The toughest brevet I have ever done and the most prepared one also, Thanks to the training at SL7-High altitude training centre. The brevet was organised by Madurai randonneurs and comprises of Climbing four hills viz ., Panrimalai, Kodaikanal, Bodimettu, Cumbamettu.
Previous day of ride: We reached Madurai 21 hours prior to ride and took proper rest. Had breakfast at a road side shop and lunch at the famous thalapakatti hotel at kalavasal along with our friends from hyderabad. Collected the brevet cards post lunch and had a sound sleep. In the evening we had a casual walk and talk and then had our dinner at another road side shop.
The event day
We arrived at 20 minutes prior to start time at the Flying Wheels Cycle Store and handed over our drop bags. The organisers have arranged for Wheat bread with peanut butter and boiled eggs. Everyone were munching and so does we. Ramesh palani was suffering from dysentry the previous day and still managed to join us for the ride. Hats off to his determination.
Flying Wheels Cycle Store (CP1)
The Ride start at 04am, we head towards sempatti and had our breakfast at around 55km. at 61.1km (Dharumathupatti) we took left to Aadalur. At 67.2km the Aadalur – pandrimalai Hill climb started. Upto this point naazia was ahead of me. I overtook her here. During earlier rides if I go past her, she will increase her pace and catch up. But now-a-days she is riding steadily at her own pace. It is a very good sign of maturity and a perfect self estimation of her capacity. I was riding alone the hard climb for 18km with the view of Kombai Dam, Amaidhi solai, Poduval Hills, Pandri Malai. The grades varied around 7% to 10%. But I was feeling fresh and confidant after putting so much of practice at ooty.
Pannaikadu pirivu(102.5 km)-CP2
The actual downhill started at 107.5km, The roads were narrow and in good condition to ride with less traffic. Numerous beautiful location were passing by. I was in dilemma whether to take pics or not. Out of temptation, I stopped at one location and took a pic of my cycle with the background. Reached Batlagundu and got call from Naazia. Within few minutes, she caught up with me. We had only Pongal again for lunch. This was a huge mistake on my part.
I simply followed my wahoo. Riding through the Mango farm tempeted to stop. But I didn’t.
There were steep gradients and I started getting light cramps. However managed to climb adukkam. Refreshments were provided at 3 places. One passerby wanted to take pics with us.
At 201.7km Silver falls, I stopped and took a pic. Then rode towards Kodaikanal Lake. Naazia was fast and reached half an hour before me and waiting at a restaurant. My wahoo stopped working at 164 km. However continued to record distance, cadence and power.
At 208 km reached kodai lake. It was a mandatory selfie point. Barely managed to smile. The downhill was fantastic. Simply followed Naazia til 281 km.
Indian Oil petrol pump CP3-295 km
Prashant sir was waiting with refreshments. From 281 to 295 it was speed ride with falcon riders led by Naazia. We reached 295 km at around 10. The volunteers were cheerful and provided refreshments. We were warned about miscreants and we passed through the Aandipatti Kanava at mid night. After the railway crossing had a coffee break and then proceeded without taking power nap.
Manithaneyam orphanage home, Kodangipatti CP4
The map provided was wrong and the information was shared in whatsapp group. However we got to know after calling Kutty muthukumar sir and located the place. Did had chappati with tomato kuruma and hasd a small power nap before leaving to bodimettu. We were climbing bodimettu hills at early morning. We were riding at our own pace. Some climbs I was ahead and at some place she was. Our water bottles were empty in the middle of the hill and we stopped for asking water. It was a small shop and got cakes and pepsi as well. Resumed our climb and reached tamilnadu-kerala border , took the mandatory selfies and then descended back to Kondangipatti. We had out breakfast and rode towards the final cimb.
The ride towards cumbum was the most difficult one infact. We were facing heavy head winds. Someone offered me grapes. Later came to know he was the PBP finisher in 2019. I munched grapes and rode behind Naazia in heavy headwinds. Had one water break and reached the cumbum climb. Prashant sir warned us to rush as we are getting late. We climbed the cumbumettu climb in 80 minutes. Thanks to the photographers who were constantly taking pics during the last phase of the climb till Mosha paara view point. It is a mandatory selfie point and at 464 km we have done with four climbs. It was 1:00 PM in the afternoon. With 7 hours to finish time and 136 kms left, we had our lunch at ariya vilas soon after the descent.
Aanamalais Toyota showroom-CP5
Reached the CP in no time, we were riding through Aandipatti kanava in the day time. Political rally was going on the way and this has slowed us for some time, but soon we picked up pace. At 596 km had a puncture. Asked Naazia to complete before me. I replaced tube and reached the Flying wheels cycle store on time to complete the Spartan 600.
17 out of 57 riders completed the brevet successfully. Kutty sir has informed next year there will be 8000 metre elevation for 600 BRM. Waitng for the Spartan-600 2023 edition.
Some positives for me at the end of the ride
- Rode with a front saddle bag with 4 kg weight and still completed.
- Used a 28 teeth rear cassette and experienced a bit of struggle during steep gradients but did not get down. Got down only during flats for taking rest and cramps
- Consumed only one protein bar. Did not consume any carborance powder or energy gel.
- Was not drained out at the end of the ride.
- Did not have any saddle soreness issues. Was sitting comfortably till the end of the ride.
Scope for improvement \ Mistakes to be corrected
- I did not fix my front light properly. As a result had to struggle a lot and use headlight.
- I forgot to record the ride in strava. As usual my wahoo roam gave trouble during the middle of the ride. However cadence, power and speed sensor data is available.
See you all in another post. Cheer and Bye…