June 7th: I went on to climb Nandi Hills on my bike. I had read a lot about how great it is to ride uphill and then how divine it is when you go around 60 Km/hr downhill.
I am not your usually Adventure Junkie who would just pull up his socks and hop on the saddle when he reads that. In fact my first reaction was “Nandi Hills, yeh I have been there once or twice. I don’t remember it to be that steep a climb. Why do people love it so much?”. The reason was, I had been to Nandi Hills before but at 3 AM on usually Saturday nights after enjoying “somras” with a couple of close friends. So I was reconstructing the feeling of being at Nandi Hills with the glimpses of what I remember
This Sunday, I decided to give it a shot. It was a group riding session that a few people from the BBC (Bangalore Biking Club) were organizing. I couldn’t locate the way to Hebbal Flyover and at some place, I guess at Makeri Circle, I took a left and went 30 Kms towards Tumkur. Anyways cutting the long story short… I reached the assembly point 1.5 hrs late. There was no point turning back now so I thought I would climb the Nandi alone and If I meet someone on the way it would be great.
I reached the Idli Point and then got together with 3 more bikers to ride nandi. I parked my car there and we starting riding up hill. It was kinda boring flat road till the Bull Statue around 4 Km from the Idli Point, but it got way more interesting after that.
From the Statue to the top is a 8 Km uphill climb. I usually ride 22Kms daily in around 1.5 hours in the city, so I thought 8 K uphill should not be that tough. But I found myself breathless at the 4 Km mark and I knew it would only go steeper.
I saw a few riders coming downhill at what I guess was above 60 Km/hr. The smile on their face made me do the full 8 Km climb. One of them even stopped and asked me if everything was ok and if I needed any help. That was amazing, a complete stranger, stopping and asking if I needed any help! – I haven’t seen people doing that too often. I guess like Runners, Riders are a close community as well.
From the 4 Km mark, I would have stopped at every Km mark and stretched my legs, had water, enjoyed the view and then thought “This is nice! I can do this!” I finally reached the top and we posed for a few photographs and then started downhill.
The ride downhill is indeed really awesome – I can’t describe it in words, you have to do it to feel it.