Sunday, October 26

Why Ride ?

After all these years of riding, I have understood that physical fitness and the soundness of the mind are two integral elements in enjoying a long endurance ride.  The second factor is the machine that the rider rides: your bicycle. The rider has to fit himself fully to his cycle. This is largely compromised by even advanced riders. Many pick a bike like the way they pick a ready-made brief and start using it absolutely without bike-fitting. In an endurance ride, any compromise in bike-fitness will leads to the slow development of fatigue. Moreover, as the ride progress, the fatigue grows steadily and the comfort of the ride deteriorates. At one point, fatigue cries out aloud, making it difficult for the rider to enjoy the ride. Then, it is a struggle between the rider and his poor-fit bicycle to reach the destination. This is not all about an endurance ride. 

For a Malayali, maintaining an all year-round physical fitness is a major challenge. The continuous rains in the monsoon and the tailing rains in the subsequent season of post-monsoon keeps any Kerala rider indoor. The only method to escape from this to have an indoor trainer. 

Regular workouts on an indoor trainer should be supplemented with strict diet and a regular regime in a local gymnasium. One of the most advanced, yet simple workout a rider can perform on his trainer is the “Speed Interval” workout. Added to it, a strict high-fiber and nutritious diet and a schedule to tone up the body in a gym  completes the requirements to keep yourself ride-ready  !!

End of the day, there is a magic question every endurance ride has to ask himself, "Why ride?"

Photos from the first major ride after the rains. 


Sunday, October 5

There is another sky

Got a little distracted today seeing all the flowers, butterflies, and bees.

Home garden is credited to my wife. She takes care of it. I enjoy the bloom.

After the long office hours, it is almost evening by the time I reach home. With a weak sun ready to set, the sky often is in no mood to light up my garden. Still, I enjoy sitting outside and seeing all these flowers in the twilight hours. 

The joy of the garden lights up something special . Even after a long bicycle spin, reaching home wet and salty, tired, hungry, or thirsty, the garden bloom is a welcome sight. 

Sitting outside, by the garden on a Sunday like this, after a short and brisk  90 Km cycling, I was eager to see the blooms.

The yellow flowers dominate rest of the colors. They have almost invaded leaving only a little room for rest of the colors to show off. What was more spectacular was the number of the butterflies and the bees. I ran to get my camera.  But it was of no use. Somehow, the butterflies and the bees seem to sense my presence near them and were flying away. 

After all, they were doing this since millions of years. I don't think there is anything special about it today. May be, I was noticing it only now !!

As an school boy, I used to read Emily Dickinson and think on her verses. Today too an Emily Dickinson ('There is another sky') came running to me :  
There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields -
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!