My cycling journey started in Mar’18 where few friend from my society planned for Ride to Aksa Beach. We were about six people and rode to Aksa and went a little further.
I enjoyed cycling and re-planned event with my society friends to Dana Pani and this time we were fifteen of us. Everyone enjoyed the event and we also captured some memories.
I later started searching for cycling club and found “Malad Cycling Club” (MCC). This was my start of Journey to cycling with groups, I did lots of rides with MCC and MCC became part of my cycling journey. MCC always planned good rides to different places in and around Mumbai between 20 to 100+ kms. With the help of this group I could saw many different places which I could not be explored at all.
My longest ride with the group was Cheetah Ride and we rode about 121kms at average of 25kms/hour starting from Malad to Padgha Toll via JVLR and back via Ghodbunder road. This gave me kick to do BRM.
BRMs or BREVETS DE RANDONNEUR MONDIAUX are rides of fixed distances that are to be completed within specified time limits. BRMs worldwide are approved and governed by the ACP or Audax Club Parisien. All Brevets are conducted in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of ACP. The body that has the sole authority for conducting and overseeing all Randonneuring and Audax events in India is Audax India Randonneurs.
BRM events are events starting from 100kms to 1200kms.
I booked my first BRM for 150kms dated 3rd Nov’19. I could not pursue as I had some urgent meeting that cropped up. I then booked BRM 200 planed for 10th Nov’19, this event was cancelled due to some political emergency and Section 144 imposed in Mumbai and so the event was postponed to 17th Nov’19, I could not do this BRM either since I had booked Goa River Marathon for 21KMS so even my second attempt went into vain. However I did my Goa River Marathon and finished 21kms in 02:38:40
This was the time when I decided to do BRM and I booked for 300kms planned for 24th Nov’19, I was in two minds if I could do it or not but since my two attempts failed I made my mind to do this BRM.
Aniruddha and Mayur had done couple of 100kms rides before this BRM however my last 100kms ride was Cheetah Ride somewhere in August.
I was not aware about the route and elevation it had, however my mind was set to do one BRM. I will talk about it later
The Event Day - 24th Nov’19
After lots of planning and discussion between three of us, I took my cycle in MUV along with Mayur and his cycle. Our start point was Secret Spice Restaurant, LBS Marg, Mulund (W) at 6:00 am and reporting was at 5:00 am.
We reached the venue at around 5:15 am and assembled out cycle, we headed to towards registration where we received Brevet Card. Now was the time to get cycle inspected.
Event Start - 6:00 am:
We all started riding with our gears on, this was my first ride so I took extra care and took food, accessories and tools for fixing punctures in my backpack.
Starting couple of kms were warmup and I felt as if I can ride or not. However we reached highway and started our journey with full force. I was surprised to see I covered 50kms about 2:06:10 hours. This gave me motivation that I can do 300 kms. However until first 50kms there was very less elevation.
I started developing neck pain, may be due to lots of things in my backpack, I learnt that day not to carry backpack when doing long rides.
Fun started from post 50kms, I could see only ascending roads and was waiting to cover most toughest part of ride, i.e. Kasara Ghat
Kasara Ghat is also called Thul Ghat, riding on the ghat is tough, I had never tried before and only heard about it however today I was going to witness the climb.
I finish entire climb riding except for about 100 meter where I walk due to stiffness in muscles. Now I had started developing pain due to long hours of sitting on saddle.
Aniruddha Balgi and Mayur Kotak met me post climbing at Ghatandevi Mandir Temple around 1:00 pm, until here we had completed about 100kms, we rested for few mins, refilled water and also we had cucumber with salt and pepper.
I decided to quit the ride post 150kms as pain was increasing, I also discussed same with my buddies.
We had 3 hours to completed remaining 50kms and this was going to be tough as sun was on top and we were getting tired.
I felt ride post Ghat will be better and can finish 50kms in 2.5 hours. However the entire road was hilly and the roads had continues large ascends and small descend.
I started walking and riding due to saddle and neck pain, time was running and I saw I had to cover 8 kms in 30 mins this was the time when I pushed myself to compete half way on time as that was my target.
I took a wrong turn and reach some different place, I called Mayur to see where was half way exactly, I rode back to highway and rode as fast so I could reach on time.
When I saw the point, I said to myself “I did it”
I went to coordinator and gave him my brevet card to punch, I reached exactly one minute prior (3:59 pm) of half time I.e 4:00 pm. I wasted about 10 mins taking wrong turn.
I was now in two minds to continue or to quit, I didn’t wanted to injure myself so I exited keeping in mind my next Marathon on 30th Nov’19 The Winter Run 2.0 @ SGNP. I had met a rider, Tanmay Sharma, on my way at Kasara Ghat and I mentioned that I might quit. when I reach half the way at Dwarka Naka he was sitting and even he was planning to quit. So discussed to go back.
We booked a vehicle and came back to start point in Mulund. We kept bikes in my MUV and went to restaurant for diner.
We met event organiser Anil Unni and had good discussion about BRM with him over the diner.
I will definitely plan for BRM 300kms and will sure finish with good timing.
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