The silence of the morning was broken only by the chirping of the birds and the buzz of our wheels.
The misty morning breeze was sending chills down the spine as we descended but felt like a soothing embrace of a loved one as we climbed.
The sun shone on the hilltops making them look even more majestic in the morning splendor as we rode on alongside the gushing streams.
Call me a hopeless romantic, but, this is cycling heaven!
The 7th edition of Tour of Karnataka kicked off today from the coffee town of Chikmagalur. The first day had us ride towards Shimoga, on the banks of Tunga river.
The weather was fantastic in sharp contrast to the last three weeks of incessant rains. We started from Hotel Adrika in Chikmagalur at 6:30am. Our excitement got us ignoring the slight chill in the air as we rode through the sleepy town that was just about waking up.
Once we got out of the town, the silence of the morning was broken only by the chirping of the birds and the buzz of our wheels. The misty morning breeze was sending chills down the spine as we descended but felt like soothing embrace of a loved one as we climbed. The sun shone on the hilltops making them look even more majestic in the morning splendor as we rode on alongside the gushing streams.
I was riding with Shankar TV, Skandhan, Ramesh, Satish Addanki among others reflecting on the memories of how we met for the first time during Tour of Nilgiris in 2012 which was the first TFN for many of them.
This is the first time I’m riding Tour of Karnataka while many of them have ridden many editions. Before we knew it, we reached the breakfast spot at 24km mark at Honeydew resort. After a nice breakfast of Pongal and Kesari bath, we started again.
As we rode on, the ultra endurance engine of Satish Addanki warmed up enough to leave everyone behind and kept chugging on. Uphill or downhill, he kept a steady pace. I attached myself to his wheel as I took in the scenery.
Satish has ridden many 1000+km rides with the longest ride he has done being a 2020km ride called ISAN2020 last year. The farthest he has ridden in 24 hours is 500km. He probably would complete the 480km that we have for this edition of ToK in a day if it were not this rolling.
After a quick refuel break with Bisibele bath and Masuranna at 68km mark arranged in a local school by the organizers, we started riding towards Shimoga via the Badra reservoir.
As we rode on, the discussion turned towards weight management. Satish managed to lose 45kgs in the 4 years from 2013 to 2017, bringing it down to 85kgs from a staggering 130kgs. But, he says that it plateaued there and would not budge from there in the last 5 years, no matter what he tried. We discussed some strategies that might work as we rode on.
We reached Shimoga by 11:30 am and by that time the sun was bearing down on us. It was great to get out of the sun and freshen up at Royal Orchid where we are put up for the day.
Celebrating Anniversery in Style!
Ram started cycling in 2015 and took part in ToK first back in 2016. When they got married, Kritika started riding and she joined him on ToK. Out of 5, they celebrated 3 of their anniversaries on the Tour riding together.
They both work in IT and mostly ride in the weekends while trying to stay active with weight training etc on most days. They tend to be more regular with riding when they are preparing for ToK and look forward to it every year, celebrating their anniversary in style on the saddle.
According to them, it is a blissful way to spend the this special time together, riding in the beautiful routes in amazing company. I completely agree. Happy anniversary, Ram and Kritika! Hope you continue the tradition riding for many happy years making amazing memories along the way!
Shimoga special: Sri Meenakshi Bhavan
We were told that when in Shimoga we needed to visit Sri Meenakshi Bhavan for Masala Dosa. We did and it did not disappoint. The place was just 1.3km from Royal Orchid where we are staying for the night. So, we just walked there to belt a few dosas, mandakki usili, coffee etc.
Tomorrow, we ride from Shimoga to Udupi. It is going to be the longest ride for the tour at 148km. We go almost to the sea level although there is quite a bit of beautiful rolling terrain along the way.