Yes, I’m formally announcing the achievement of this year’s target – 75km in a single day. Thank you all for the consistent support and motivation. I’m learning and believe that I have many more miles to go before I put my leg down. Recently I made slight changes to the riding plan as an experiment, in order to facilitate the long distance ride.
As a first step, I moved on from the old little ride to a new one. I admit, I’m not a good reviewer of bikes. I know that especially because I follow and comment the blogs of some great cyclists who share detailed observations of their rides, routes and styles. So I shall just mention the product page of the new Little Ride here. It is a Haibike, an iconic German brand. The product name is Big Curve 9.3 which is a hardtail mountain bike with 29-inch wheels. Technical specifications of the ride can be found in their product page here.
Secondly, I changed the route slightly to suit my future riding targets for longer distances. During the rides up to 50 and 60 km in the past, I used to follow the service lanes along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, and it made sense during heatwave conditions of 2014 and 2015. There were quite some points I used to stop and recharge my spirits. This year, I’m welcoming the heat wave with my own supplies of plain water and mini breakfast to take the Expressway head-on.
Though the route is not new to me, it is still a different experience riding the Expressway when I am the slowest moving object in a stream of over-speeding cars, buses, trucks, and motorcycles. Strong tailwinds and some gravitational pull enabled me to pedal faster (or at least inspired me to do so) and I had started getting a hang of the near-nonstop ride through the Expressway. My first attempt went very well and on the Little Ride, and I feel that the road smiles back at me. There are no abrupt crossings, though there is always the danger of cars changing lanes and coming faster at you with the intention to exit the Expressway while you have plans to continue pedaling straight along the Expressway, without exiting from it. So I make use of hand signals, and remain alert with one eye fixed in the rear-view mirror to keep out of harm’s way.
There are some ups and downs along the route which influence the cadence, but I try to maintain a steady pace throughout the ride. The most interesting experience of the Expressway was on the way back – there were 2-3 different groups of cyclists who passed me, everyone shouting “Hi, Good morning!” Once or twice I did come across those occasional cyclists who rely too much on their bike brands than their own legs. I find it interesting to chase them and make them falsify those illusions, though not intentionally. With someone on my tail I tend to forget the limitations of my body and would keep pedaling, wanting to fly.
At the end I came home happily, smiling broad, unable to hide the liberating feeling of the ride. I would sincerely thank all of you who follow my blog, support me with kind and motivating words. I’d also thank my smarter half for being there even through the hard times, ensuring that I start off on time, have enough to eat and drink on the way. My little one makes sure that the ride is kept clean, well oiled, and the tyres have optimum pressure. Thank you all again. I shall keep trying to perform better, and shall post my progress here, occasionally.
Do you also keep targets for your hobbies? Do you think it is important to set targets for your hobbies in order to ensure that you take it seriously? Please share your thoughts.