A Ride to Remember…
A week back I came across an event being organized by Decathlon India (Yelankha) which read “All women Cycling” from Allasandra Lake, Yelankha to Nrityagram on 24–02–2018. Being able to participate has a long story. It was not as simple as registering and reaching the starting point. Instead, it was about doing something which was not done before. Which was to follow up with the organisers so that they arrange for the cycles. Before going to the event. Change from an almost “No” from them regarding arranging cycles to a “Yes” reminded me of something that was mentioned in the book The Last Lecture. “All you have to do is Ask”. I did just that.
Long story short. Finally, the day had come. As always, in my head, I was thinking Post had not mentioned the distance to be cycled. Will I be able to make it? Zero fitness level. Can I? From my place to Yelankha(starting point) is in itself around 22kms. Should I go for it? Or leave I should maybe sleep again.
When the inspiration is so strong. Come what may go for it(was the thing I said to myself). 6:30 am I had left my place alone clueless about what the journey holds. After an hour I was at the venue. For my first cycling experience.
10 other girls, 1 organizer and his team which included 3 more people. All enthusiastic and geared up we started off. Allasandra Lake to Nrityagram
was an amazing route. There we were on the main road amidst the traffic
for a while, then it was all beautiful village roads. Which were narrow. It was not a straight plain road to ride on. Instead, it included the ups and the downs. During all the downward slopes you end up not paddling anymore.
Many times I did “Yes, yay”. Enjoyed the cold breeze, good Bangalore weather.
We reached our destination Nrityagram. Nrityagram as the name sounds is an Odissi Dance Gurukul. A very well maintained place which offers Odissi Dance training for 6 years, monthly workshops, weekend workshops, outreach programs for village students. A fully residential place where I
saw the guru’s, the students. Was fortunate to see the group practicing in there class. The grace, the expression left me speechless. All I did was “Wow”.
Here you go! I saw people who were completely involved in doing something different than the mainstream.
At the same place, we had our breakfast. After a while, we were on our way back to Allasandra Lake. This was testing of mind, body in a true sense. All the downward slopes which were fun then have to be ascended now. Energy levels had gone down. We started off. Everyone was alright before the upward slope came. At this very moment, I realized this is not going to be easy. Just for one paddle stroke, full power had to be used. Pressure on calf muscles, pain in thighs. For a while, it seemed my body has given up. When you get rid of mental barriers is the time you are optimistic about reaching the finish line.
Some of the fellow cyclists got down from the bicycle, instead of cycling, they were much comfortable covering the upward slope by walking along with cycle. There I was behind them going through probably the same pain. Unable to ride. Even to move cycle a bit I had to give it my all. At the very moment made it clear to myself. “However slow I cycle, I am not going to step down from the cycle. You don’t have to give up.” The ones who chose to walk over cycling were much ahead of me. But, then I had not come here for a race. There was a different purpose to it. Childhood story of a Rabbit and Tortoise made perfect sense in this situation. I was the Tortoise. With only one thing going on in the head. “No matter what how slow you go. Don’t get off the cycle.”
I was probably the last one to reach the finish line. Was happy about the fact I did not get off the cycle. On the way talked with the organisers, met new people, random conversations. After crossing the upward slope I thought now that this is done. We could comfortably finish it. Little did I knew that the last lap would be one of the toughest as well. Even on plains lot of pressure had to be applied, legs paining. Organisers kept cheering up. Quitting was not an option when only last lap was left.
And finally, the tortoise had reached the finish line. There I was feeling happy about what I just did. It was not easy. To be precise 46km was the complete journey. It’s done.
Was it worth it? “Oh! Yes ❤”
No matter what take that much needed first step…..