Bye To The Bull for 2011 – With Baba Velo & The Usual Suspects

Baba Velo’s prediction just before the climb started was that I would get a PB today. I was not sure of that considering hanging on to those wheels to get there was a lot of work. But then how could his prediction go wrong? The Bulldog managed a 31:20 a good 35 secs shaved off from its previous best effort. Thanks to Arvind for being the carrot this time. 

Baba Velo, Ameet, Avind, Siva, Deepak, Mark H and Arvind.. On Siva’s road just after Budigere after which the massacre started 🙂

There was a very good turnout at Siva’s road by 6:30am. Baba Velo, Mark H, Deepak, Arvind, Ameet, Siva, Gaurav, VijayC and Chaitresh were there. Gaurav was riding after more than 6 weeks off the saddle and Siva was riding on antibiotics with a plastered jaw (His warrior avatar!). 

It was to be the last big ride before the big tour. Nandi and back was the plan. I was sure it was going to be more painful than yesterday’s ride and was mentally prepared to just try and hang in there. 

We slowly warmed up and formed a paceline. It didn’t take much time for the guys to warm up and the pace picked up. Rajesh, Arvind, Garav and Ameet took turns pulling with most of the work being done by Raj and Arvind. It was a massacre and people kept being dropped on the inclines. Gaps began to appear. Raj was trying to control the pace for the guys to get back on the train. That was not enough. 

At the end of Siva’s regrouping and waiting for Siva to arrive..

By this time, Arvind and Raj were taking turns to dish out the pain and we got to the end of Siva’s road in no time. Stopped there for a while to regroup. It was a welcome breather. From there the pace was more sane as the guys decided to take it easy. It was only with that saner pace that could I dare to come in front of the group. 

Baba Velo, Arvind, Deepak, Gaurav, Ameet, Mark and Chaitresh.. Sorry Siva you got dropped off the frame 😉

As we were approaching the base, Raj remarked that he had a feeling that I might get my PB today. I was not sure of that but as we got to the base, Raj and Arvind were together and I was behind them with Mark and Gaurav behind me. The rest of the guys were on their way as well. As we started climbing, Raj disappeared in no time. No big surprises there. Arvind was a few meters ahead of me and as it turned out he became my carrot. I could keep him in sight for the first 5km or so before he disappeared. Mark slowly caught up with me in the last km and went past me with ease. I slowly made my way up and hit the lap button to see 31:20 which is a good 35 secs cut from my previous effort. 

But I was a bit disappointed as I was really hoping to see a 30:xx in there even if it meant 30:59. I guess the Bulldog will have to retire from Nandi climbs without ever touching the 30min mark. I’m not really complaining considering that it is about 14 mins shaved off my first attempt with a similar Avg HR of 173.

Hari and Vicki were already there at the top of Nandi and Hari was taking pictures as we were climbing. Baba Velo was chilling chatting with Arvind and Vicki and Mark. Gaurav apparently turned back from midway through the climb as he was not feeling well. Ameet sprinted up the last bend and finished strong followed by Deepak, Chaitresh and then Siva after a while. Arvind completed the climb with a 29:58, an awesome effort considering the amount of work he did on way to the base.

Baba Velo, Vicki, Hari, Arvind, Siva, Mark, Chaitresh, Ameet and Deepak.. At the top of Nandi.. What a ride it was!

It was a treat to watch all the guys at the top of Nandi. After a couple of quick snaps, we have decided to roll to the base for coffee before we start on the ride back. Saw Vijay climbing as we were descending. Met, Meera, Shruthi and Sameer at the base having coffee. We had ours and started on our way back. 

We were slowly warming up again before Hari and Vicki decided that they had enough of warming up and decided to drop the hammer. Raj, Arvind and a couple of others were quick to respond to that while I struggled to bridge the gap. The guys lost a lot of us again on the golf club incline on Nandi road. It was again a struggle to bridge that gap. I worked with Mark and we barely managed to make it in a few seconds behind them when they stopped at Bellari road junction. 

Everyone regrouped there while Hari and Vicki rode on towards their parking spot. The rest of us started riding back via Devanahalli on to Siva’s road. Again the guys shared the work at the front with Raj doing a good share of the pulling. As we got to Budigere we had to stop for a minute to attend to Arvind’s cramping legs. 

With 10km left to the end of the ride, Raj slowly came charging forward and as we got onto the last incline 6km to the end, he charged ahead leaving everyone behind. Ameet and I followed him and I managed to somehow attach myself to the Dogma’s wheel. I hanged onto my dear life as he was charging like crazy in some really strong headwinds. It was a treat to watch him ride like that. Thanks for the fantastic pull, Raj! 

One by one the guys made it to the end point and I thanked them for the fantastic ride before heading homewards. It was one hell of a ride and what a way to finish the last big ride before TFN. It was a ride that I would cherish for a long time. 

Thank you guys for the great ride. It was smokin…!! 😀

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