Way back in 2008 I had gone on a vacation to Germany with friends and one of the places we visited was the black forest area. Black Forest is like the opening scene from the ‘Sound of Music’ where you will see lush green mountains rolling one after the other. It was a Sunday afternoon and we were sitting on the grass, just soaking it all in when I saw a family of 5 – A dad, mom, one boy and 2 little girls rolling down one of the hills on their bikes! It was one of the prettiest sights I had ever noticed. The pretty wooden picnic baskets, the 2 little pink bikes, the large hat the mom was wearing, the nice little race the dad and the kids were having was just perfect! I was so taken in with the concept of the whole family biking together that I secretly wished one day I was going to be doing this with my family. And I was much thrilled to say the least when I first learnt that V was big on biking (during our dating times). It was as if the pieces of the jigsaw were all coming together.
V and I used to bike a lot back in India and have done some crazy long distance trips on our mountain bikes. After coming to the US, I bought my road bike a little after the little one was born and thus rekindled our weekend bike
rides. But this time it wasnt the same. Although V and I would head out for an hour or 2 on a ride, all we would end up talking was about the little one. We would wish for her to grow up just a little bit so that we could get her along as well.
As soon as spring bloomed in California, V excitedly bought the baby trailer and for the super active toddler that she is, we prayed hard that she like the new trailer. V assembled the trailer as soon as it arrived and took the little one on a spin. And voila! She LOVED it!!! Not a squeak, or a frown. She just sat there and watched the landscape change.
She particularly enjoyed watching people walk their dogs, to which she would respond with a ‘woof’ ‘woof’. V and I sighed in relief and planned our first long distance with the little one!
V’s sister, T came up with a nice trail for us to explore and we packed some goodies for the trip and set out to enjoy the spring in its full bloom. The little one was more than excited to hop onto her trailer. V had prettied the place up with a bunch of toys to keep her company just in case she got bored. We gave her a break, and let her enjoy the grass at around half way into our ride. She even napped during the second half of the ride!
And so, we did our first long ride with the little one and covered a distance of 23 miles in 3.5 hours! 😀
This summer is going to be awesome, as I anticipate many more rides on the horizon!
How could we stay in Austin for so long and not venture into swimming especially during the sunny summer months! And so we discovered this beautiful man-made swimming pool called Deep Eddy right next to downtown.
What makes deep eddy special is that the pool is fed with clear, cold water from the Colorado river. It is non chlorinated and feels absolutely refreshing to swim in the natural, yet safe environment. There is a continuous inlet and outlets of water and hence acts as filtration. Each lane is 30 meter long with varying depths.
The pool in itself looks like a huge tank that stores water in cemented walls, so it brings out the natural color of the water as against the regular blue that reflect off the tiles in other swimming pools. There are also a lot of trees surrounding the pool and hence attracts many colorful birds.
My favorite time to visit the pool is just as the sun begins to go down. The water is at just the right temperature to give you a light chill as you enter the pool and the sun is not too harsh so as to give you a bad tan. The non chlorinated water also feels great on the skin. I particularly enjoy my backstroke, watching the birds fly over me, a brilliant sunset on the horizon and get motivated from some serious swimmers in the surrounding lanes.
It takes me back in time where my highlight of the day used to be an hour of me-time at the swimming pool near home in Bangalore and all the chit-chats with the girls!
Some of the high points of my hitherto life remains the trips to Mysore. Ever since we moved to Bangalore, the thought of a trip to Mysore by far means holidays, meeting grandparents, cousins and relatives, eating amazing food, and having fun. A trip to Mysore has never been a planned one. If I want a change from routine, I just throw in the essentials and travel to Mysore!
But this time around, there was an agenda. I wanted to show off my town to V, and there couldnt be a better way to travel in Mysore than on our cycles. So we packed the cycles neat on our car rack and headed to Mysore. As we pass the Kaveri and with the first glimpses of the Chamundi hills, I still grow dizzy with excitement and impatience, because it means that Mysore is just a stone’s throw away.
Olympics 2012 just got over and it was a day off for Independence day in India. While little school children were busy getting ready for the flag hoist early in the morning, we decided to celebrate our independence by doing a long distance cross country cycling. Moreover, I guess V and I were pumped up by the Olympic cycling events we watched in awe and wanted to do something new this time.
Summers have mostly been about swimming right from my childhood. I learnt swimming during one of the summer vacations and I loved it so much that it became tradition every subsequent summer until I got to college.
When V and I discovered recently that there is a pool opened for public just a stone throw away from home, we were overjoyed. It has been close to a month since we started swimming and each evening we have been like 2 little kids high on sugar ready to jump into the pool.
I am moved… and so did the miles on my activity calendar 😀
For a brief while now, I have been running 3, 4, at the max 5 miles. I was eager to touch the 10K mark soon. So I was determined to run my first 10K on this beautiful bright sunny saturday morning. V and I have been doing a lot of running on the roads and in various parks in the city lately. But I was keen on running this one in lalbagh for many reasons. I first started running with V in lalbagh when we met initially. Those were some special moments and so was today’s run.. so I wanted to run where it all begun 🙂 And I digress..
