Nagalapuram cycling: A tragic tell of getting lost no where

16 June 2012: Cycling to Nagalapuram from Chennai

2 AM: Cycling expedition begins from Chennai
10 AM: At Andhra Pradesh border
4 PM: After 14 hours of cycling, left knee trapped
5 PM: Lost alone in Jungle
7 PM: Rescued by a milk man

Next day News:
Around 50 tire punctures and bursts; 30 sore asses
Only 3 could make it finally out of 20; 1 cyclist fainted
Several heat by vomiting, fever and dehydration
Lots of new experiences and discoveries

16 June 2012, 2 AM: Leaving for cycling from Chennai to Nagalapuram

I packed my bag with water bottles, electrolytes, camera etc and slowly rolled out my Adidas MTB.
– Kicked on to meet my biking group on a dark and silent night.
A rousing feeling of meeting never-land was pounding inside my heart.
Lost in a thought of conquering some fancy world, paddling and fantasizing, I, finally reached the meeting point.

A fully loaded MTBA fully loaded MTB (Mountain bike)

I was proud of my MTB. On any account, it was not lesser than any other bikes. It had every lovely features which I would need for a comfortable ride.
Tubeless tires

Adjustable seat
front and rear disc breaks
Front and rear gears
Making it not more little than a mini moving home for me.

3AM: Morning kicked off with a weary warm up

I think I was the only one who had joined a 250 km expedition without any prior practice so It was almost clear that I was gonna pay the heavy price for it sooner or later.

“Ok guys! so we are gonna have a warm up now”. And, the rubber hit the road.

What the hell!
I was almost into a race.
Is this what they call a warm-up?
Forrest! you are no different than others“.
wait, wait, wait!
If I were not dreaming.
I was literally cycling past some motor bikes. A walk over pitches!
Shift the gears and vroooooooooooooom! (Love you Adidas for such a beautiful creation!)

3.45 AM: Distance covered 30 km & first drop out witnessed

So here we encountered our first drop out within an hour of expedition commencement. “Dude! you just saw the trailer, are you gonna last for the show?”
Finally our race came to a halt when another bunch of cyclists joined in.
And we moved on – with a slow and steady pace.
The plan was to leave Chennai city well behind before sunrise & we were running on time.

Puzhal LakeAnd we witnessed the sunrise at dry Puzhal lake

When, I heard that we were gonna cross the dry lake, I got served with tons of tasty salmon berry. It was a greenhorn turning into Dexter.
– Plunge above dry lake.

So the nature meets the men:

26 inch tubeless cruising over hard dried mud.
– Crunch-crunch & munch-munch
Some deep and mysterious longing as an disguised and unknown but out of the world pleasure was getting satiated.
– Enticing and heavenly.

Lift the bike and cross the lake borderLift the bike and cross the lake peripherals

Crossed over the lakeĀ  perimeter wall and we encountered our first puncture. As we crossed to other side, thorny bushes had ambushed all across the road.

Confession: I still don’t know how to utilize a puncture kit.

And, if you ask me how I survived for those long 15 hours of dirt biking without any puncture, I would say those were my most favorable times.

First puncture of the dayFirst puncture of the day

In front of Puzhal lakeIn front of Puzhal lake

9AM: Red hills

The sun was getting hotter and air was more humid.
God bless Tamil nadu and its weather in June.
Sweat forming across forehead would slither gradually behind ears up to chin.
– Salty if you taste it.
We almost had covered 50-60 km by then.
Cool that we began such early morning to avoid summer death race.

Crossing Red hillsCrossing Red hills

Until so, I was easily able to catch up with other bikers.
Coming back over to AH-45, the sun was torturing. Heat waves radiating out of black tar were smelly and blistering.

10AM: Puduvoyal, 8 Hours of cycling & Breakfast time

Cycling for last 8 continuous hours had already started sucking out my vitality. I decided to take heavy breakfast and drink a lot of energy juices and electrolytes to rehabilitate myself.

Leaving behind the Higway 10.30 AM: Leaving behind the highway and entering into unknown bumpy roads

After breakfast, highway was long gone behind. It was too difficult to paddle over boulders stretched over kilometers.

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About trekkerp

Author of The Girl from the Woods and a Travel writer from India looking forward to collect quirky tales from around the world

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