A wonderful 868km brevet to Dharwad and back, the bonding exercise between me and the new Merida Ride 500 road bike went off well. Bad food at a Dhaba before Hubli at 320km and plate meals dinner with poori at Hubli curtailed our ride. We were an hour ahead of the control time at Hubli and 30kms after (near Dharwad), when the after-effects of bad food showed up, causing extreme sleep in Somaskanda and a woozy tired feeling in me. We had 70kms to do in four hours to reach Belgaum, the U-turn point and after hard thinking, we decided that suffering the ride mars the pleasure. We decided to sleep and recover, turn back from here and enjoy the return ride and finish strong. Well, it was a hard decision. We had a done a fast ride until now though three punctures were irritating. And so at 443 km, a three hour nap outside a closed shop in a garden restaurant worked wonders.
Waking up the next day and after the morning chai, we sprinted all the way to BLR in segments of 35-50 kms each. Post Hubli, the long roads/climbs with expansive swathes of land on both sides aided by cool weather are a delight. It is the joy to climb. My favourite sprint section is Tumkur to BLR, the last 70km stretch on this 1000 brevet. Every time I do this ride, it has always been a sprint to finish and it was no different this time. But this time it was on the new road bike and mashing at high gear (on the road bike) especially on climbs is that I enjoyed most.
The legs after two days of riding are supple and feels great, the mashing is effortless. And the feeling when you zip up the climbs at 35—40kmph – Priceless! The switch to road bike was motivated by potential increase in moving average and so it was proved again in this long ride. The moving averages were 24.8kmph and 23.5kmph in the last two shorter (200km) brevets. And I was curious how this would be in this 1000km brevet (868 really). Well, the moving averages were 20.3kmph (onward 443km) 25.2 (return 425km). A zippy return is what I could cherish most, despite not being able to do the entire distance. And after a total of 1600kms in the last four weeks, I have bonded with the bike.Well a road bike seat is harsher on your derreire, quite different from my cushiony soft seat on Trek.