Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A trip to Pulicat Lake - 2nd 100+Kms of cycling

This is what happens when you have some like minded guys not around , but in the same floor and in the office. After our FIRST 100+KM  the same 3 guys started thinking of the next trip and this time we were planning something on the coastal route. As we started exploring google and followed the trace on the coast from Chennai beach we found a beautiful route till pulicat lake. As we spotted this we didn't have a 2nd thought to freeze this route.

The route was done and now the next was the date, we did not plan November 1st well in advance, but it was just couple of days before our schedule looked fine and now we posted to  our group  +Dinesh Pandy also planned to join this trip.
Nothing much to plan as Dinesh,Alwin and Vijay started from  porur and i was getting ready to receive them in the midway near valluvar kottam as i was getting ready on the November 1st morning i get a call from unknown number introducing  himself as Arun Mohit and wanted to join this trip.I rechecked if he is ok for the 100+ Kms he said he has not crossed more than 50 Kms but he will manage to do.

We all 5 joined Near valluvar kottam and started our trip.The heavy rain on the pprevious night gave a pleasant start, and we stopped near the Kasimedu bridge for our first photo shoot.

After the photo shoot we were able to see the bright lights and we started moving fast on the highway, both the sides of the roads we were accompanied by the huge container lorries moving from/ to the port and the shore also travelling along with us. By now we from Paris corner we have crossed royapuram,Thiruvotriur and reached the ennore bridge. This route was very quite in the morning and it had a good green scenic route on both the sides. we have now almost covered 25+Kms. The sun was popping up and were now on the ennore flyover. Took our next break for the photo shoot.
The river under the bridge was very active with many young and old people busy in fishing. we also spotted some birds like fflamingos and cranes. After our photo shoots we started our journey , checked for the next destination from our map man alwin and headed towards the kattupalli village, en route we ccrossed the NTPC, L&T Ship building port and it was our time for the break fast. Various topics was discussed en route and our surprise elment was Mohit as he was ease  with our pace and showed no tiredness.
This route is also a dessert ed route and you don't find any hotels or road side shops to eat. Luckily on enquiring to the locals there, we were guided to a small shop( Actually a big shop for locals) and we headed towards that. As we spotted the shop we enquired for food and only idly was there with vada, our guys didn't have any mercy in completing the half of their morning sales and we paid only 125 Rs for 5 of us.

Few took a quick dip with the water there and were set for the next destination, this time we knew it is going to be an offroading from here. Even google maps does not show the route after this. We started moving in small forest area with mostly pine trees(Guess) and in the muddy road, the hybrid guys were little jealous over the MTB guys in this stretch. The previous day rain filled many of the path way with water and our rear wheels were giving a mud shower to most of us. we crossed the kalenj village and the entire streth were were on the banks of the kosathalayar river on our left and the sea shore on our right. This route was very scenic with green trees, and with few steep terrain and no people over there. It also has the cashew farms in either sides, but we didn't get any fruits as it was not the season.
we were few kilometres away from our destination of pulicat lake and the route was awesome incase if you like to do any offroad biking.

We stepped into the beach for a change and it was round 8.30 AM and now the tides were actually getting more aggressive. Tried to take a dip in a lake near by but we found that it was full of salt water so just pushed off our plan on the dip. We decided the next stop to be the puilicat lake and our bikes were zooming for it. The clock were running fast as this offroading stretch was taking our time than planned. We were even able to see the lighthouse from here. We were moving our journey by discussing about the pulicat lake,dutch people, their fort and few other historical things to the extent of the knowledge we had on this place. The crew become more curious if we are on right track and if the lake is on the way. To break this ice we saw the pulicat bridge and busy small shipping harbour near by. The people around the area was curious and few of the locals approached us to take us boating inside the sea. Even though when all wanted to have a look, the time challenged us and we planned to move on considering this as our U turn point.
 we were actually crossing the busy pulicat fish market and planned to stop for a water break at the end of the village, but for our surprise after we crossed few distance we found we were on  a deserted road and no shops came on our way. we continued to cycle with vijay and alwin leading the league and me/mohit and dinesh followed them.  Dinesh was tossing up the plan of 200 KM BRM and was planning to take the same team to this event.( Now fingers crossed). we crossed more than 5 kms and found no sign of water stop before we were completely running out of water we saw the small village polachiammankulam with a very nice shop having water for the passers. But the water was not so tasty so we planned to hop into the shop for ice water, rasna, limca, etc. 
The below photo will talk more on our looks after 60+ Km of cycling.

It was our time to build strategy and we decided that we will stop only in the next 10th KM that was minjur and no photo stops inbetween.In our whole ride i consider this was the challenging part but the route was scenic across with both sides having paddy fields and no or less traffic in most of the places. As planned we reached minjur for the pitstop and started moving across. After minju we were once again challenged by the heavy vehicles and we started taking the service road. We were now on the Highway route and were near to manali. we stopped here for our pitstop to load ourselves with few snacks and re fill our water bottles. As we started in next few minutes we felt there were some showers dropping down so we moved our gadgets into safezone and started pedalling. When me and dinesh stopped for the first rain our other friends were still pedalling continiously. As we were reaching the manali junction there was heavy down pour. When couple of us had a plan to stop,alwin pulled us to continue pedalling and it made complete sense. It was a very heavy downpour and actually were were moving between the parked trailer lorries. Many of us at the junction asked if it was a race , few were passing comments as crazy guys etc. But the these guys were enjoying the rain and wanted me to take the pics.

