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.