A short ride on the express highway toward Shamshabad Airport

Waking up early is a pain for many. It’s no different for me. But when you have a father like mine, you kind of get used to it. Throughout our childhood, he never let us sleep after 6am. I am thankful to him for that. That’s another story.

The alarm rang bang on 4:15am. I cursed myself for having timed it so early. “Hey you can wake up at 4:30 or even 5am and still manage to reach there by 5:30 man. You slept at 1am for heaven’s sake!!” My mind began to whine. The battle was waged for another 5 minutes and I managed to silence it. 🙂

Got ready and packed my panniers with a couple of water bottles, some dates, a few biscuits, puncture kit. It is the usual routine I follow when starting on a ride that spans more than an hour. Krish called at 5am and we both assured each other that each of us was on schedule to meet at Fresh@Kondapur by5:30.

I switched on the sports tracker on my phone and started off at 5:15am, reached the designated place right on time. Krish was there in his car speaking over phone to his friend from whom he has to pick up his bike. His friend Amit also has an exactly similar looking Firefox target and Krish is borrowing it for the ride as his Target needs some servicing. He’s back on a saddle after 4 months because his bike was not in riding condition after his multiday trip to coorg in Jan’09.

We started from his friends place and we did not have any fixed route that we wanted to try. We just wanted to ride as it’s been a while since we did a ride together and both of us are bachelors this week with the home ministers away and busy in their home town visits. We decided to try the express way towards Shamshabad Airport. The road is quite good being newly laid. Or should I say, it’s being newly laid. Most of it is still a work in progress in parts but it is being used extensively for a while now. As if to do justice to the expressway name, four wheelers are travelling at a million kmph. May be its not such a great route for cycling.

But we were not planning for a doing any great distance. Just for my satisfaction, I put my tail lamp in blinking mode and was hoping that it would offer some additional visibility to the speeding vehicles coming from behind. Was hoping may be then they’ll have enough reaction time to stay away from us rather than sending us flying into stratosphere.

Most of the route undulates and I felt that there is hardly any flat stretch. But it was fun none the less. We struck to the left side of the road most of the time and were not riding at any great pace. I was apprehensive about tiring out Krish as he was away from cycling for a while. But this guy doesn’t show any signs of tiresome. He was cycling serenely as if he was born on a bicycle.

We came across a couple of runners who were running in that route. They were obviously very fit and looked like they were preparing for a marathon or something. One of the guys had “Army” on his t-shirt. Don’t know if there is any army base around. I did not want to interrupt their rhythm by getting them to talk. It would have been interesting to know what they are up to though.

We cycled for around 15km and stopped a couple of times more to take a couple of snaps than anything. We decided to turn back so that we can get back at around 7 to get ready for office. By the time we reached back to the Gachibowli junction though we had more than 20mins left and decided to take a roundabout route of going to HCU to take the lane opposite it and reach Botanical gardens. The road was beautiful with multicolored flowers covering the roadside through the entire stretch. I could not resist taking pictures but did not want to stop as well. Tired to get my phone out of the pocket but the cover fell down during the process. I had to stop after all. If it were the phone that fell down instead of the cover, I would have never forgiven myself for screwing up my E71 (a gift from my dear brother. I am still a pampered kid you know!). I took the cell pouch from Krish who picked it up and started to click away the beautifully blooming flowers while riding slowly.

We stopped for a quick gulp of water and a couple of dates at Botanical gardens before went on our separate ways. Krish had to return the Target to his friend and take his car. I continued my ride homewards and reached home by 7:10am.

Here is the link for the rest of the pictures.

http://picasaweb.google.com/hivenkat.d/AShortRideOnTheExpressHighwayTowardShamshabadAirportOn061009?authkey=Gv1sRgCPaVwvTQ_K-SeA#
Total distance for me: 37km
Total time for me: 1hr 45mins
For Krish: 37-12km= 25km approx
Avg speed: 21kmph including all the photo stops and small breaks.

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