Agrefena 1000 BRM The name Agrefena is derived from the Variant of the Russian ‘Agripena’ meaning ‘wild horse’. The route is introduced in 2022. Agrefena-1000 is designed for those who love wild challenges.
JBC to poonjeri
It was raining from overnight. Had to start from home in the rain and reached the start point to find no one else except me. After few minutes volunteers turned up and informed that out of registered 6 persons, 3 are not starting the ride. After collecting bib and having my bike check completed, three of us started the long ride from JBC, Velachery. Rode through the familiar mambakkam route and reached kelambakkam, tiruporur and finally the selfie point at poonjeri toll.
Poonjeri to chetpet
Had to face medium to heavy headwinds en route from Poonjeri to chengalpet, then rode in GST for few km and then took right towards uthiramerur. Had our breakfast. By then only two of us were there. Again rode through the familiar route towards chetpet via vandavasi. Had my lunch at chetpet in a small hotel. The owner was a young boy aged around 30 and he did not charge me for my lunch. Despite my requests to offer such things to the needy, he flatly refused. Also filled my water bottles before proceeding to jamunamaruthur.
Chetpet to jamunamarthur
On reaching polur observed that there is a small deviation from the usual route. I followed the map and once again reached the jawadhu hill climb base. In 2021 when I was at my best I climbed the five hairpin bends in 37 minutes and in the month of May in 2023 I could to the climb in 53 minutes. I assumed it was because I was carrying a 5 kg bag while doing the latter. However again this time it took 53 minutes to climb and I have no explanations. I have to accept the fact and strive to improve my fitness. There were two more climbs before reaching jamunamaruthur. I reached in 13 hours took a selfie and proceeded towards vaniyambadi.Jamunamaruthur to pernampetThree years back while doing my first 400 Km ride in my MTB, I went via this route along with cycling buddies. We had our dinner at Ambur biriyani. During this ride too I went to the same restaurant and had my dinner. It was the first long break during the ride and then readied myself for the night journey.
Halt at pernampet
I was crossing the tamilnadu- Andhra border at pernampet forest checkpost. The security personnel there stopped me from proceeding due to animal sounds. They told that there are bears and elephants in the forest and it is not wise to go alone into the forest in bicycle. I informed the volunteers and waited there for others to come. I slept for three hours and then at 4:00 am in the morning resumed the ride. Pernampet to Angallu
The first fifteen km was climb through the forest and I was also alert. The climb was not much steep and I made it in an hour. Immiediately after the forest there were villages and people were available . There were tea shops opened and I had coffee and snacks and resumed my journey. Soon after that in the dark I left my cycle in a ditch during a fast decent and both the tubes burst in an instant. I replaced both the tubes and now I have to ride the next 665 km without spare tube. At 8:00 am In the morning had a breakfast at a road side hotel. Had a few soft drinks and then proceeded. It was rolling terrain and the roads were good enough. I was able to cover enough distance in the day. Finally reached Angallu SBI ATM, took a selfie and posted in the group.
Angallu to Ramapuram
It was becoming hot in the afternoon. At 2:00 pm stopped at a hotel for lunch. The people were enquiring with me about what I am doing, where from I came, why I am doing etc., They were looking at the gadgets in my cycle. Meanwhile I was having egg fried rice. I filled up my water bottles and then proceeded towards SBI ATM Ramapuram. Few small stretches of bad road and sudden drizzling cooled the atmosphere.
Ramapuram to kadappa
After reaching Ramapuram, stopped at a nearby shop and had juices and filled my water bottles and proceeded towards kadappa. There was a steep climb enroute and there were bad roads during descent. Heavy traffic was there during the climb and descent. However once the descent is over there was not much traffic. Volunteers from Madras Randonneurs were there. It was a surprise visit. We took photos and then I proceeded on the route.
Kadappa to Mydukur
The roads were good and I had completed the second day ride all alone. There was a deviation at Mydukur. Hence took a break and had my dinner. The meals was good and I started through the village route. Riding through the village route at night with dogs barking and chasing, slowed me down. Some youngsters offered me juice and did not take money. Second such instance during the ride.
That gave me motivation to proceed further.I was riding thru the forests all alone and occasionally heavy vehicles like lorry or a tractor would pass. Then again it will be darkness. I only had two water bottles and I had to use them for entire night wisely.
Mydukur to cherlopalli
Once the forests were over I had to ride thru the village. It was even more scarier due to the dog chasing. It was pitch dark and dogs were not visible until I am near to them. The only lights were the ones from my bicycle. There were occasional street lights. By the time I reached the control point, the dogs were barking continuously while taking the selfie at Cherlopalli SBI ATM.
Cherlopalli to Musunur toll
From there the road went to kumbum forest range. Literally I was the only person in the forest and it was 1:00 am midnight. I gathered all my courage to ride through this stretch alone. Once the climb was over, then I knew I will complete this ride whatsoever. After the descent from kumbum forest range, I had to descent through village and once again faced dog chases. At one place around a dozen dogs surrounded me. Neither they had the courage to attack me nor I had the courage to move from that place. They kept barking for the next fifteen to twenty minutes and I sat down there waiting for them to stop. After twenty minutes I lost patience and started walking from there and the dogs only barked. They did not follow me. After 100 metres I climbed on to the saddle and faced the next dog group at 4:00 am in the morning. By this time I had no water to drink. I was not thirsty also. At early morning I was passing thru udayagiri caves. I had no time to wait and take photos. Had a coffee break at 6:00 am and breakfast at 8:00 am and then proceeded. Road construction work was going on and I had to ride through only gravel for twenty kilometres with no spare tube. I had puncture kit, but a tyre burst would destroy all my efforts. Luckily no such thing happened. Once I reached kavali I know I am very close to Chennai.
Musunuru toll to Tada
CCDReached Musunuru toll and again gained momentum after seeing the highway. Had lunch at a very good hotel (forgot the name). Very delicious lunch followed by mango milkshake. Started to ride after this lunch and had to face heavy head winds. All my hopes to complete early was lost. I could reach tada at 8:00 PM only. It took 8.5 hours for this 60 kms including lunch break. CCD tada to JBCHad my dinner at tada. I was feeling sleepy. So took power naps every one hour and finally reached the finish point at 4:15 AM in the morning with more than 4 hours spare. Having successfully completed the ride went home and slept like a log.
Some positives for me from the ride
- This was my longest solo ride
- I did not use the drop bag facility
- I did not change the shorts and jersey
- I did not have saddle soreness, not even slight pain.
- I took less brakes
I have to find better solutions for the following
- Carrying additional powerbank
- Charging light, phone and wahoo during ride
- Cleaning the cycle during the ride if it is raining on the way
Thank you for reading my experience.