Butterflies in Stomach

Haven’t had them for a while, not for cycling events at least.

Riding the Hell of the Ashdowns tomorrow. It isn’t really long at sub 110K. Last weekend was marginally longer at 110K. It’s slightly hillier than last weekend, but not by much.

It’s just… new.

I haven’t ridden in those parts before, while I’d ridden most of the last weekend’s route multiple times before. It’s a new organising team, though well known. On the other hand, I’d ridden plenty of events with the Evans Cycles’ Ride It team before, including two from the same venue as last weekend’s.

Then there’s the weather. It’s expected to be quite cold – starting at below zero, and topping up at not much above it. It’s expected to be windy – heading into the wind most of the way out. And, if I get delayed, or the wind picks up – it’ll be raining, possibly even sleet or hail. Despite having run this year in all kinds of weather, I’m not sure I’m up for those kind of elements on the bike yet.

Add to it the 55 min drive all the way to Kent. One way. Not a very happy chappy I am tonight.


Love the rain in LDN these days it…

Love the rain in LDN these days – it pours well, more like the monsoon back home than the dreary, fickly drizzle this city usually gets.
I love the sun – always have, but more so in LDN since I know I’ll soon be spending months in a row begging for a good sight of it.

The rain, accompanied by those loud thunderstorms and lightening, wrecked my plans for a century ride to Brighton today. Still, finding it really hard to diss it. In fact, wishing for some more… rather lots more… before a dry day tomorrow :)


25/365: A perfect Sunday

It takes a brave man to ask people to describe their perfect Sunday on a Monday/Tuesday. That brave man is Scott, the bril fella behind the DailyPost blog.

Before I share, a few clarifications. I’ve always been a 5-day work week person so most of my dream Sundays start on a Saturday. India’s too big a country with wide variety of climates, cultures and people. So, the perfect weekend I’ll have at home, near Delhi is very different from the perfect weekend in Delhi or Joka or Bombay or Goa. Due to this huge variety, and my in built lazy chip, I shall skip it and concern myself only with the perfect weekend here in the UK. Which for me means mostly LDN.

It was a rare sunny summer weekend in LDN. The fact that I was still hungover suggested it might be a Saturday. Or Sunday. Assuming it was a Saturday, I got out of bed before 11AM and started the process of getting ready. Booting up: Brushed teeth, emptied bowels, drank a glass of orange juice, had a bowl of cornflakes and caught up with Google Reader and email. Logging in: Filled the water bottle and water bag, packed a banana and a chocolate bar or two. Checked contents of backpack, tire pressure and brake pads, strapped on the HR band, wore the lycra shorts, covered with baggy shorts, wore a light tee and the sleeveless hi-viz jacket, shoes on. Kissed Rags bye as she still lazed in bed catching up with her twitter feed on the phone. Took the bike out, started Garmin. Launched.

5 hours on the bike with short breaks for banana & chocolate bars. And a Cafe Americano at St. Albans. Long hours on small countryside roads. Small villages. Big Gears. Sunshine. And a smile. It may have had been over 100 kms but I’d felt just as I did on those rides around the neighbourhood as a kid.

Got home, took a quick shower and Rags had already finalised plans for the evening – latest Hollywood thriller / rom-com followed by drinks and dinner at one of our favourite Mexican restaurants. She seemed pretty happy, despite me being missing for quite a few hours on a Saturday. Or was it because of me being missing for a few hours on a Saturday. Must have been on the phone for hours with her girl friends back home sharing gossip and plans. I was just happy that I was getting Mexican for dinner.

Sunday morning. Rather noon. Got pulled out of bed by Rags. All that hugging, kissing and pleading barely won me an extra 15 minutes of shut eye. Made a mental note: disable her Sunday morning alarms before sleeping and put the phones on silent. I was informed, pretty sharply,  that we were late for our brunch meeting. Washed up. Actually dry cleaned, as we use to call it back in the day. Dressed up. Checked her bike tyres and brakes. And off we went.

Biked to Holborn for a late brunch with friends. It’d been an year and they’d still shown surprise that we cycled around. Biked around, I’d corrected them. It’d been 6 months since I first came to this place – My Old Dutch Pancakes – for brunch. Had faithfully visited it at least once a month ever since. Still do. A large Dutch pancake and an espresso shake later, set off for the longer bike ride – to Richmond Park. Chelsea. Hammersmith. Castelnau. Barnes. Richmond. It was her first time there. And was she excited to see the deer! Of course she didn’t ride up the Sawyer’s Hill. And she spent two hours just lying around in the grass. I used the opportunity to put the camera to some use. And took in some sun. Ahh summer sun. You were some beauty that evening.

Getting Rags started again was a struggle. I wonder if it was the summer sun, the beautiful park with its deer or the thought of a long ride back home. Anyway, we did get home after I got cursed at a few times for going ahead too fast. Or too slow. Don’t remember which one it was. Do remember getting cursed though.

It was still sunny outside, so, after a shower, we headed back out again. Some really wacky Sallu bhai movie had just released and Rags being a die-hard fan had wanted to catch it early. I agreed, there wasn’t a better way of taking our mind off the Monday morning and its blues. Don’t remember much of the movie but 2.5 hours of Sallu bhai’s antics were enough to give us a pain in the stomach from laughing. Helped her forget any pain in the legs as well. She dined on her favourite cinema hall hot dog. I stuffed up on nachos. Got home just as the rain predicted for Monday made an early landing. And, just like that, it was over.

A perfect weekend. A ‘just another’ weekend.

So, there. Done with another post a day. And when you’re done pondering over all the grammatical errors in the post above, do read Rags’ quick take on her perfect Sunday. Typical Rags, I tell you – wants everything! :)


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25/365: A perfect Sunday