40km ride Mahabalipuram,  At the hotel the outside circular area was filled with cycles and cyclist who's faces were now clearly visible most of them chatting to each other about their ride experience and timings of the top ten finishers. Soon after a sumptuous breakfast and a quick visit to the sea shore we wait for the bikes to be loaded and the bus which transports us back to Tiruvanmiyur. With everything in place bidding good bye to this Heritage town of Mahabalipuram and a sound nap in the bus we reach the starting point and collecting our cycles peddle back home with memories of this momentous ride. The day turned out to be historic in many ways, it brought forward passion for cycling and opened up new vistas in understanding of life with this excellent machine.