This is my final brevet for qualifying for PBP-2023 as I have completed 200, 300 and 600 brevets already. As I have already done this route twice in Feb-2021 and Aug-2021 I was super confident about the completion. However I was wearing cleats for a brevet for first time and also I carried 5 kg extra weight as practice for LRMs. Also this ride I have decided to ride solo to assess my performance post surgery and recovery.
Things I carried with me in bicycle
- Water bottles – 2 nos
- Spare tube – 2 nos
- Spare tyre – 1 no
- Front light – 2 nos
- Rear light – 2 nos
- Power bank 20000 MAh- 1 no
- Power bank 10000 MAh – 1 no
- Charging cables for lights, phone
- Fast and up electrolyte
- Wahoo roam bike compter
- Lube for chain
- Protein bars
- Puncture kit
- Chain link
- Spoke tool
- Portable air pump
What I wore
- Castelli cycling pants
- Btwin full pant over and above cycling pant
- Arm sleeves
- Safety vest
- Fizik cleats shoe
- Castelli socks
On the day of the ride I was greeted for send off by Venkat and MSK sir. Brevet cards were signed and bike check formalities completed. The ride was flagged off at 5:30 am in the morning. Starting from JBC and via medavakkam, kayar to ICICI bank ATM at Chengalpattu. This is a very familiar route to me and I did not need any navigation to reach the control point. Reached the control point around 7:45 am. Took a selfie and posted in the group. The sun was shining already.
The next control point is atleast 100 kilometres away. As usual my wahoo roam did not support during long rides. This is now happening in all the long rides. So I am thinking of investing in garmin 1030 or 1040. I have to take a turn towards uthiramerur from GST and proceed via vandavasi through chetpet and polur. I took a break for filling water and had a badam mix juice and a lemon juice. I reached 100 km in little over 4 hours and was proceeding without having breakfast. At 10:45, after reaching 118 km, I halted at a hotel and had 2 egg dosai with sambar, filled up my water bottles, carried a small bottle of limca.
Within a few minutes, I had my rear tyre flat. It was already very hot and I took shelter below the shade of a tree and replaced with new tube. I could not located the punctured spot neither in tube or tyre. Now I was very apprehensive of any foreign material sticking in the tyre and keep puncturing the tube, However nothing of that sort happened during the entire ride today.
After starting the ride again, realized that the roads were laid with new tarmac and there are no potholes anywhere to be seen unlike my last rides in 2021. So I thought in mmy mind about the return journey will be easy. It was one of the hottest day I have ever witnessed and with alternating headwinds and cross winds, the ride was tiresome. The average speed was around 20 kmph for next two hours. At 140 km volunteers were waiting and provided water and lunch. I reached SBI ATM at polur around 1:30 pm and completed the formalities. The flyover which was under construction two years ago was still under construction.
The next is climbing jawadhu hills (five hair pin bends). I filled one of my water bottles with lemon juice. I usually take 37 minutes from the police check post to the fifth hair pin bend. But this time it took me 52 minutes and I was very tired while reaching the top which will not be the case usually. The 5 kg weight I carried additionally made the difference. I am now rethinking my strategy to carry this additional weight to PBP or not. However I will continue practicing with this additional weight to increase my leg power.
I reached the javadhu u turn point where MR volunteers were waiting , then took a selfie and then provided me with bananas and barfi. I took a break for brief 15 minutes and then proceeded downhill. The downhill was little scary as it was the first time with my cleats on. After descending I met Ramesh palani and parthiban on the way and then proceeded towards polur. the return journey was good however I took breaks every one hour to have coffee and to fill water bottles. I reached vandavasi at around 7:15 PM And then proceeded towards melmaruvathur and reached melmaruvathur around 8:45 PM. I had my dinner at ambur biryani along with the chocolate milkshake I then filled up my water bottle then proceeded towards ECR. It was bit scary to ride alone some bikes were coming closely and observing. Fortunately there was no robbery. I felt safe once I reach reached ECR.
There were many shops opened even at late night and so had coffee every one hour. As I was fully hydrated did not refill the water bottles. Reached JBC at 3:15 am early in the morning.