I have never been a racing person. What I have always enjoyed and found challenging though is the ultra aspect of things. Having said that, there’s that thrill you get from speed which is all but a different flavor of the sport. So when The Champions Sportive was announced, which essentially is planned to be a set of 102K competitive races across 8 cities of the country. This is the first edition and Bangalore was the first city to host it. And it didn’t take me more than 2 minutes to register. I was BIB 10'8’, for crying out loud! I had always wanted to try out a competitive race and this sounded like the perfect combination of racing and endurance. And I was not disappointed at all.
It had been a rather unforgiving week as far as the weather is concerned. So I arrived at the start point, rain-cover in backpack. But boy was it a good weather to ride. The route was designed to be 51 KM out from the start point and back. This being my first competitive race, I had no expectations set and wanted to go with the flow. After the initial stretch out and grouping of riders in their natural paces, I hung around with a couple of them going back and forth numerous number of times. It was fun pushing the pedal hard to be as fast as possible. The rides I’m used to are mostly about always saving some of your intensity for the worst. This was a pleasant change and I was very happy with the first half. I had reached the 51KM CP and my clock indicated 1:31 (~34 kmph: That was not too bad, I thought).
In Cycling and in life, We always recognize a headwind but rarely appreciate a tailwind
As soon as I U-turned, the real challenge aka “headwinds” began. I kept going and pushing harder… But somehow this was the portion where I felt what I did was not enough. With lots of learning and a great new stretch added to my todo list, I headed back to Ciclo Cafe (Start and end point), Indiranagar in 3:35. This had been a great first race and I look forward to more such races in future. Cycling as a lifestyle sport is picking up in India and I can’t be more excited to experience it first-hand!