I guess the real fun of this trip was in this stretch , cycling in the heavy downpour and from here all our gadgets were running short of powers and also the rain god did not want us to use them back. We discussed our departure plans as me and Mohit took the route to home back through anna nagar. Vijay, Alwin and dinesh continued on the high way as they have to reach porur. Many saw us as mad people !! and i think they are right !! we are mad on these things !! See you soon on our heritage ride !!

Route Plan:

Distance: 125 Kms minimum

Route - Highway / offroad

Places you can see: Pulicat lake, Ennore port,NTPL,Fishing,Beaches,Cashew Farm etc

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Trip to Poondi Reservious- Maiden 100+ Kms Cycling

A 100 Km Ride on my cycle was on the bucket list for some time and was discussing this with few of my running and cycling buddies. Vijay and Alwin are my buddies who also commute of office by pedal and luckily we all sit in the same floor and project. The plan was discussed and we planned to hit the poondi reservoir and if possible do a trek on the gudiyam caves. Luckily the same week we found a long week end and all three of us were in town, we decided this to be the D-Day.
                                                              As every one of us stay at different places, we planned to meet at Porur signal and start from there. As planned we met at 5.00 Am in the Porur signal and did a quick check on the accessories, hydration and planned on the trip. The weather was awesome and the pedals started to move faster after we crossed the ramachandra hospital, as the traffic was thinner. We crossed Kattupakkam, Poonamalle and reached the highway motel to take left to Thirvallur.
                                                                                        Once we crossed the highway into this route the road was awesome in just 1 km we found lot of green on either side of the road and also the road was good , as this road leads to tirupathi. We made our first pit stop around 6.00 AM in the fuel station and checked for the air. As guys moved to fill in the hydration i checked for air and we filled it for my cycles. The road was clear and weather was still in favor to us.
And we started to move on the same highway, we later reached a Tea shop to have a quick tea and snacks as most of us started feeling the pinch in the stomach. We crossed beautiful landscapes on both sides with the morning sun setting us a perfect pitch to watch. The empty coovum river was on the left side of the travel, we were next welcomed by our Kingfisher factory and we planned to make a check-in during our return trip :).
We took left after this factory which was planned by allwin to do the off-roading, we were been seen as strangers by people around and we started pedalling on the off road. A photo shoot was done on the bridge.

A perfect offroading was done with the help of the State high way department , as they have not laid the Tarmac on the road and very uneven surface with high boulders were experienced. I was worried if we may face for any stoppage due to puncture but our machines were able to manage it. The Green patches on either side was an eye treat.

we closed this offroading stunt with a big break fast in the near by town of tirvallur, luckily this shop was opened for supplying an order for the near by factory for GandhiJayanthi function. We had a big break fast costing 100 Rs for all three of us. Re filled our hydration and we have crossed more than 40 Kms by now. We planned to make our next stop at the poondy reservoir. We crossed thirvallur and then we took the Poondi road. 
This road will be one another amazing road, with very less traffic and one side you have this reserviour and other side is the green paddy field and fish farms. As sun was chasing us we pedalled and reached the poondy reserviour by 8.00 Am and we have done with around 50 + KMs, first time for me and vijay. We drove our the reservoir, had a dip in the dam, refreshed ourselves spent some time over there talking to the local dam officials and moved to our regular course of action, yes the Photo Shoot.

This reservoir is one of the main water source for Chennai, the Krishna river water also reaches this dam only. It would be like a sea if it was full, but unluckily because of lack of rain it had less water only. We saw the breeding and hatching farms set up in this dam and there were many people doing fishing in the banks of the dam.

As we were about to plan back, we realized that the Decathlon has opened its new store in Chennai. So we planned to hit back this store when we riding back. The sun has already started to toil us and we started our return journey by 11.00 and made a pit stop near the maritime college and filled our stomach. And reached the decathlon stores by 12.30 PM.
Pedalling in the hot sun and with head winds it was very challenge. we reached the stores and spent some good time in window shopping :) and started our way back.
 After reaching poonamalle we decided to move on our routes and i took the route to koyambedu and guys moved to porur.
I realized that we have crossed more than 115 Kms in the complete trip. As i complete this post we are in the planning for our next trip !!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pedal to Office - Week 1

It was  a long pending list that i wanted to start doing and final day came on August 10, i started to pedal to office.

As i planned to pedal the preparation work started from Sunday itself.  I reduced my laptop luggage bag by dropping my Notebook charge, Personal Note,Mobile Charger and also made sure no extra items are there( Still few to be removed).
Changed my lunch box type to fit it into my bag and took an extra pair of clothe since it is going to sweat a lot.

The first day was not an easy task for me, as i started immediately on the next day of my Olympic triathlon. But i considered this to be the warm up drive and prepared mentally.

