Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bangalore to Ramnagram Cycling Trip (14th Jun 2009)

To give out the figures first, Ramnagram is around 50kms from Bangalore. So, a return trip of cycling means riding the bicycle for 100kms in a day. To be on the record, we left at around 7:00AM and were back in the city by 8PM. The real riding was for 8 hrs.

First pit stop.

Ramnagram is considered to be the best place for Rock Climbing in India, truely a climber's paradise. It is full of granite formations, with rocks of all shapes and sizes. It has some of the best Bouldering routes along with equally amazing chimney and double pitch routes.

Well, this time it was a Cycling cum Bouldering trip for Mars Adventure folks. With a short notice of only 2 days, 14 Martians turned up for the trip. Each of us was armed with a decent geared bike. For a ride of 100kms, geared bicycles are a must.

Folks checking out a Firefox.

Some mandatory things that are must to be carried for such trip are; a first aid kit, a puncture kit, a hand air pump, spanner of common sizes, a cap and not the least, lots of water(or enough money to buy water :))

Bikes should be in top notch condition, with ample air pressure in tyres, seat adjusted to a comfortable height(to avoid un-necessary knee pain) and good brake pads.

Just outside Bangalore.

Ramnagram is connected by the State Highway no. 17, thus riding is mostly on the smooth tarred roads. It is relatively busy higway, specially during eveings. The highway is laced with greenery and uphill & downhill roads(not a very good thing :P).

Just after Kengeri, a very sorry looking river which has become a nala now.

What pollution can do to a river? Does anyone wants anymore proof?

The age group of the Martians was 10yrs to 35 yrs. The profile of the group was ranging from school kids to techies to full-time adventure freaks. Bikes were rented out from a shop in Jayanagar along with few personal bikes. The shop charged us an in-humanly 500 bucks a piece for 24 hrs. With this much money one can easily buy a second/third hand geared bicycle from any JC road shop.

Men at work

Well, we stared at 7AM from Jayanager, with first break at Rajrajeswari arch for a very early morning snacks. After a brief photo-session, which is a must, we planned out to reach Ramnagram in 3 and 1/2 hrs, without including the breakfast break. BY 9 Am, we had covered good distance, weather seemed to be on our side. But soon after, Sun started to suck our energies, the breaks became frequent and body started to demand good amount of water and glucose. The water never before used to taste so sweet :D

Giving bikes some rest :D

Bidadi is 35kms from Bangalore and famous for its Thatey(plate) idlis. Definetely a worthy place for breakfast. After overfilling our stomachs, we started cycling again.

Men at rest

We reached Ramnagram by 12:30PM, and had just enough time for some amazing bouldering session. Some Martians had the chance to perfect their bouldering moves and some had the first taste of bouldering on real rocks. It was totally worth it after such a long and arduous effort.

Kamesh showing his moves.

Divya at her best.

Finally a group picture. (Alex you missed it!)

2hrs passed in no time and we had to start our return trip. Bangalore being at elevation with repect to surrounding areas and with our swollen butts it was expected to take at least 5 hrs to ride back.

Likhit caressing his injury.

We managed to get back with few breakdowns, not to mention spanners and air pump were of immense help. We were in for a wonderful experience, when we entered Banshankari. Some real estate folks belonging to the locality stopped us and started treating us like celebrities( for our supposed to be a "feat" activity). It was a indeed a different experience.

Now, After a butt cracking experience, Martians are geared up for longer and even more challenging Cycling trips but only with Firefox or Trek bikes :D

In the end we created a sort of World record by loading 7 bikes and 7 humans onto a 1 tonner auto.

By Neeraj Kumar

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rock Climbing

Well, there is no need to define Rock Climbing. It is only for those who do it or who strive to do it. It is definitely not for those who want to see it and enjoy it.

Why people do it? well, i cannot answer for everyone but, some do it, to challenge themselves, some do it, to push themselves harder than ever, some do it, to reach that elusive "hard to get" goal, some do it, to take the hardest route and still make things happen. In the end, it is nothing but "making the impossible happen".

This sport is a perfect example of how you want to look at a situation. It is all about your attitute. When climbing a rock, one can see in-numerable number of routes in it, it is about choosing the right one and making the right moves. One may like to give up at every hold, on the contrary, one may like to see every hold as a new challenge. It is also about gauging the situation and making the most of what is available. A good climber is one who takes time to observe the route, who plans his every move and executes them to perfection.

Many a times, we are faced with situations that demand the one extra push, the one last push to reach the goal. It is very similar to climbing, when you are near the top and only one hold away from it, facing a very difficult and next to impossible hold, it is all about bringing oneself together and giving the one last push, to make impossible possbile.

Rock Climbing brings out the best and the worst from people. It is definitely the way to beat the worst and to get the best out of us.

Be tough, be the best. Life is too short, to not to push oneself, to not to challenge oneself, to not to achieve the impossible.