Best Day at G2G

Day 3 – Bhilwara to Kherwara, 19th Dec. 2016

We woke up again at 5 AM, got ready, had breakfast, dropped the luggage, checked the bikes, topped-up the air in wheels and started Day 3 of G2G around 6.45. While I enjoyed the Day 2 a lot in the company of Maggan and we rode really fast at times and it was a lot of fun, I was afraid that I can’t really keep up the same tempo on all the 6 days of riding involved in G2G. So I had already told Maggan during dinner the previous day that, I won’t be riding with her next day. I was thinking of taking things a little easier today.

As soon as I got on the saddle, I could feel my bones touching the saddle and it felt like there was no flesh between my bones and saddle. Chamoi butter was obviously not helping much. There was no choice but to ride on and hope that it will subside. Bhilwara is some kind of industrial town and I could see factories lined up on both sides of the road and many trucks parked to carry manufactured goods from them. I just wanted to get out of this city as soon as possible. It was difficult to ride but I decided to just focus on first couple of hours, after which I decided to stop and I was looking forward to it. We bypassed Chittaurgarh and some riders even managed to catch a glimpse of famous Chittorgarh fort, but I somehow missed it. I was continuously watching every minute pass by and I stopped as soon as 2 hours were over. I drank some water and was chewing on my energy bar, when I saw Maggan approaching. She saw me and stopped and we were just trying to figure out where is everybody else and suddenly we see Anubhav, Manoj, Divyesh and Dev riding in a formation. They wave us and ask us to join them. I was still eating my energy bar so I tell Maggan that she should go ahead and join the Gujju train (that’s what Divyesh and Manoj were referred to as). She went ahead and soon joined them at the back.

I quickly finished my energy bar and pedalled ahead, I thought it will be less boring and easier to ride with them, so I rode fast and after sometime joined the train myself. Anubhav had opted out of the train by now to wait for his riding partner Henry, so now there were 5 of us in the train. We all were taking turn for a few minutes at the front. It was very efficient and person leading the train used proper hand-signals always so it was helpful for people riding at the back. Manoj and Divyesh were riding as par plan, they never rode too fast and took short breaks every 25 KMs, they had their own support car, which helped them keep breaks short as all the food and drinks were already in the car, so they stopped where they wanted instead of finding a suitable dhaba or restaurant.

Whenever I rode even a little faster, Manoj will ask me to slow down. I am not used to such disciplined riding. I ride fast when I feel good and I ride really slow when I am not feeling good. So although efficient, I was not enjoying riding like this. However it was a long ride, so I played along as it was practical and beneficial to ride like that. After sometime however I started feeling really tired and was unable to sit on saddle. It is difficult to ride out of the saddle when riding in a group as it will disturb the riders behind, so I used to wait for my turn at the back of the group and will then go out of the saddle so that I can have some minutes of relief. This continued for sometime and around 11.30, we turned right at Mangalwada towards Udaipur and I started feeling really tired and it was really uncomfortable to sit on the saddle, so I decided to take a break and let the group pass me by. However Maggan also stopped a few meters ahead of me, I walked upto her and inquired what’s the matter and she said she wanted to have lunch around 12 if possible and not between 1-2PM as the rest of group were planning. I also like to eat early so we agreed to have lunch together whenever we spot a suitable place.

After riding for just a few KMs more, I spotted a good looking Dhaba and we decided to have lunch there. We had covered 110 KMs for the day in about 5.30 Hrs. We started again after an hour or so. Now me and Maggan were working together, however I was really tired, so Maggan was kind enough to let me ride behind her most of the time and take advantage of her slipstream. Occasionally I will feel an energy burst and will come in front for sometime. However it was still a struggle and I couldn’t sit comfortably yet. I was already looking forward to next break. That’s how I coped with riding all day for 6 days continuously. I just looked forward to next coffee or lunch break.

After riding for about 15 KMs more, we spotted Poonam on the roadside waving at us. I was so happy to see her and get an excuse to stop again. I got down and helped myself to some cool Lassi she had in her car and also got some more supplies from her to take along with us and we again started riding. After an hour or so I started dreaming about coffee and after a few KMs, I noticed the sign for Udaipur Airport and I became really happy to know that we are nearing Udaipur (Found out later that airport is actually 22 KMs before the city) so soon and excitement led to me again getting an energy boost and I came in front for sometime and rode fast. Me and Maggan even considered going to Udaipur Airport in the hope of finding some decent coffee shop but we were not sure how much of detour that would be so we just stuck to our road. When after sometime we couldn’t spot any good coffee shop, we decided to make do with a small road-side shack which has some tea, coffee and snacks. It was 3 PM now and we had done 145 KMs so far.

After having a long coffee break, we again started and soon we encountered first real climb of G2G, which has been flat so far except for the unending series of flyovers. When we reached at the top, we found many other riders stopped there, they were taking photos, we also stopped for sometime there but then downhill from there looked too tempting so me and Maggan decided to just roll down from there. Soon traffic got real crazy as we neared the Udaipur city and Maggan asked me to come at the front to navigate the traffic the Indian way and she just followed me, occasionally shouting and shaking head at motorists making close passes or cutting us in abruptly. We were asked by Chiro to go through the city but somehow we got confused and ended-up at the bypass and got stuck in the middle of a long line of trucks. Somehow we rode on and finally were out of the Udaipur city and were again on very wide National Highway 8. We were relieved and soon we encountered, what was definitely the craziest and most thrilling downhill of G2G. Both me and Maggan forgot about all the discomfort from riding so far and started having some real fun. We both slid on the highest gear and pedalled with full might and descended at some crazy speed. It was a lot of fun and definitely my best G2G moment.

Downhill was really long and we had lots of fun but then we encountered some climbs as well. That’s how rest of the route was for this day, lots of climbing and descending. It was getting dark so me and Maggan thought of capturing today’s awesome day, so we stopped for a few minutes at the top of one such climb and clicked this photo and continued.

We were really tired after all this climbing and descending now, but we were so close to finishing the day, we had already done about 230 KMs and thought only last 10 KMs are remaining. We kept ticking each KM and we had done 10 KMs soon, then 11, 12, 13, but still couldn’t find the ‘Jai Bhawani’ guesthouse where we were supposed to stay. Maggan decided to stop and call Divyesh, who along with Manoj and Dev has already finished the day. That’s when we got the bad news that we need to ride about 20 KMs more, as there was some miscommunication. We were told that today it’s gonna be 240 KMs, but it actually was 260 KMs.

We both were so frustrated by this and felt like stopping there, but we had no choice so continued and kept hoping that maybe guesthouse is not that far and will come soon, we kept riding but couldn’t really see our stop. Maggan was visibly upset and expressed her unhappiness quite clearly. However what she said after a few minutes, I will always remember, she said – “Maybe we should not be frustrated, we should be happy, that we both are fit and have got good legs and have already ridden 200+ KMs today, we sure can ride another 20”. I liked that she found way to remain positive even in that situation. Still it looked like the day is never going to end. We will look with all the excitement at any hotel or house with lights on hoping that, probably this is our stop for the day, but we kept getting disappointed. Finally after some 20+ such disappointments, we finally saw the ‘Jai Bhawani’ sign in it’s full glory and I can’t really express in words, how happy we were to finally end this day 3 of G2G. It was very dark already as it was about 8.45 PM we reached there. Now to quickly change, have shower, dinner and then rest. 3 down, 3 more to go.

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