Krishna Confluence- BRM 300. BRM No 3
After the major injuries I picked up on the BRM 400- Kolhapur curry, I had decided to not ride the 300 and had pretty much given up the idea of Super Randonnuer this season. But with some huge support from my wife in fixing my injuries and also helping me with a new bike, I decided to participate.
Ride Preparation for the BRM 300
The pre ride preparation was mostly around fixing my hip flexor injury and my ankle injury post the 400. I rested for almost a week with 3 days of bed rest as I was absolutely immobile. Forget cycling, I could not even walk.
The next week was invested in strength training for the injured muscles. I got my new cycle just a week before the ride. I could only manage two sub 40 km rides before the BRM. Again not enough time to train on a new bike setup. This was my first experience on a road bike. Work commitment kept me away from getting any kind of training or preparation.
A little bit of push from Mayur, and a lot of support from Mitali (my wife) I signed up for the ride. Mayur and I decided to go slow, no time targets on this ride. At the back of my head I knew that we would be doing decent speeds again, however, we might need to take small breaks off the saddle to not strain myself. For this very reason for the first time, I did not purchase any energy bars or protein bars. This would ensure that I would have to stop for food.
Start of the Krishna Confluence- BRM 300
With bright sunshine for 2 continuous days prior to the ride, I was happy that we might not have rains.
I woke up at 4 am, went through my usual routine of black coffee, two boiled eggs, and two bananas. Again it was a short night with just 3 hours of sleep. Started slowly from home, sans a backpack for the first time on a ride. By the time I hit Sangamwadi bridge, a slight drizzle started. The drizzle turned into a nice rain by the time I hit University circle.
Sanjay Sir and Yogesh from team Pune Randonnuers quickly helped with the formalities and bike check. Dear fellow rider Mr. Rao helped me pin the ride number on the bike. By the time all this was done, it was already 6 am. Mayur quickly passed on a couple of bananas to me, and we were off in the rain.
Mud Slush and Rains
Mayur, as usual, took off like a rocket. He was in a different mood today. I slowly overtook everyone. Koken started off slow, but I knew he is going to quickly move ahead. As I was without any targets today, I was trying to ride in my comfort zone.
Climbed the Chandani chowk climb and hit the highway. The rain was making things difficult. The bike sans the mudguards was splattering the mud and slush into even my helmet. Koken, as expected, overtook me here.
Reached Katraj tunnel climb and started slowly. Was still learning to get the correct gearing on the Triban. Noticed that the downshifting was getting stuck. I would need to shift down twice to get one shift. Put two and two together and realized that the gear cable might be getting stuck with the frame bag Velcro straps. Quickly unhooked the Velcro, which improved the shifting a bit but the damage to the setting was done.
Caught up with Mayur during the second part of the climb and decided to ride next to him. Did not want to push today and we took it slow together.
As planned, took a small break at the start of the tunnel to clean my specs and take a small water break. Mayur decided to ride ahead. We decided to stop at the same place in Shirwal like we did during our 400.
First Break at Shirwal
Post Katraj tunnel it was a lonely ride in the rain. The rain grew very heavy in some patches. With Mayur gone I was on my own for almost 40 km. With mostly downhill, this patch would have been bagged easily. However, the heavy rain, bad roads, and slight traffic made it difficult. The road post-Khed Shivapur toll was still bad. Especially with a road bike, I was more careful this time. As I crossed Shriram vada, I received a call from Mayur. He had reached our break point. I quickly made it to the small restaurant.
Mayur helped me fill my water bottles while I grabbed a cup of tea and cream roll.
It was 8:15 am, roughly the same timing we had managed during the 400. We managed to wrap this break in less than 10 minutes, more for Mayur as he had to wait for me.
Next break was planned for Satara.
Kambhatki and then our second break
We quickly reached Kambhatki base and started the climb. As usual, I caught up with Mayur during the first climb and we rode together for a while. For the first time, I could see Mayur breadth down my neck. Either I was struggling with no training for 3 weeks or Mayur had got way better just resting.
I could feel muscle cramps on my back during a climb after a long time.
