Great Malnad Challenge 2019- Day 3: Mudigere to Kalasa!

Meditative in Mudigere!

Our stay in Mudigere was in a homestay that was situated in a valley surrounded by hills all around. We had zero network coverage and realized how easy it is to put the phones aside when hundreds of notifications are not bombarding us all the time vying for our attention. Apart from peacock and other bird sounds well into the night, we could hear the villagers using crackers to keep the wild elephants from entering the villages. We woke up to a brilliant sunrise out of the mist in the hills and started getting ready for our ride towards Kalasa!

Race to the Home of God aka Devaramane!

The ride to Kalasa started off with a 9km competitive segment up to a village called Devaramane. Devaramane is situated on top of a hill. In Kannada, the local language here, ‘Devara’ means God while ‘mane’ means home.

Race segment right at the start is a challenge without proper warm up. Some of us did a small spin to warm up before starting the timed section. The initial 4km is a rolling terrain followed by a steep uphill section.

The uphill portion turned out to be another lung and leg buster. All sorts of curses came out as I made my way up the climb sweating bucket loads. Don’t know about it reaching the home of God, it certainly felt like I could go directly to God if the climb continued any further. Thankfully, the segment ended on a downhill section where we could sprint and pose for the camera. Only, the photographer positioned himself at the steepest portion of the climb capturing our ugly pain faces!

Post Race Fun! Amazing views!

There was a view point near the end of the race section that we could hike up to. Some of us hiked up while some of us rode our bikes up the hill on the hiking routes. The views from the top were spectacular to say the least and clear blue skies just added to the splendor!

After enjoying the views and taking tons of pictures, we started riding again. We rode past Balur Estate where last year I spent a weekend riding on its trails along with KKR. It brought back memories of some excellent trail riding in the area. On the menu today was a ride through a tea estate near Kelagur where apparently some legendary films were picturized.

Filmy Twists!

As we approached Kelagur, I noticed my rear tire going soft. It was a slow leak puncture. Thankfully, like yesterday, Yuvaraj was at have to offer me his pump. Since it was a slow leak and we just had about 12-14km to reach the lunch point, we decided to pump up the tire and continue riding so that we can fix the puncture at the lunch stop. We had to ride through the Filmy estate to reach the lunch spot.

However, once we got to the estate entrance we encountered a road block. We thought someone mistakenly parked those water tankers there and just took our bikes past them and started riding.

After a lovely ride through the estate, we were stopped by an authoritative bloke who is apparently the estate manager. He refused to let us pass through saying we didn’t have permission to ride through the private estate. Apparently, the manager who gave the permission to the organizers was not available on the day and it wasn’t communicated to the one that was there.

We requested that he let me and Yuvaraj through, as I had a flat and need to get through quickly. He let both of us through while others waited to sort the issue out. Apparently, the remaining guys had to take a u-turn and make their way to the main road.

The remaining ride through the estate turned out to be a completely rocky and muddy downhill. I was having a blast going downhill on those rocks forgetting all about the slow leak puncture I had. I was quickly reminded of that when the rear tire hit a rock resulting in a snakebite puncture. It was no longer a slow leak as life went out of it at one go!

Yuvaraj, who was turning out to be my personal support staff and gaurdian angel, gave me a spare tube and helped me get back riding again. We quickly made out of the estate and reached the lunch spot.

After a superb lunch, I joined KKR and made it to Kalasa riding steadily on his wheel for the last 25km.

Once we got back to the hotel in Kalasa, the trailblazers, Yuvaraj and Kishore helped turn my rear tire back to tubeless by plugging the tire and filling sealant. Fingers crossed for an incident free ride in the remaining four days. 🤞🏼 Thanks, guys!

Here is a small video of day 3!

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