A trip to Jawadhu hills


Jawadhu hills or jawadhu malai is situated in the Tiruvannamalai district of southern most state of india, Tamilnadu. awadhu hill is a nice weekend getaway from Chennai.  If you want to know more about the Jawadhu Hills. My first visit to jawadhu hills was during the ‘Greencruiser 400 BRM’ in Jan 2020 and my second visit was during ‘Jawadhu 400 BRM’ in the subsequent year January.

Many of us have already completed the SR series and wanted further practice at hills. Also after my first ultra randonneuring experience the feeling was to practice more hill rides. We chose to go to jawadhu as a weekend trip by car and return on the same day. Five cycles in a car , three in a rack and other two inside the back seat of Innova.

We gathered at padma’s house at 5:00 am in the morning, dismantled our cycles and put two of the cycles inside the backside of car along with the wheels of all five cycles. Then fixed the rack and loaded the three cycles and secured firmly. We had our first break near mamandur and then proceeded towards polur. We had our breakfast in a road side shop. Egg dosa and idly were gulped by us and then reached a friends house, known through Shiva Raju.

We unloaded the cycles and started the assembling the wheels and checked tyre pressures and then applied lubes to chain and gear. After assembly did a small test ride and gathered again. The area was full of paddy fields.

All five of us started riding from polur and reached the check  post after which we started climbing at our own pace. It was rising gradually and then once the hair pin bend sign boards are seen, the climb becomes steeper. For well practised legs it isn’t much steep. There were a total of five hairpin bends and at the end of the fifth hairpin bend a watch tower is available from where the panoramic views are stunning. I enjoyed the scene and forgot to take pic from the top. I realised it only after descending from watch tower.

Watch tower at Jawadhu hill

I reached there quickly in less than 45 minutes and descended till I saw padma and rode with him to the 5th hair pin bend. After taking some pics we rode again to the next person and climbed again. In this way all we repeated till all five of us were there at the top. We took some group pics and some local kids joined us too.

It was rainy season and the weather was also pleasant. We descended till check post and looked out for snacks in the nearest shop. And then took some pics befor leaving.

Then went to the friend’s house in polur, dismantled our wheels and put two cycle frames in the rear side along with ten wheels and then the remaining three frames in the rack. We then reached polur junction and lucky to have the meals. After the meals we proceeded via Uthiramerur route and then reached home by 10:00 pm in the night.

The journey time, dismantling and assembling the cycles at both onward and return took more time than the actual hill ride practice. So we decided that for the next hill ride practice sessions in the subsequent months will stay overnight.

See you in the next hill ride.

SL7 High Altitude Training Centre – Ooty


Went for a three day training camp at SL7 HATC, ooty. Reached metupalayalam by train and from there i pedalled to the training centre. 60 kms from metupalayalam with 2500 m elevation gain, and some rain, with no pain, reached the centre with rain washed bike and myself. I was welcomed with great hospitality.

Day 0:

Everyone arrived at the camp one by one and stayed at respective rooms on sharing basis. The common meeting point for discussions was close to my room. One gang from Vellore / Ranipet stayed close to my room and they were super enthusiastic with so many gadgets and playing music all over the night.

Day 1:

All of us got up early on the day, had our breakfast and ready on time as planned. The group has planned for a easy ride on day 1 . We started the ride at 7:00 in the morning, decided to go on our own pace, slow and steady and reached half way point at kattabetu. We had our breakfast there and then regrouped into smaller groups based on our speeds and went back to our start point. On the first day covered a total distance of 62 km with 1200 m elevation gain, and completed the ride by around 1:30 in the afternoon. Since it was a relaxed pace ride, we did not bother about speed and timings. Post ride, we had our lunch arranged by SL7 and happily went to take rest and prepare for the big day. On the evening met for tea and had our discussions regarding next day ride.

Day 2:

The sufferfest began as soon as we started the ride at 7:00 in the morning. We were climbing the whole day and at some places the climb was very steep such that persons wearing cleated shoes had to get down from the cycle and walk uphill. It was a very good practice ride for LEL and upcoming spartan 600. There was heavy rains and some had their brake failures and returned via shortest route to avoid descents during rains. Rest of us completesd the 129 km sufferfest with an elevation gain of 3000+ metres. Completing the ride gave a tremendous boost to confidence.

Day 3:

The relaxed ride for 60 km with 1000+ metres elevation passed through a muddy section, where an old man provided with buckets of water for cleaning our cycles. He was a native of kancheepuram and settled in ooty when he was ten years old. Such help from unknown people and crucial times reminds me that i should also help people without expecting anything in return. We complated the ride well before lunch and had a relaxed evening. Post evening we had a stretching exercise session by Sreenath, the founder of SL7 and a yoga session subsequently. It was a wonderful finish to the three day camp.

About the SL7-HATC

  1. Resist against resistance
  2. Unique in Asia. The only high altitude training centre for cyclists.
  3. Accommodation is neat and clean.
  4. Dormitory and private rooms available.
  5. Hot water for bathing is available.
  6. Cycling cleaning space is available.
  7. Ideal location for bird watching and photography.

The centre is located in Ithalar village in ooty. Around 15 km from ooty bus stand, the centre is situated in a private secured place with scenic views and away from the disturbance of tourists. It is ideal location for cyclists to train for climbs.


See you in another post.

My year in health


Gained a lot of weight this year during the lockdown period. 8 kg gain in 2021.

My body water content dropped from 56% in the beginning of the year to 51% at the end.