Got down Kambhatki and decided to continue the momentum. Took a small break to grab a banana and fill up my primary bottle at the flyover over Wai Phata. I had two bottles, but one was inaccessible during the ride with the top tube bag. This was again a blessing as this forced me to stop often.
Saw Mayur pass by and I asked him to continue.
I was left alone again, as the terrain was rolling and Mayur was out of my sight. Managed the small climb before Satara and saw Mayur sitting on the side of the road. I grew worried that he might be either not feeling well or had a breakdown. I stopped next to him and saw him happily munching on an aloo paratha. Mayur was hungry and stopped from a break. I too joined him to grab a bite. It was around a few minutes past 10 am and the sun was out, bright and sunny.
A ten minutes break and we were off again.
The heat got to us
Post this break, it was downhill before entering Satara. I could match speeds with Mayur somewhat with the advantage of the drops. By the time we entered the Satara rolling climbs Mayur had a slight advantage. I could feel the heat and could sense the dehydration. Although I was constantly running on ORS, but the heat was bad. I started feeling giddy and knew that we needed a break. Pulled up next to Mayur on a climb and asked him to take a break for Thumbs up. He was like ‘bro I was just thinking the same.’
We stopped at the first restaurant we saw, ordered two bottles of Thumbs up and some water. I took off my wet shoes and decided to give some relief to my feet. A 15-minute break and we were off.
CP 1 at Tasvade Toll- 50% of BRM 300 Krishna Confluence
Post the cold drink break, it was the lovely khind decline. Around roughly 35 km to the Checkpoint, I set a target of 12:30 pm. Mayur took off and I cycled at my own pace. The road was rolling again. Maintaining an average speed close to 30 kmph I hit Umbraj. Saw Koken cross by. He had reached the Checkpoint by 11:54 and was on his way back already. Waved to him and continued. Reached the Checkpoint at Tasvade toll, hotel Krishnakat by 12:25 pm. Just made it in my target. Mayur had reached around 5 minutes before me.
Quickly took off the shoes, washed off my head as I had mud on my head from the tyre splash. Wolfed down an aloo paratha and ordered a cup of tea. We had planned to have lunch back at Satara. But then we both thought that it would be better to have lunch here than spend time later. The only option available was Egg Bhurji which we both ordered.
While we were finishing up Kirit joined in then Dr. Sameer Phanse and Shoban.
We quickly packed up two bananas each, filled up our bottles with electoral and water and we took off by 1 pm.
13 hours to complete the remaining 150 km as we had finished the first in less than 7 hours with breaks. The speed was26.8 kmph average for me and 27.4 kmph for Mayur.
Tasvade to Satara- The Return Journey
As usual, the return journey was slightly slower. Thcrosswindsds start hitting you on the return journey as we were no longer protected by the divider and trees. However, the winds were slightly gentle today.
We were targeting to hit Satara by 2:30 pm. A slightly aggressive target. As we approached Satara the roads started getting bad. Loose gravel, potholes, and water. This slowed us down, not to forget the occasional incidences of rain.
I had lost sight of Mayur and hoped to catch up on the Khind climb before Satara. My water bottle was almost over and I needed a refill. But I decided to not break the momentum and continue the climb. I was cycling hoping to see Mayur but he was gone today. Reached the top and quickly got down to drink water. And boy I was thirsty. I think I saw Mayur ahead but still had to stop because I was absolutely out of water.
A quick 5-minute water break and I started the decline to Satara. Received a call from Mayur that he was waiting at the same place we had stopped during our first Satara ride, just outside Satara. Quickly made it there.
Took a small 15-minute break here, Thumbsup it was again. Time 2:50 pm.
First Signs of Worry
We started off slowly from Satara. 11 hours to complete 105 odd kms. Mayur wanted to target a 13.5 hours finish, but with the road conditions, I thought a sub 14 hours would be decent.
We were riding next to each other and talking and then I yelled out in pain. I felt a dragger like a jab around my right knee IT band. Mayur was like ‘just as I was thinking that we would start pushing post the climb you yelled’. I could sense something was going wrong. My right leg is the stronger one. Had noticed that the toe clips were forcing a slight angle on the toe and hence I was riding sans the clips. However, with every rain, my shoes would start slipping on the pedals and I was being forced to use the toe clips.
