• City: Kanpur

    Day 19: Chirgaon to Kanpur

    The Home Run…

    I got lucky with a tailwind from start to end. Even with the accumulated exhaustion of the past few days, I still managed to ride strongly.

    By then the aerobars had also become my friend and I could happily munch on biscuits while riding on the aerobars.

    The previous few days had been endurance riding. The last day was an endurance race. I had roughly 200 km to ride and I was determined to sleep in my bed that night.

    I made good time with minimal stops along the way. Constantly keeping an eye on the clock and my average speed.

    The road was fantastic, except a short horrible stretch near Kalpi. It was also Gangetic plains flat. The land which was home to human civilisation for many millennia. In those 200 km, I just climbed 200 metres. You can’t get anything flatter than that!

    Thanks to the pandemic the mood of the land was a bit off. Along the way highway cops stopped me and asked me where was I headed to. They were ecstatic on finding out that I had cycled alone all the way from Goa to Kanpur. They even offered me a lift in their jeep!

    The last meal of the day was at noon for me. After that I didn’t feel the need to eat. I hit familiar terrain just before sundown and I knew nothing could go wrong after that.

    I ran out of water with 40 km to go. I didn’t bother stopping. Water like most things at that point of time was irrelevant. Home, that’s all that mattered.

    With 20 km to go, I was on my daily training route. I rode that stretch in the dark, knowing every bump, pothole and curve. Pushing as hard as I could on the pedals, my heart jumping with joy.

    Exactly 200 km from my start point, I reached home. My longest ever ride till that date.

    A mother’s intuition or telepathy I don’t know. But 30 seconds before I reached home, she walked out to the gate to look for me. And is by plan, there I was…

    Finally, it was food, sweet food!

    Check out the day’s ride on Strava