When i was coming out of my apartment complex the look that my watch man gave towards me was funny, that this is what every one on the road is going to have on me.

I slowly started to pedal and it is after long time ( apart from events) i am leisurely going on a bicycle. The legs were aching in the beginning but i managed it by altering the speed and also by enjoying the early morning drive. 

I said to myself that i need to be more conscious, since no one considered the cyclists as a fellow companion on the road or even a human being. But the ride was good, i was able to easily pass the traffic and ride was very smooth. I have challenged myself to cross 1000 Kms with this cycle before i upgrade to any new cycle so this make me to have no choice but to pedal to office daily.
 I managed to make 60 Kms of this week1 on pedal to office. Feeling good.
Week 1 Update

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chennai Coastal Clean up 6 - June 7 2015

Chennai Coastal Clean up driven by the Chennai trekking club once again made us to remind the important role that every one needs to play in saving our "Mother Nature".
This event is definitely different from the drive that was from the last editions. When the previous editions were more focused on single day, but this time the focus moved from single day to "Every day"
                            Even before the date was announced and the event was planned there were many events in supporting the "Mother Nature" . The Green wing of CTC, Ainthinai had huge road map in creating awareness in planting trees. One of massive project is plantation of 1000 Saplings in thenneri near Walajabad , Kancheepuram. And a periodic maintenance at least once in a month has made the saplings grow healthier and stronger.
                        The awareness campaign in terms of #Noplasticchallenge insprited many to move forward on their vision to avoid plastics and also create awareness in proper recycling of waste. Many individuals started this practice of avoiding and also inspiring others to join this big challenge. 
                       The Flash mob which happened IT parks, Marina Beach,Shopping malls along with the "Street Plays" created huge awareness among public, individuals and also corporates.
              Many volunteers went to the schools , colleges and conducted various awareness sessions in preparing the next generation for this Huge task.
             With all the collective efforts, Precise planning, Volunteer support from many organization, NGO, Sponsors, Media and various government bodies.The event kick started on June 7 with taking pledge and collection of garbage's and first level of segregation at the source. 
          This event covered the entire stretch of Marina beach to Uthandi. It also had a Pan india presence covering many places.  Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Coimbatore, Madurai, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Dharmapuri, Vizag and Hyderabad  and many NGOs in different places joined this massive event.
          Around 6000 Volunteers in the Chennai coastal stretch has collected more than 29 Tons of garbage. The interesting point is that this clean up has a segregation partner who will once again do the micro segregation of items for the recycling.

Every one who participated in the event had a huge sense of satisfaction for the contribution that they have made and many took the pledge to be more responsible in handling such waste in future. There is tons of pictures in the social media for interested people.

As every good deed will have both type of critics, i still see many of the people just posting million of ideas to handle waste, event planning etc. I feel these kind of mission will get stronger and will not be boulded by any negative comments and for all those providing suggestion and recommendations request all of them to join hands or atleast conduct such events where we will join across to support you.

A big salute to every volunteer who have spent their precious personal times in this great common mission. Wish to see increase in volunteers and reduction in garbage.

Save MotherNature #

The below is the final statistics !! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Srivilliputur and Shenbaka Thoppu- A Short Trek

We visited the place a year ago but still is evergreen in memories, so i planned to pen down the experience of shenbagathopu.. This place is 5 kms away from srilvilliputhur and you need to take your own vehicle to reach this place.In the entrance there is small forest check post and few shops in case if you like to buy anything, you need to buy here after this there is no shops. So better to buy water and few stuffs that you like to carry along with you.It was in the month of may that we were on the way exploring along with my cousin. we were two and we planned to move forward.We expected to have some water as there were some showers a few days before.The first stop we did was in this small water check dam. There were bunch of village boys enjoying their swim and relaxing from the hot sun. Seeing the DSLR they wanted me to click some pics,i clicked a few and shown them in the viewfinder. They enjoyed the photos and every one started posing with their diving skills.

we had some good fun  with this young kids shooting for some time and then we started walking on the forest route, the road started becoming narrow and there were huge bushes on both the sides, we were following this route to ensure we do not get lost. In spite of the hot sun, the green bushes and the forest actually kept us little cool.We were enjoying the huge mountains that were surrounded around and were talking about the nature and kept moving.
Now it was around 45 mins and were almost in the interiors on the way towards to falls and we need to cross this small stream, we sensed that there is going to be no water in the falls since the stream was very dry and no signs of water flowing in them in recent days. The few streams which we  found some water also was not flowing and it was stagnated water. Feeling the unluck we decided to head back to the other side of the start point to just go on drive in the bike that we came inside the forest. We were lucky to see a deer and which was roaming around to find some water. It vanished in second as it sensed that we are zooming our camera towards it.

Now the sun was fading on the other side and the huge mountains were actually making us feel the late evening by 4.00 Pm itself. Now we decided to head back to the town and have some fun on the summer festival which was already happening there.
We already noticed that every one was ready seeing the folk musicians beating their drums in high spirits. We enjoyed the evening along with folk music and the other function that was happening in the temple.