Tour of Nilgiris 2019: Day 2: Temple Hopping from Hassan to Chikkamagalur!

Hassan to Chikkamagalur Temple Hopping!

After a good night’s rest in hotel Ashhok in Hassan, it was time for us to head to the coffee lands of Chikkamagalur!

The distance for the day is just short of a 100 with a couple of historic temples in the route that were built during the rule of Hoysala Kings in the region.

We first headed towards Helebidu (Dwarasamudra) which was the capital of Hoysala kingdom. It is home for Hoysaleswara Temple built around 1100 CE. The temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture with fine exquisite carvings made out of stone. The entire temple is a collection of some amazing stone craft that just blows the minds with it’s detailing and beauty!

The Push up challenge!

KKR and Manigandan started the challenge of push-ups at every support station sitting the tour with the objective of completing 500 push-ups by the end of the tour. A few riders like Anil Chawla also joined him in the challenge.

Anand Kapoor however wanted to add more of a challenge to KKR and added just about a 100kgs on his back by sitting on him during the push-ups. It’s a wonder that KKR didn’t have to be rushed into spine surgery and managed to ride for the rest of the day!

A rider friend from Chikkamagalur, Javed Parvez, came to meet us on the ride!

Race Action: Conversation with the Sufferfest Gods!

After the fun and games at the support station and the visit to the lovely temple of Hoysaleswara, we headed to the start of the race segment for the day just 1km away from there.

The race segment for the day was a 10km stretch on a slightly rolling terrain between the Hoysaleswara Temple and the Sri Veeranarayana Swamy temple in Belavadi!

A few of us did some warm up efforts before we started to get the heart and the legs ready for the race effort. Once the race was flagged off, I managed to put in a decent effort for most of the way. I lost a bit of rhythm at around 7km mark where we had to take a sharp left turn, but managed to get back into it giving everything I had until I crossed the line.

Right after the finish line was the Veeranarayana Swamy temple and we decided to visit it as well.

So, in between visiting the two temples, we had an interesting conversation with the Gods pleading for mercy while suffering at 190bpm!

A Marvel of Craftsmanship!

Sri Veeranarayana Swamy temple was another marvel of stunning craftsmanship in stone. We were blown away by the intricate detailing in every inch of the temple structure.

We took the opportunity to pose in front of the temple for a group picture. Memories to be cherished and forever be digitized!

After the memorable visits to the temple, we started heading towards SS3 where the boys went at it for another round of push-ups.

This time no extra weight was provided by Anand!

Lunch and Hirekolale:

After the push-ups and refilling the bottles, we headed towards our lunch stop in Chikkamagalur. It was arranged in a small traditional marriage hall next to, yes you guessed it, a temple.

By then we were starving and quite enjoyed the freshly cooked meal.

Although we were already in Chikkamagalur and were just about 3km away from our stay in Hotel Adrika, the official route took us though the city traffic and right outside it towards Hirekolale lake.

The amazing views at the lake made ride through the Chikkamagalur traffic was totally worth it! From there, we could see the Mulayangiri peak on the background with the contract of the clear blue skies!

After spending time there taking in the views and clicking a ton of pictures, we headed back into Chikkamagalur for the final stretch to reach the hotel.

My Garmin showed 99.5km when I stopped at the hotel and forced me to make a few rounds around the hotel to round it off to 100. Mani’s Garmin however, showed 96km and he went out to round it off to a 100! These cyclists, I say!

The Mother And Daughter Duo!

Ekta Aggarwal and Khushboo Aggarwal from Hyderabad are taking part in this year’s TFN. Ekta had been riding cycles on and off for about 6 years but had been more consistent in the last 3 years. It is fair to say she had an influence on her daughter, Khushboo Aggarwal.

Khushboo decided to pick up a bike about 2 years ago and start her cycling by joining a Strava challenge called Festive 500, which requires one to ride 500km in 8 days. Perhaps not the best advised way to start cycling but with the support of her loving mom, she survived to tell the tale and to keep riding in the last two years. The biotechnology graduation student is even adept at fixing bicycles, having worked as an intern at a bike shop called The Bike Affair in Hyderabad, for almost an year.

Results:

In Women’s Category Avanti Biniwale took the win for the day followed by Dhanashri Bapat. The young girl from Hyderabad, Khushboo Aggarwal finished 3rd on the day.

In Under 45 category, the top 2 remained the same as day 1 but I managed to finish 3rd. Kshitij put in an impressive ride again to finish 4th on the day. He’s snapping at the heals of Mani and me.

In 45 and above, Tarun took another win today with Murali Ramakrishnan finishing 2nd. Wheelsports Venky took 3rd on the day with an impressive ride.

GC more or less remained the same as day 1 in all the categories except in Under 45 category where I moved into 3rd position pushing my trainee, Mani into 4th position. However, Mani now has a bigger threat from Kshitij who’s just 3 seconds behind him overall.

Watch the days video here:

What’s ahead!

With today, the easy days on this edition of TFN are over, I think. Tomorrow we ride to Kushalnagara. It’s a 140km ride with a 10km competitive segment on rolling terrain. With the constant rolling nature of the course, it’s going to be a long but most beautiful ride.

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