Back to my run. I was so pumped up to run my first 10K that I woke up even before the alarm went off, had my playlist ready with my favorite songs – some carnatic, some mushy, and some power songs. I began my run slow and steady at a pace of 11. But strangely the first 2 miles was the most difficult, I broke into sweat early on and I was doing a 9 min run, 1 minute walk routine until my body got used to the run. From mile 2 onwards I was determined to stop only after I achieved my goal. At times, I ran slow alright, but I needed to recover and gain my pace back while on the run. My best pace was between 2 – 4 miles at 9.5. The sheer excitement of visualising the feeling of having achieved my first 10K took me through the last 2 miles relatively easily. I completed 6.33 miles in 1 hour 10 mins on the dot!
The most surprising part is I was not as tired as I had anticipated to be, which means there is potential to do more 😉 Not to mention the rest of the day went by in treating myself to guiltfree yummy masala dosa and chaat 😀
Today was a test of endurance. Ever since V did his spectacular cross country touring in Coorg and filled me in with umpteen stories about his experiences from the trip, I have been engulfed to get into long distance cycling. Not only is it an amazing getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, the experience of camping in the middle of nowhere and the sense of accomplishment after having covered a long distance on the cycle is out of the world.
And so today was my first training for long distance cycling. On an average, 60 – 80 kms or more is covered each day and I have always questioned if I have it in me to achieve the target.
It was a gorgeous morning and V, C (V’s enthusiastic cousin) and I headed out at 7 AM. The loop that we set out to complete is Bangalore –> Harohalli (on Kanakapura road) –> Bidadi and back. I have been on an absolute high after I saw our route on the map 🙂
Here are the stats from today’s cycling
Total distance covered: 68.7 kms
Total time taken: 04 hours 06 minutes 03 seconds
Calories burnt: 2344 (my fav part 😉
Yep, since Bangalore is at a higher altitude, unfortunately the journey on the return was completely up slopes.
A little beyond Harohalli, we had our nice little picnic next to a farm.
The road connecting Harohalli and Bidadi is spectacular and very unique to India. The lush green farms on either sides of the road, the hay laid on the middle of the road for drying, the bullock carts making their way through, the look on the little village children when they see us riding a cycle – priceless!
As we bid good bye to summer, I hope we do more such long distance cycle touring.
Click here to view more pics from the trip 🙂
Well, I am no Forest Gump, but I have been on a Running spree lately. I have been inspired bigtime by NKRunnergirl and her blog posts. V helped me get started with running almost 2 years ago but we have digressed from running and have gotten more into cycling for quite a while now.
Although I have been running for a while, I have not been able to cross my 8 mile threshold. Although my mind wants to do more, my body starts to give up and my thighs start to feel like big logs of wood. Learnt recently that setting a target is very helpful in pushing the body to run more, so I have set a moderate target of 30 miles for the month of June to get started with. Hopefully I achieve it and set bigger targets. More on how that went in the upcoming posts.
Ofcourse needless to say since V has run quite a few marathons till date, his stamina is so good that I can just shake him up from his sleep and ask him to do a half marathon 😉 … quite literally! I hope to get to his level someday.
Today was my longest ride on the cycle so far. Had always heard from Vikram how beautiful long bike rides are, but had never really made an attempt fearing my stamina. This morning, we just head out early in the morning on our respective cycles.
We decided to complete the route we had left unfinished a while ago – Padmanabhanagar towards Kanakapura to Bannerghatta and back. Needless to say, the experience was mindblowing! Half the route was along the country side and we edged the Bannerghatta national park. The serenity of the place was definitely worth my early morning sleep! 😀 Here is the snapshot of the route from my Garmin:
Where: NICE Corridor, Bangalore
When: 11th October 2009
How Many: 7K+ participants!
It was heartening to see thousands of cycling enthusiasts in Bangalore at India’s fist Cyclothon! The sheer number and the diversity of the participants that spanned between Ages 8 – 80 years, along with families and friends who had come to cheer their loved ones set the excitement of the massive event.
Raghu Dixit and his crew rock started the event with ‘Mysore se aayi woh’ – Pumped me up further as I am a native Mysorean 😀 My husband and I had a nice time swaying to his tunes before we set off on our respective rides.
I did a satisfied 25Km in an hour and 5 minutes, with an average pace of 22.5 km/hr. The NICE corridor resembled any freeway in a western country – spotless, toned and smooth. Little children cheering on the pathways, green lawns next to the road, great weather and people riding great bikes were all accompaniments. The journey was eventful as I met some interesting people during the ride and was fun taking to them. Since it wasn’t a race, the environment was relaxed and people were riding just for the spirit of cycling.
Please click here to view the snapshots of the entire event.
My take home from the ride : http://connect.garmin.com/activity/15853059