I have always been worried about the ghat sections and the hills on account of the heart ailment, myocardial bridge , that I carry. This doesn’t allow me to place a lot of load on my heart. The cyclothon din’t have too much of climbs baring a few as we approach Belgaum, the approach to Satara and Pune and the Aravali range in Rajasthan. As it turned out I didn’t have much problem negotiating these ascents.
The rolling nature of the roads in Karnataka helped in continued conditioning and cardio fitness, an extension of the long hours of training that one had put in prior to the event. Towards the second half of the cyclothon I felt a distinct improvement in cardio fitness.
As we approached Satara we took a detour along an inner road to visit an ancient Lord Ganesha temple.I am not too sure if this was an easier approach. However the road condition was not good adding to the degree of difficulty. A cyclist from Satara joined me for this ride and also accompanied me from Satara all the way to Shirwal. He is a very strong cyclist having cycled from Manali to Leh and now training to ride from Leh to Kanyakumari on a gear-less cycle. He hopes to get into the Limca Book of records with this effort. His presence pushed me a trifle in riding speed. However he kept just behind me at all times and it was good having a cycling buddy accompanying me.
The ride into Pune was along the old national highway and I had to cycle over the Karjat Ghat section. Just as I felt the need for a rest break I noticed that I had reached the peak and the going was from thereon all down hill. It was a winding road with fairly heavy traffic and I had been warned to be careful on the descent. I therefore descended cautiously breaking frequently and keeping the speed to the mid 30s. It was wonderful just cruising down hill.
The ride from Lonawla to Panvel was all down hill and I just had to cruise all the way. Here is a brief video clip of this section of the ride.
A real surprise was the ride from Manor to Vapi. I didn’t expected to face very much of hill riding but had to contend with the Western Ghats. The ride to Vapi was over 80 kms and out support vehicle had a flat tire and we lost quite abit of time sorting that out. This meant that I had a fair amount of riding under very hot weather conditions. This photo is a good reflection of the tiring conditions.
I had been looking forward to the approaches into Udaipur from Rishabdev. However we had avoided riding on this section due to extensive road repair work and heavy vehicular traffic. I had however been warned by friends that I would get a fair share of the Aravali Hills as I rode from Udaipur all the way to Bhilwara and beyond. And so it was. However I did not face too much of difficulty traversing these sections as we flirted with the hills from time to time. I rather began to like it as it a broke the monotony of the ride and also allowed for some down hill cruising. Also as I said my cardio fitness had increased by this time.
I told myself that when the cyclothon was over and I had a little rest I must continue training in a manner that will further increase cardio fitness and push the fear of myocardial bridge into the recesses of my mind.