Journey of 9kms to 600Kms Ride!

I am not the fastest nor the fittest cyclist but I knew where I am going.

It all started in last year summers. Before that my cousin used to do cycling and I was like no I don’t want to do cycling. After a few months, I was sitting with my friends and the idea of buying cycle stricken in my mind and went straight to firefox store and bought mtb. at this time I didn’t know about the bikes. I was noobie in cycling. when I reached home with my new bike my parents were surprised to see me with the bike and they started questioning me why what and how much and my replies were “maa I will ride this don’t think too much”. I was pretty excited about my ride and that was of 9kms and I was tired like hell. After riding a couple of days, I came to know about strava and then started recording my rides. I joined few strava groups and cycloon was one of them. Through cycloon, I met Pushkar and Gary and still remember my first question to Gary and it was about how many kms you guys ride daily. her response was 30–40. after that response, I didn’t reply and I was like 30kms OMG. m tih doing only 9kms. The weekend came in and I went to Bhuvaneshwari temple. It was a ride of around 24kms. I was tired like hell and I completed 18kms only and dropped my bike at cousin’s place. During this time I joined Cycloon whats app group they used to post rides and I never had the guts to add my name in their ride list. Time passed and I started doing 30–40kms. And then gary posted aboutbthencycloom jerseys and i ordered one and ogt my jersyey in 20days. I met Gary and Pushkar for the first time although it was a quick meetup. Then after sometime, I again met Pushkar over the coffee and the way he gave gyaan I was like I want to do S.R I want it. I started talking to Pushkar on whats app and he used to motivate me all the time ki Ashish you can do it. Then one day I went to India gate and Pushkar called me in the morning and asked where are you and I said I am at India gate. he said come down to khan market we will ride together. I went there and this was my 2nd meeting with him and Pushkar was like bhai dekh you have done 35kms let’s do 💯 today. my reply was bhai Pagal ho gya hai. he said me and Gary will help you don’t worry you just ride with us and gave some motivational Gyan. I agreed to him and we started. We reached cyber back, by this time it was 70kms in my strava and Pushkar said see your home from here is 10kms and now you just need to ride 20more km. After taking a short break at the chai point they took u-turn towards Delhi and I resumed my journey to do me 💯. I and Prashant started riding and after 19kms, I got a puncture but thanks to god it happened near Prashant home. And I was like what to now. how to fix it. I didn’t have any types of equipment to fix it. so I dropped my bike at Prashant’s place and took his bike to complete my first 💯 ride. At last, I did it. that’s my first achievement and I was at cloud 9. People ( friends and my family) around me were shocked ki you did 💯 ms. 
from there was no turning back. I started loving my bike and also started doing a ride to work. Till this time I was a part of 2–3 cycling groups. Weekends came in and group admins started Posting rides and all were 70–80kms and everyone in the group was a good rider. I never added my name to their rides. then I created a whats app group and the name of this group was Cycloon Gurgaon. The idea behind this group was to do daily rides and help beginners to do at least 30kms ride. Because the problems I faced was so common with the beginners. we started doing daily rides and group got a great response in daily rides. Through this group, I met Deepak sir, Virat, Himanshu, aakanksha, atul, unique, Winson, param, Adriana, prince, Tomita mam,amit sam. these guys made my cycling a fun activity. everyone was a beginner so everyone here was riding like a family. Then the lakshya rides take the entry. Lakshya had their 100km ride and Gary registered for that ride but due to some work she couldn’t go and asked me to go for lakshya 💯 km. And I was like humse a ho paega. After long talks, I decided to go for lakshya. I down wanted to do it alone so I called param and forced him to register for lakshya. The ride day came and We did it. It gave me the confidence to do a century. and after a month lakshya guys posted 125kms ride. this time we were 4 riders from cycling Gurgaon and we again did it. from 20kms to 125kms riders were coming out to go on next level.