We continued slowly and I could have Mayur in the visible range for the next 5-10 kms.
Kambhakti Tunnel and the Cold
Some 10-15 km post Satara it started raining. I was forced to ride with the toe clips again. No specs on my eyes. I was riding partially blind. Took a couple of breaks to fill up my bottle and grab on some bananas etc.
Just after crossing Wai phata I saw a cyclist ahead. Was hoping that it was Shankar Ghadve as I knew he had come for the Satara half marathon. This gentleman had cycled from Pune to Satara the previous night, run the Satara half hill Marathon and was cycling back now. Pulled up next to him and had a small chat. He was tired and cycling slowly today. I decided to go back on my hunt for Mayur.
Caught up with Mayur at the base of Kambhatki tunnel and we moved on. The other side of Kambhatki was very chilly today. I started shivering in the cold. My muscles quickly cramped up as I was just gliding down the decline without cycling. Out on the other side, we stopped for tea and biscuits at our usual spot. Shankar also joined us.
Kambhatki base target was set to 5 pm and we were there 10 minutes early.
Kambhatki to Khed Shivapur
When we started from Kambhatki base at 5:15 pm we just had around 60 more kms. We could definitely wrap that up in 2.5 hours. A sub 14 hour was very much possible. The cold was getting to me as well as Mayur. The rains were back. I and Mayur rode together until Shirwal bridgewhereI lost sight of him again. Post Shirwal bridge there was a heavy shower and we were drenched to the bones. The bad roads and rains were not helping my case.
Some 10 kms before Khed Shivapur my right IT band started paining a lot more. It was getting difficult to pedal. I started thinking ‘should I continue or abandon?’ Dropped a few gears and cycled slowly, however, the pain was increasing. I started cycling with only my left leg. Had to use the toe clips to keep the motion going. I stopped a couple of times to do stretches etc.
Some 5 km from Khed Shivapur it got really difficult. I was in front of the Reliance Petrol pump and decided to stop. I got down, did a few stretches and decided to walk a bit. While Walking I called up Mayur and asked him to continue and finish his ride. He definitely could target and achieve the sub 13.5 hours. Mayur was like, ‘I am not going alone. I am waiting for you. We have close to 8 hours for our last 35 km. Even if we walk we can make it to the end.’
Mayur was ready to give up his ride for me. Hmm…
The painful last 35 kms
I dropped to a 34x 21/23 and started cycling with my left leg. This was not an easy task as we had constant inclines until Katraj tunnel. This ride was going to the next level of difficulty. I thought the 400 was the most difficult one and I would not pick up any injuries today.
Mayur was waiting just before Khed Shivapur toll. I cycled slowly, pushing one pedal at a time and winching in pain now and then. Caught up with Mayur and we cycled slowly. The toll had massive traffic and this was making life difficult for me. Close to 7 pm and it was dark. Noticed that my headlight was low on battery yet again. We decided to take a tea break and replace the battery.
15 minutes here and we started again. Each climb was a challenge and I would find Mayur waiting to check on me and encourage me.
Riding with just the left leg and with the clips, I started noticing pain in my Patella Tendon. Historical injury coming back.
The roads were bad, traffic was bad and the rains.
BRM 300 Done and Dusted
Mayur was cycling next to me. We reached Chandani Chowk base and he started the climb. There was no way that I could climb that today. I got down the saddle and walked. Found Mayur with Kirit at the top. Kirit struggled with an injury too, but he had earned his SR (Super Randonnuer) today. We congratulated him and Mayur and I together moved to CCD.
Clicked our photo, and I ordered a coffee. I was feeling extra cold and I had no idea why.
We finished the ride at 8:50 pm. 14:50 hours. The last 35km was done in a painful 2.5 hours. The ride was completed only because I had Mayur by my side.
Post the ride I dropped my cycle at Mayur’s place again and this time he dropped me back home.
Post Ride Report
It seems that the Patella Tendonitis due to the one leg riding was a bigger injury than the IT band on the right. As I write this blog, 4 days post the ride, I am able to walk again. Climbing stairs is still a task. The recovery has been possible to my Physio (Dr. Mitali) again.
When is the 600 BRM again?