Bicycle Ride to Pondicherry and back in a day

As preparation for GOH, I wanted to test my ability to do long rides as I haven’t done much rides in January-2022. Started from home at 5:00 am in the morning, as planned and joined Ramesh at echangadu and naazia at santhosapuram. It was a speed ride from the beginning. There was not much traffic in the GST road and the weather was also favouring us till the first three hours duration. We had breakfast at 70 km mark and then proceeded towards Tindivanam which is at 112 km from my home. I wanted to test the use of carborance powder and its suitability for me. Somehow I left it in my table before starting from home. I did not have protein bars in stock. The way we were riding I knew I will soon run out of nutrition.

First big mistake in the ride

Another grave mistake was carrying only one water bottle for such a speed and long ride. Taking too many breaks will spoil the rhythm. I had my first sip of water only at the breakfast point, The punishment was handed over to me during the return ride. I am used to riding 100 km without water. But after 100 km I replenish myself with plenty of water. That’s my usual routine. So for short rand speed rides hydration was not a problem at all for me. This is not the case for long rides like this one. We took a break at 125 km at Pondicherry- Tindivanam bypass road. Surprisingly this break was requested by Ramesh who does fasting regularly. I had sarbath while Ramesh and Naazia had sathukudi juice and all three of us had lemon juice also.

Reaching Pondicherry

We reached Pondicherry in around little more than 6 hours covering a distance of 150 km, including a break of 45 minutes. As we reached around 11 AM in the morning, many of the shops were not fully functioning and food was not ready. We took another juice break and filled our water bottles with lemon juice and decided to proceed towards Marakkanam in the East Coast Road.

Second mistake at Lunch break

Marakanam is 30 km from Pondicherry. ECR welcomed us with medium headwinds. It took an hour long drive to reach Hotel vasantha bhavan at marakkanam. We have rode 180 km by now. Its 1 PM and the sun god showered with his blessings. I have been to the hotel in 2020, again a test drive prior to 600 BRM. Ramesh and Naazia ordered curd rice and I had sambar rice. Had elaneer payasam as well. It is a tasty drink – keer type mixed with coconut water and milk. The food was not sufficient for me. I should have gone for meals instead. Preffering sambar rice over meals was a grave mistake on my part. I cannot ride fast without proper nutrition, for that matter anyone. Since I did not carry any protein bars, it slowed down me heavily.

Ride thru ECR

I started getting mild cramps because of improper hydration during my first half of the ride. And now coupled with shortage of nutrition, I was struggling to ride with my co-riders. Either I was too fast or too slow. This is because I am applying uneven power although I am maintaining my cadence. I should have left them and gone ahead or should have slowed down and rode at a comfortable cadence. If I use gear 5, then I have to increase my cadence and if use gear 6, I have to decrease my cadence. My coriders were riding at such a pace , I badly needed a 5.5 gear. Had there been no cramps I would have managed to their pace in any of the gears, either 5 or 6. We stopped for a coconut water break.

Coffee drops- pudhupakkam. This is another place where I take break whenever I cross this point. At around 220 km, had a break. All three of us were down by now. We had bread omlette, banana cakes, honey cake, apple juice etc., and then resumed our ride. Once we reached poonjeri, Ramesh wanted to speed ride till kovalam. I was totally down. So I suggested him to go for speed ride and wait at galaxy. We rode slowly and reached galaxy. None of us wanted to take a break. So we all went home. Me and naazia didn’t even bother to complete the 300 km ride. Ramesh did the extra 5 km loop and completing 300 km.

The third mistake

I was wearing a misfit padded ants. The real culprit was not hydration or nutrition but the padded shorts I wore. Due to my body shape, the cloth did not fit me properly and I had to adjust and sit frequently wherever the pads have moved and positioned. Although I knew this padded pant is not fitting me properly, I was not having any problem in short rides. I wanted to test It for long rides before the ultimate test at GOH.

Conclusions from yesterdays ride

  1. Need a food break every 2 hours in a fiery speed ride. To avoid the break I must carry sufficient food to eat on the way. I don’t prefer energy gels as I have tried it earlier and was not very much satisfying my hunger.
  2. Have to wear a comfortable fitting padded wear
  3. Must hydrate even when not thirsty.

https://www.strava.com/activities/6614640947/overview

cadence graph

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