Now the brevets season I coming in and we were decided to do 200kms brevet on 10th November. We were 18 riders from cycling who registered for this brevet. We were like ki ho paega ya nahi. everyone is trying hard on how to’s part. but we all nailed it together. After 200kms we guys decided to do 300kms on 24th November. we started practising for 300 and again we did it.
 And now comes the toughest 400Kms. As per pro riders in 400 we don’t get time to sleep. we get 27hours to complete 400kms and one needs to prepare mentally to complete 400. The route for 400kms was Gurgaon to Jaipur and back. We started the ride and I got two punctures that too back to back in first 10kms only. It took me an hour to fix up the punctures. Give up feeling has started taking over my mind but this was the time I needed to stand up and start riding. I did the same and I reached at first my checkpoint. From there I resumed my ride with atul and we started riding towards Jaipur and Within 12 hours we reached Jaipur, took a 5 mins break and then started pedalling towards Gurgaon. 200kms to be covered in 15hours looked an easy task but it was not. we did a great job till 300kms and after that body started giving up. last 100kms and time left are 8 hours, not a big deal but I was not able to sit on my saddle due to the pain. Last 100kms I was riding alone and atul did a sprint and he was ahead of me. Potholes on the flyerover (Bawal to Dharuhera) exhausted me. I didn’t sit on my saddle for almost 30–40kms. I reached dharuhera at 4 am. you can guess my speed I was riding at 15–16kmph. I took some hydration from old radio dhaba started my ride again and after a few hours I saw myself as 400kms finisher.it took me 26hours to complete it and that too without sleeping. This brevet gave me more confidence to do the easy/fun ride of 600kms. One ride left to earn the title S.R. Only 20days left in the 2018 and thoughts started coming in my to complete my S.R. journey in this year only. Then I found a 600brevet in Ahmedabad on 28th December and decided to do 600 in Ahmedabad. 600kms in 40hours and I will be S.R. To achieve this I divided 600kms ride into 6 parts and took a target of 100kms in 6hours including short breaks for tea. 
I Gary puhskar started this ride and were pretty excited for the ride but this was not an easy task as it seemed to be. I took this ride very lightly(not wanted to create negativity in mind). The first problem I faced was of the bad stomach due to the change of water. Riding with the bad stomach is difficult to part till now on my cycling journey. Somehow I managed to do my first 💯by 11 am. 
As the sun started throwing heat on the roads temp rose to 25degree and the water in body started evaporated. I had consumed almost 7–8ltrs of water in my next 50kms. The increase in water intake also resulted in more pee breaks. I stopped at a roadside dhaba and had some rice dal and dahi at 11:30 am and Gary and Pushkar were 1–2kms behind me. By the time I finished my lunch, they were ahead of me. After 30mins somehow I managed to reduce the difference between us. And I could see Gary and Pushkar. At 137kms Gary had a fall, she met with a minor accident and got some scratches on her steel body🤪 and got some technical fault as well in the derailer. Pushkar fixed the derailer issue and finally, after 1 hour we started our ride and completed our 150kms of the ride and it took us 9hours to do so. We took a small nap of 30mins and after that, we started again towards the 300kms checkpoint. Sun was going down till now its 25degree temp but now it was going down and expected temp at 300kms was 2–3degrees. From 200–250kms that kutch highway stretch was the new challenge for us and we were unaware of that due to lack of route knowledge. It was 2lane highway and trucks were the kings of the road. We had an only white stripe to ride on because in the shoulder lane there some small stones and mud where we cant ride. so we’re left with the white stripe. Trucks were passing on the right and the left there was salt units. sunset from there looked beautiful but we didn’t have time to stop and enjoy the sunset there. But somehow I managed to click some sunset photos. After 250kms when we took a right from backup to towards Bhuj, even this highway had got some surprises for us. After riding 4–5kms on that highway. I realized that we were only one on that road. even a truck was passing us after 4–5kms. Crosswinds and a sunshine road with inclines and declines. My body started showing love towards the sleep and at 270kms I stopped my bike and said to Pushkar ki I don’t want to do. I am giving up. I can’t do ride anymore. This was the first time I wanted to give up. Pushkar gave me some gyaan and asked me to ride for next 2hours only. I slowly started riding the bike after 5min. and I was riding damn