The Bulldog Meets Nandi and Loses Teeth :)

There was a sonic boom and a black and yellow blur went by. KYNKYNY-Wheelsports team colors vaguely registered in the mind as I was startled out of my climbing Zen. The guys must have been rolling down at more than 70kmph down the Nandi descent riding as a bunch. Amazing riders. 

After I calmed myself from the sudden spike in heart rate watching them ride downhill like that, I was slowly making my way up Nandi and trying to keep Major in sight. We were late at the base by half an hour. So as we started to climb, lot of riders began to descend. Vicki was tucked in pro style and zoomed down followed by a few other riders like Dr. Arvind, Dr. Deepak, Dr. Shalini,(hmm.. too many doctors taking to cycling. eh? I wonder why!?) Saravanan, Shankar and Gaurav.

I kept a steady pace and went through the first 5km at a decent pace. As I approached the steeper section, Ameet Bhide and Priya were descending. Just then, I stood up on the pedal to get some momentum and I felt the crank slip under me and stopped after a couple of seconds. I thought the chain slipped but the bike seemed to move. So I started to push again and it slipped again. I thought the chain was slipping and falling back in place as the chain became quite loose. I didn’t want to risk it and just turned back and started descending.

Baba Velo with his disciples at Nandi base 😉

 At the base, a whole group of riders were huddled around Baba Velo (RNair) and were having a nice chat. I joined the happy lot and spend a few minutes chatting with them and Rajesh. What a guy! I found him to be always approachable and smiling. I have always been in awe with the way he rides, the kind of training he does and the way he shares whatever he’s learning with other cyclists through various fora. He was in town for a recce of the route for TFN, the tour he co-founded with Ravi Ranjan, and spent a few days riding with friends here after the recce. It was a pleasure riding with(err..behind) him on a couple of rides and spending some time with him. Btw., the grapevine has it that TFN is going to kick some ass this year with a very challenging and probably the toughest course yet, this year. 🙂

Saru and Shankar listening to Baba Velo attentively. Deepak Majipatil, Priya and Ameet Bhide in the background at Nandi base..

At the base, when I was examining the chain tension wondering what might have caused those slipping moments, Hari Menon pointed out a few missing teeth on the cog. As I kept spinning the pedal with the Bulldog lying down and as the cog spun, we were surprised to see many broken teeth on the cog. Perplexed, I decided to head home with my ride partners for the day, Major and Balu with Hari joining us. We said our goodbyes to Baba Velo and the rest of the guys and started riding back.
Balu who was recovering from a knee injury was on his first long ride since March this year. He chose to ride on Bellari road on the way back while Major and I went through Devanahalli and Siva’s road. It was a 140km ride for Balu and was one hell of a comeback ride. He ensured that he kept a high cadence right through as he didn’t want to do the same mistake that put him off the bike wrecking his knee a few months back.

Major Srinivas did a 250km ride to Yercaud with Ganapathy and reached home 11pm on Saturday night. I had to pickup my jaw from the floor when I came to know that he was still keen to join us for the ride to Nandi at 6am on Sunday. He had the energy to push Balu and me hard on the way to Nandi and climb Nandi in decent time too. Feels great to be riding with such amazing riders. 

My ride partners for the day. Major and Balu. Thanks a bunch for the great ride guys. :)

The cog held up pretty well on the ride back and I had no issues keeping a decent pace in the headwinds. Before everybody starts wondering how the hell did I manage to wreck the cog like that, here is my theory. The chain has had many miles on it over the last year and has stretched a bit. Over the last few months, I kept adjusting the chain tension every other week and at a few times ended up setting it a bit too tight. That must have been hard on the cog which has had an equally good number of miles on it, and the teeth finally broke off having had enough of my stupidity. The Bulldog needs a new drive train now and is currently doing fine running in the freewheel setup. 

The worn-out cog.. Only three teeth remain. I think the chain stretched a long time back with many miles on it. I kept adjusting the tension(making it tighter) and kept riding it. It took its toll on the cog.

A few more photos here:

Dist: 129km

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