There are all sorts of clubs and groups in Bangalore, we just need to find the ones that suits and pay close attention to recommendations on social sites like facebook. Thats how I got to know about Cadence90. I haven't been inside their bike shop yet, but gotta be good from what I hear. They conduct workshops too, hoping to attend it next time.
My primary interest has been in the morning rides they conduct, most/all weekend mornings, starting from the bike shop in Jayanagar. I have been in Bangalore more than six years, but I hardly know road routes, except around Indiranagar. After I got B'Twin my-bike (a 7-gear cycle suited for city roads) more than a month back, I am learning a bit about routes as well as traffic rules.
The ride starts at 6 AM. So, I did a recce on Wednesday morning (another perk of being jobless :P) Took around 85 minutes for about 26 km round trip. Despite noting route on Google maps, I missed a left turn near Lalbagh. An auto-wala and an elderly man on morning walk helped me out.
And so, today, I finally rode with bunch of cycle enthusiasts. I left around 5:10 AM from my place - thankfully the dogs didn't bark at me. But the bad news was some miscreant had scratched my odometer (yeah, they exist for bicycles too) and changed gears. I don't think people abuse motorcycles or cars as badly as a decorated geared cycle.
With two missed turns near the bike shop, I reached a minute before 5:50AM. No one was around, the shop closed. I stopped to check time, frail violet rays shining in front from my little safety light. Two workers carrying sugarcane on their bicycle went past in other direction, speaking something about my light.
I went ahead to street's corner and stopped. Shop nearby wasn't ready yet to serve me tea/coffee. About 5 minutes later, saw people reaching Cadence, not on cycle though. On reaching, Chethan (owner of Cadence) greeted me. Slowly, others reached and we started about 10 minutes past 6 AM.
Knowing Mahendra and Kranti from Waynad ride eased uncertainties and soon I felt at home speaking with others. We were 7 (Mahendra, Kranti, myself, Pathanjali, Dipankar, Sowmya, Archana) to start with, 3 others (Ramesh, two more I didn't get to know) joined shortly after we started. I learnt today that I was wearing helmet wrongly - Dipankar and Ramesh helped to fit it better, a bit tight for my liking though. It was a jolly ride. Seeing hi-fi thin tire bikes, I thought I would be pressed hard to keep up to them, but pace was even around 25 kph on mostly flat city road.
Traffic was light, even after we hit Bannerghatta road (bumpy ride for some distance though). There were small ascent now and then but I continued without changing gears for whole ride. Passing Forum mall, we reached Sony World signal on 100 feet road at 6:40 PM, 10 minutes later than promised to Abhimanyu. We frequently spotted other cyclists too.
|At Sony World signal, Koramangla (Picture credit: Mahendra)|
After a break of 10 minutes and group photo, we continued on inner ring road and took left to join old airport road. Pace was still steady that I enjoyed some hands free minutes and chatted with others. Water on road near Command Hospital sprayed our backs dirty.
Another break at start of Trinity Church road to allow others to catch up. I was in good shape, but decided to leave the group at Trinity circle - didn't want to push my body too much, it was supposed to be rest day today in my running schedule.
In total, I did about 30 km in more than 2 hours (atleast 25-30 minutes being breaks). A pleasure ride, thanks to Cadence90. Looking forward to more in future :)