here is a first cut of the Centurion Ride …will improve on it, hopefully!

One important landmark in the life of a Cyclist is a 100km non stop ride. After rides of 50km, 67km, 74km….this was a logical barrier to attempt. My fears were the heat, the sweat (Chamois lining in the shorts are superb, but still the fear lurks!). Seat pain (5.5 hrs sitting even on a motorbike hurts!).

However increasing the seat height, and some change of posture meant there was no pain in…!

A couple of weeks ago on my Cyclist.In posting I had said…’Thursday attempting the 100km…any volunteers?’ Surinder Wadhwan (he is the ghost of the group – if he sees me online at 2am..he buzzes me..’chal ride pe’ !!). He came along and did about 20-30 km more than me.

So it was at 4.14 am that I sat on the saddle of the bike (Trek 3700, handles beautifully) and started the journey. Was simply going up and down on Palm Beach..when Surinder turned up.

Had already done about 17-18 km when Srivatsan (the big boss of Navi Mumbai Runners sent a message..thanks Vats).

SW (Surinder) did not have any strong view on the route..so I took him on the Uran route. It was not a good decision at all. Many very dark patches – so our speed fell dramatically. Could not see much of the road ahead, but since we knew it was a one lane traffic we sped. Having SW in front was good help, I was following his tail light. Then we turned back from a board which said Uran was 5km away. By the time we turned back daylight had broken out, and it was an easier ride at a better speed. We should have been now riding at 21k vs. 18k – completely because of the poor/ non existent street lights. The cyclometer said 48km..not bad I thought, and the time was about 7am. Surinder said, BAD..the best time without the sun was over. I quickly changed my glasses to dark ones (a must for cycling or running post 7.30am in Mumbai summer).

Then we hit the Panvel road..(road discovered by Vikram, urf Dr. Ghost, our routes director, acknowledged Google maps expert). What a relief! This road was about 2 degrees cooler – no traffic was the other bonus. This road from Croma to Panvel is about 23 km. We decided to do up and down on this road till the speedo said 96k…my house is about 4k away. So I did the first round..and found SW on his second round by the time I finished my first round.

The mind keeps playing games – I lost concentration for about 10-12 secs – maybe even dozed (do not do such rides alone, need a break and need people who will keep talking, commenting, and generally having fun). In a group again the advantage is – you are overtaking, waiting for somebody (I mean the others wait for me), and all this keeps the mind active. In riding alone you need amazing meditative skills to keep your mind alert. Riding even in a beautiful rode for 5.5 hours (not years!) is boring, and I now needed mind games.

So here I was talking to myself – creating sales scenarios, playing a white knight for friends in difficulty, explaining XBRL (extended business reporting language) to CAs, captains of industries, re writing my spiel…all while riding!

I passed a few exams which all accountants are expected to pass, trained to be a lawyer, became a broker and now do capital markets, and accounting training! None of these roles prepared me for 5-6 hours of being alone on the road..so it was a new learning!

My mind was telling me that I had to stop for some food..but obviously on this route there is no food joint. I found a pretty smart kela wala….he said ‘Minimum you have to buy 2′. I said fine…he said Rs. 5. I gave him a tenner..he said I only have Rs. 4’. Vow 25% margin boost. Next pricing discussion with clients should try such tricks.

Jokes apart I do not think I needed any food..but had the two bananas and set off. Placebo effect? Suddenly I felt more energetic and started peddaling at 23…at this stage the cyclo was saying 77km..this was good! Then did one more stop to wash down the kela..with sugarcane juice. Now the mind started saying ‘let us stop at 88..it is not a bad number’. This is when a goal helps – I told my mind, ‘Jab mein goal soch leta hoon..apne aap ki bhi nahi sunta!!’

I did a smart thing – I started moving in the opposite direction..I needed to reach Croma Belapur with the speedo saying 96 – or do some extra on the palm beach road. So when the speedo said 79 I was going AGAINST the Croma destination! then i reached Croma with the speedo at 92 instead of 96. did not have the energy to go on the palm beach road for a longer exit…did a chotta round on the PB itself..then watched the speedo at 97…then it did reach 101…by the time I hit the button on the lift.

PS: for all those people who keep wondering (but are too polite to ask): ‘Subra if you are doing cycling, running, swimming, etc…why are you still so fat?’

The answer is very simple. I finished the 100km (i guess it means about 2400 calories burnt) then went for a lunch to Chembur Gymkhana. Well joined the Gym but go only for the khana…and when my friend said will you have any dessert, I said of course. Had a nice big plate of Kulfi.

That was almost pardonable. The next meeting was at HYATT (BKC) met an old friend who said…’Ha ha 100km, today you can eat a nice big piece of Walnut laced pastry’. I said, but of course and washed it down with a Cold coffee. Modesty prevents me from saying it was cold coffee with ice-cream.

Calories burnt 2400. Calories consumed 4800. This is called compensatory eating. Even to a not great mathematical mind like mine this means my weight goes up, correct?

Well, well.

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  1. My heartiest congratulations.Very nice write up.I am planning/thinking of doing 100KM or 75KM run in coming Bangalore Ultra and after reading your blog and i wish to join one of group cycling with you some time.

  2. Amazing, the 21k marathon and now 100k cycling! Which is more difficult? My guess is 21k coz u went out for work and dinner after the 100k.

  3. Subra, fantastic write-up underplaying the effort required to do a 100 k ride. That’s a very notable achievement. Only one error, in the blog, u say riding for 5.5 years instead of… Now THAT is an ACHIEVEMENT unlikely to be broken 🙂 would love to join you sometime.

  4. Dear Subra!

    Congratulations on your first 100 Mark…Will pray to GOD that you have many such 100’s (incident free)…

    Take care!!!!!

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