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20 January 2014

An 'Awesome' day....

I work in a company in Mumbai and my family stays in my home in Bangalore. We have weekend off on every alternate weekends, when I travel to Bangalore. Every other Sunday, I spend in Mumbai.

My Sundays invariably follow the same routine.

Get up at about sixish planning to do something productive in the day.

Get my cup of tea and sit in front of my computer, planning to catch up on my latest emails. Just half an hour, I tell myself.

Navigate on to YouTube to watch 'Comedy Nights with Kapil'. Just one episode, I tell myself, I want to know what Salman Khan is up to...

End up watching 'Comedy Nights' till about 12 noon. By the time the weekend is over.

(Have you noticed it?, By noon on Sunday, you have decided that your weekend is already over and are planning / preparing for the next day. Crazy, isn't is. 25% of your weekend is still left. You can do a lot of stuff. You can plan for a movie, you can go the mall for Lunch, you can do a lot of stuff in the afternoon of Sunday. But, you have decided that your weekend is already over)

Yesterday (Sunday, 19th January, 2014), I broke this vicious cycle as it were. I decided that the initial act that sets off this pernicious pattern is my wanting to check my mail. Yesterday I did not check my mail in the morning (It is another matter that I woke up at 2.00 AM and being unable to sleep, I checked my mails and read two Salon Articles to boot !!). I had my morning tea and was on my cycle by about 7.30 AM.

Yes, I have a Cycle. I love Cycling. Check this article here.

Yesterday was January 19, the day of Mumbai Marathon. My objective was VT Station in Mumbai, the starting point of the Marathon. I wanted to be a part of the history.

From the place I live, Koparkhairne, VT Station is about 35 Kilometers. It takes a lot of effort for an amateur cyclist on a heavy bike to ride that distance. It is justifiable if one decides to give up.

The route...
But I am not 'One'. I am naive. I have this crazy idea that if you take one step at a time, pedal one pedal a time, you will ultimately reach your destination. You may be tired, but you will reach your destination.

So I started.

After cycling about 10 KM, I stopped for tea. It was the greatest tea that I had drunk in a long time. I relished each sip as the hot liquid warmed my innards.

If you are planning a long cycling trip, it makes sense to breakup the route into multiple mini destinations. That way you feel encouraged to continue as you cross each destination. Your focus is always on the next destination, which is much closer, rather than the final destination 40 Kilometers away. So I divided my trip into 5 mini destinations, each approximately 8 Kilometers from the previous one.

8 Kilometers is cool. 40 Kilometers? Impossible.

I took the BPT (Bombay Port Trust) Road. Even on normal days the road has very lean traffic. On Sunday, barring an occasional cow, or a dirty kid, or a listless farmer, the stretch was virtually empty.

(I took a few 'Selfies'. Here they are).
The Rider...

Let me tell you something. It is really majestic to be by oneself, in the middle of a city, being a Solitary Cyclist on a barren stretch of a long, winding road. You are the king of the road, the owner of your time and have your world at your feet...

You feel calm, you feel confident. You are focused. You are on top of the world.

The Ridden...
Take it from me, it is exhilarating.

I reached VT by about 10.15. Having obsessed about reaching VT, it was an anti climax as I reached the destination. 'Thats it?', I thought to myself, 'this was not difficult'. I could easily do much longer distances, I told myself.

And the Road...
The return journey was much more easier than I thought. I was cycling towards my home and there was that added motivation. 

About 80 KM of cycling does a lot to some parts of your body (I am talking about knees and thighs). So it was such ecstasy when I reached home and sat on my chair. Having a warm bath after a tiring morning? Priceless.

Some say that the way to get big wins is to have many small, modest wins. By that logic, this was a very significant win. It told me that if I put my mind to it and take my first step, I will eventually reach my destination.

That is a lesson worth learning, isn't it?

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