After three continuous days of tough rides with 370 km and thousands of meters of elevation gain on the legs, we certainly were looking forward to the rest day today. Last night riders and volunteers spent unusually long time at the dinner tables just socializing. Later a lot of groups were formed in various rooms huddling around and having fun drinking. Discussions revolved around everything under the sun and nothing really of much consequence. Not having to worry about waking up early and getting ready for riding can be quite liberating at times, however much we love riding.
|The Rock Stars that are the TFN Support team having a well deserved break on rest day!|
A Well Deserved Break..
The Volunteers didn’t have to wake up at unearthly hours to go and paint the roads or get the support stations and timing stations setup before the riders get there. For once on the tour, they could let the hair down and party hard to get them recharged for the grueling remaining days of the tour.
|TFN Class of 2013|
We had the traditional rest day photo shoot of the riders and volunteers of TFN – 2013. All the various groups of riders that got together and have been riding together got their group snaps clicked to capture the memories from the tour and take them along with them.
|The fun filled Delhi gang.. Photo: Ashwin Bhatia|
After the fun photo shoot, all of us were free to pursue whatever plans we had for the day. Lots of wet bib shorts and jerseys were seen dried in the sun so that the riders can start smelling fresh again when they start riding from tomorrow. Many bikes received a lot of attention from their owners getting them ready for the remaining days of the tour.
|TFN 2013 Women Power!|
Explore And Live It Up..
Some of the riders like the Danish gang and the British contingent planned on taking the ghat section train trip too Coonoor. A lot of riders went on shopping into Ooty downtown, buying the famous chocolate, tea powder, spices and the like. A few riders just went out for peaceful walks around and enjoying local food.
|Part of the organizing team with blue and orange jersey riders!|
Vicki, Gautam, Bjorn and I joined the fun gang of Magender and his friends from Singapore for lunch at the Taj Savoy. It was great hearing about cycling in Singapore while relishing good food.
We ended the day with a couple of birthday cakes ending up on the faces of birthday boys Vivek Virghese, Francis Lobo and Sridhar Pabbisetty. The birthday bumps have been postponed to until after we reach Mysore though.
We all know riding days on TFN are superb but the rest days are always as much fun. They give our bodies and minds a chance to rejuvenate and get ready for the rest of the tour.
It is nice to relax and spend time making new friends and getting to know them better.
Happy Anniversary to the original TFN Love Birds!
It was on the rest day of TFN 2012 that Ashwin took to the knee to propose formally to Usha in front of all the TFNers. The love birds have since got married and have come back to ride the tour this year. This is their holiday together that allows them to spend time together while doing what they love most, i.e., cycling in some of the most brilliant terrain.
|TFN Couple of Class 2012-13|
The couple keep riding together and watching out for each other. They say that the tough time they had on Kalahatty on day two, where they struggled to keep going only made them mentally stronger and brought them emotionally closer. They were keeping each other company during the tough climb and distracting each other from thinking about the difficulty of the climb while they kept going to finally reach the top.
Usha has recently quit her 9-5 job and joined her husband in their training and consultancy business. The contagious energy of Ashwin seems to complement the serene strength of Usha making them a great couple.
Everyone from the Tour of Nilgiris wish our couple a great time ahead!
Day 5 is going to be a 100km ride to Kodanadu and back with a competitive segment of 8.5km climb with 282m elevation gain. The riders would be back to give their best having rested well. It will be interesting to see how the GC looks after this all important stage.
More photos here.
Day 1: Let The Fun Begin! Bangalore to Mysore
Day 2: The Legend of Kalahatty: Mysore to Ooty