200 KM KRISHNAGIRI BREVET
Time Allotted – 13 hours
Distance – 200km
A 200km ride marks the beginning of the journey of an endurance rider. Randonneuring is an extremely popular sport in India with Brevets in multiple cities across the country running well-organized events with 200km, 300km, 400km, 600km & even 1000km rides allowing riders to push their physical abilities and enjoy the sport of long distance cycling.
41 Bravehearts arrived at the start point (Konark, Kanteerva Stadium) to conquer the 200km Krishnagiri brevet organized by Bangalore Randonneurs this weekend in Bangalore. The organizing team lead by Alok and Lokesh Jain were distributing brevet cards and ensuring riders were sorted out – working lights, reflective vests, and bike checks. I could see many riders having butterflies in their stomach as many were first timers, excited yet tensed about the upcoming ride. Although it was the crack of dawn, the chatter was about how to pace the 200kms, average speeds to maintain and how to tackle the cold. Elite seasoned riders were assisting the first-timers by sharing tips on correct tire pressures, nutrition and hydration on these longer riders, how to handle sleep & cold and about finding correct ride partners. All super important in the journey of becoming an endurance cyclist.
Some of the experienced riders were busy discussing how to beat their previous best time to complete a 200km, and some were gunning to quickly attempt the 200km brevet and reach home to take their families out on Sunday else get busted by the wife and kids for the amount of time spent on their bikes. Jokes apart, from experience I have seen that most riders do have the strength to complete the 200km well in time, and then spend time with the family. Clearly shows that endurance riding is not just about the body but it’s also a lot to do with your MIND! The body can give up but the mind can fuel it along.
The general sense of camaraderie is visible at any brevet! I saw a kid, a first timer, with his bib printed on a big laminated sheet of paper and was struggling to fix it on his bike as his dad, mom and sister all looked on with tensed faces. A seasoned brevet rider jumped in to sort him out with ease. And that’s the beauty of riding brevets – although these are self-supported rides, it never really is as riders end up working together, helping each other out (fixing a flat, nutrition, etc) to ensure your group finishes together.
The pressure of setting off a brevet can make anyone, elite riders included, a bit nervous! Chintan, one of our riders and an experienced one at that, forgot his reflective vest and had to rush to our store to quickly buy one and get back to the start point. No reflective vest means no ride. The 200km brevet also witnessed 4 woman riders – Shilpi, an experienced rider, and other 3 first timers. It’s great to see to see more women riders taking part in these longer cycling events.
I was there giving tips to the riders as I had completed the route before. Krishnagiri route is mostly downhill but the return to Bangalore is challenging. My advice to riders was to cover the first 100km in as less time as possible so that they could ride the last 100km with plenty of time to spare. Shoolagiri still gives me nightmares for the blunders I did during my 600km brevet. I advised riders to just ride on the left, to take a quick power nap if sleepy and to be wary of trucks. I hope this helps the riders.
The brevet flagged off sharp at 5.30AM and riders took off with a determination to complete it in time.
Let’s hope all 41 make it to the finish time as their love will be there to welcome them.
GREAT. HOW DO I GET INTO THE SPORT OF RANDONNEURING?
We have multiple organization in the country which organizes Randonneuring events. Follow and signup for a ride! We also run 50km rides every Sunday and longer 100km rides once a month to help riders kick off their journey into the wonderful sport of endurance cycling.
- Bangalore Randonneurs – Facebook and Official Page
- Bangalore Brevets
- Audax India Randonneurs – their official page which lists all the AIR affiliated clubs across India
- BUMSONTHESADDLE Events Page – Facebook and Official Events Page to signup for our 50km/100km rides
SO WHAT WAS I DOING THERE WHEN I DID NOT RIDE?
I was along with my colleague Debjyothi aka DJ, rolling out the BUMSONTHESADDLE Start Line Support initiative at the brevet.
WHAT IS START LINE SUPPORT ALL ABOUT?
The Start Line Support is an initiative to provide kick-ass technical support to race and brevet participants to ensure they ride safely while pushing themselves at the event. We rock up at the start of events and see how we can support riders before they kick off their ride – quick bike checks, tire pressure, fine-tuning of gears, last moment puncture fixes, tips on finishing the event successfully etc.
WHY DO WE RUN THE START LINE SUPPORT?
Waking up at the crack of dawn, ensuring we have our tools and rocking up at an event even before riders reach sounds a bit nutty! We don’t think so. For us, this is not a job but something we’re passionate about. It’s who we are. We love riding our bikes and sharing this passion with others and supporting them in their cycling journey is what it’s all about at BUMSONTHESADDLE.
The Start Line Support initiative gives us a fantastic opportunity to assist riders as they kick off a race or a brevet!
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
While I am a recent cycling convert, I am a die-hard one for life! I love the Specialized brand and have a beautiful Specialized tattoo on my left leg. I’ve completed some of the toughest and most scenic off-road trails in the country – Manali Leh and Spiti Valley – on my Specialized Rockhopper and also completed the Super Randonneur series as soon as I got my Specialized Tarmac. My focus is road riding and to ultimately qualify for the Race Across America.
I am a Bike Specialist at BUMSONTHESADDLE – ensuring riders have access to correct product, assisting them with fit and sizing and leading road rides and spreading my passion for Road Biking.
DISCIPLINE: Road Biking
CURRENT BIKE(S): Specialized Tarmac and Specialized Rockhopper
DREAM BIKE: S-WORKS Tarmac
OTHER PASSIONS: Football – fan of Manchester United, Bike Packing and Travelling and exploring new places with my girlfriend