My body protein content dropped from 21.5% in the beginning of the year to 19.5% towards the end.

My fat content increased from 18% to 26% in a single year

Visceral fat also increased several points in 2021 after good drop initially.

Not much variation in muscle mass except in the beginning.

BMI is high.

Basal metabolism rate also increased significantly.

The graphs clearly show i am not in good shape. Though i was able to make lot of significant achievements in sports this year, my health has degraded a lot. Tracked my weight, protein, fat, water content, muscle mass using MI body composition scale. These are significant insights of degrading health but pretty useful data to make a comeback in 2022.

Though i have pedalled close to 20000 km in my bicycle in 2021, due to eating habits and sedentary working habits, i am facing the consequences. Though medical check up also indicated i am fine as of now, it is a warning for myself to change my habits. Thanks to quantified self habits. This will push me more into tracking and learn more about me and help me make a better version of myself.

Apple watch – The best gadget I used in my life


Smart watches not only shows time, it saves time. The realisation dawned upon me while I was stuck in covid-19 lockdown. I have been using one for five year nearly until It was broken accidentally about which I have written earlier. I should have invested in a new one. I was in a dilemma. Its costing so much time now. You only realise the value of something only when you don’t have it. Anything can be replaced except time.

  1. Step count – I was tracking my steps everyday for five years hassle free. I need not carry my hone with me. All the steps are recorded. Now when I realise that I have to carry my phone each time I take  step it is mind boggling. Step count revealed whether I was active or not and I was improving well in 2020.
  2. Also it tracked exercise minutes, distance, heart rate etc. which were very crucial in my weight loss journey, fitness activities.
  3. Sleep – The difference between manual tracking and automatic tracking is vast. You will not know how many times you woke up in the middle of the night while using manual tracking. The combined tracking of Sleep timings and heart rate gave the following insights
    • What time I go to bed and what time I woke. And also whether I am consistent in these timings
    • How many time I woke up in the idle of the sleep. I woke up to a maximum of 8 times which I was not aware.
    • Even after waking up, am I active or lazing around. This is measured by a term called readiness score.
    • Duration of sleep, Duration awake in bed etc.,
  4. Heart rate – The maximum and minimum heart rate, How well your heart rate is consistent , range etc are now missed. I have been consistently tracking these for many years.
  5. Other advanced measurements like VO2 max, recovery rate after workout etc are also very useful insights
  6. Apple watch is the best run tracker I have ever used. Its precision is very accurate than other devices I have used. Now during lockdown , I have to run inside home and I couldn’t complete some of the challenged solely because of not having it.
  7. I am not complaining about other features like reading messages, attending calls etc., which can be done thru phone.

Readers can now conclude why I called apple watch – the best gadget I used in my life.

How i lost 8 kg in 2020


For me it is one of the goals set in the beginning of the year was to reduce weight and achieve body mass index below 25. I did by implementing the following things in my life

  1. Cycling
  2. Core workouts
  3. Running
  4. Reduce stress
  5. Balanced diet

Cycling for weight reduction

Did regular rides on an average 40 km distance per day. Combined with short rides at good speed to long distance rides at average speed. Joined with young people helped me a lot for pushing the limits. And the endurance rides gave lot of motivation. My fitness level improved after each endurance ride- A fact verified by measurements thru self tracking. My body water content was low before six months i.e., less than 48% and now it is around 55%. Also did hill rides every week. There is a 120 meter high hill near my home. Indeed cycling gave good results when i start pushing beyond what i was doing earlier. Tracking in strava app helped me a lot to improve and connect with other like minded people.

Core workouts

Just a few stretching after cycling did’n’t help me. Had to spend more time for stretching to keep tight calf muscles and tight thighs. Once regularly done core workouts saved me from cramps, which helped a lot during endurance rides. Legs are strong due to regular cycling. But having a tough time to lose fat. finally brought regular fat within normal level. Visceral fat is still excess and i am working on it. I use an MI body composition scale for determining visceral fat. Core work outs brought it down from a scale of 13 to 11. Still 2 more points to get to 9. May take another 3 months to get there.


I love running. Though i am running after a long time, i have already complete two half marathons this year. Now during weekly hill ride, i am including one uphill run too in the schedule. Running allows me for my occasional food cravings.

Reduced stress

This is one of the major factors in my weight loss journey. I just slowed down a bit in my life to re-assess myself and the direction in which my life is moving. Brought out a lot of changes in lifestyle. Taking digital detox more periodically. Considering minimalism as a way of life.

Balanced diet

Had a check over my sugar cravings. It was tough in the beginning. Alternate days i had my juice with sugar and salt. Reduced junk food usage to minimum. Started using Healthifyme app to track protein, fiber, fat and carb intake. I am using MI body composition scale to measure Protein and fat content. Protein content is increasing and fat is lowering for last six months though very gradually.

I think all of the above helped me in losing 8 kgs in a span of 85 days in 2020. What do you think? Will i gain weight during this lock down due to corona?

MI body composition scale review


Just under $30 MI body composition scale is one useful tool for the fitness freaks. I have been using it for 3 months now and I really love it.
1. You can measure the following
• Body weight
• Bone mass
• Body fat
• Body water content
• Lean body mass
• Visceral fat level
• Body protein content
2. Easy app interface. MI Fit app is available for android and IOS.
3. Easy to use. Just step on the scale.
4. Value for cost
5. Visually good finish

Facility to export data to csv or xls is not available. However MI fit app writes the data to apple health app.