slow and this time negative thoughts were all over the mind. And I could hear Gary saying, Ashish, you are cheetah you can do it. Kabhi se haar Nahi man ni. And my replies to Gary were you cheetah ki fate padegi hai and apko cheetah ki lagi hai. Ahmedabad m make cheetah bheegi bill ho chuka and kept on pedalling while having conversations. After 20–25mins I got some energy I don’t know from where I was back to my normal speed. While crossing a village there were few dogs on the road that started barking and following me. when I counted the dogs they are a 5in number and I was like Ashish agar to run gya to aaaj to khatam hai. And I increased my speed and dogs were still following me even after 200mtrs. I kept that speed for a while and finally saved my ass from dogs. but after that sprint, I was like a street dog. I took some water and starred my ride gain now it was only 3kms left in the 300kms. Finally, I completed my 300kms at 1:35 am in the night. The temperature there was 2degrees and in initial mins, I didn’t realize temperature was that mu h low. after few mins, Gary Pushkar reached there. we had dinner and decided to take a nap for 30minsn and asked chotu to wake us after 30mins with kadak chai. our bed was on the ground with just one layer of cheddar and we got one cheddar as a blanket. We were shivering like anything and slept. after 30 mins that chotu came with chai. Gary and Pushkar decided to sleep for another 30mins but I knew it went back to sleep I won’t be able to complete it. I came out and wore 5layers of the jacket and took 3 painkillers to start my other half ride. I started riding alone on that scary highway. This 30mins nap cleared up all the negativity in my mind about the ride. And I completed my next 100kms in 6 hours as per the strategy that I had in my before starting the ride. It was 9in the morning and kms left were 200 and time remaining was 13hours. At 400kms I took a 3min break to refill my water and bought some chocolates. yes, I did all that in 3mins. I had time till 11 am in the morning because after that headwinds will be making this ride more difficult. Keeping S.R. title in the mind I started from 400 after 80kms headwinds started and slowed my speed. After fighting with headwinds for almost a houri stopped my bike and I started crying due to bums pains and my body ran out of energy. I cried for 6mins and this time I cried because of pain and the headwinds made me cry. after 6mins I opened the calculator and calculated the average speed that I need to maintain. That gave me the motivation average speed came was around 20kmph. It was the time where I Had no one but my willpower to get going towards my destination and overcome my fear. I decided to sing songs and the first song was haste kat Jaye yeh rate. cycle yuhi Chalte rate..dark ho ya cha he headwind 🤪. I was back on the saddle after the a10min break. All my 5layer jacket was in my bag that I was carrying on my back. I continued my journey and And after 8hours I saw myself as a finisher and this time it was something different that I was unaware of at the point of finishing. I was happy but still not happy because Garry was still yet to complete 600km. After an hour Gary and Pushkar also completed the 600. and now the time has come to celebrate my and Gary’s maiden SR and Pushkar(or limitless ) our buoy who pushed us all the way also completed this journey. Those moments were the best moments of my life which I can’t describe in the words. Now it was not Ashish and Garry. we earned the title S.R. after completing 200kms(12hours), 300kms(18hours),400kms(26hours) and600kms in 37hours. An achievement that I completed even after so many challenges. 600kms brevet changed my mind and perspective towards life and the sense of self-achievement I got. This brevet was a fight between my body and my determination, ultimately my determination won this game.

title S.R. not only gave me the confidence of self-achievement but also changed my personal life. 
Thanks to Deepak sir Pushkar Gary Virat Prasun aakanksha Atul rishi Himanshu amit sam. badger sir.

and the person who always remained behind the scenes and supported me like anything was my superman Digvijay & Yatin who take care of me and bike.

Things I learned in this journey are

• Cycling gives you patience in this fast-moving world.
• cycling is not my sport nor a hobby its give me my me time. 
• I can and I will
• there is always downhill after the uphill, in other words, there is a rainbow after the rain falls
• helps in making better decisions 
• if you are going through hell, keep going is the only way to get out of it.
• makes you a better leader.
And in the last but the least it’s a beautiful world out there. Get out and discover

S.R. gave me 2 more brothers Pushkar Kumar Shrivastva Gareema Shankar😍🥰 love you guys!!