My First Century

My cycle with a backdrop of crop fields.

You know how you wait and wait the whole week for that one event on the weekend. And it’s even more intense if your week has been just a monotony you want to escape.

Last Sunday I went on a cycle ride arranged by a local bike club to commemorate their new shop anniversary. And it was a special ride for me too because could have been the one where I complete my first 100 kms. The day before all I could think of was the ride. I made sure I had a proper meal. I went crazy on bananas.

At 4.20 am I left home towards the Bike Shop. It was dark and cold. I reached there and found people pouring in. This was going to be a mass ride. We had some electrolytes and the ride incharge explained us the route details. At around 5.30 am, around 50 of us started. It’s magical to see a dozens of cycles with their tail lights blinking speeding through the roads. It was like a party on the road.

After 22 kms we stopped for breakfast. The empty restaurant was now bustling with sweaty riders and the owner was ecstatic about it. After having the (more-than-we-should-have) dosas and idlis, we were off again. After some time the carbs kicked in and everybody was on race mode.

The icing on the cake was the route. The serene flower fields, the enthusiastic kids waving at us, the villages and the spinach plantations made it a magical ride. At 53 kms we had a support station where we energised ourselves with some juice and electrolytes.

Fellow rider stacking up some fresh spinach from the fields to take home.

After this point the group started separating and I was riding alone. It had started to get warmer now. Still I kept going and whenever I felt weary I took a bite from my protein bar. About 20 kms from the finish, my body started to give in. I had never rode this type of distance before. Every body part was aching. I just had the image of my bed in my mind and kept pedalling. My average speed had dropped and I didn’t care. With beads of sweat rolling over my eyebrows I finally reached home. I dropped onto the bed and I had never experienced such relaxation. I looked over to my GPS app and smiled. I had completed 105 kms.

It’s said that the first century is a special one for riders because thats when you embark onto the 3 digits scores. It was indeed a special one for me. People wonder why would someone go to such great lengths to incur pain upon them and why would they suffer so much hardship. I totally get it. I get it.

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