Day and night we march to Lucknow!…

Day 5

Day 5 brings in the first day-night riding experience. Read on to see what it entailed.

No. of kms covered: 343 (Total 1650 kms)
No. of hours ridden: 21 hours
Cities covered: Bharatpur-Dadukara-Bidhapur-Mahuar-Shahganj-Rakabgan
States travelled: Gujarat-Rajasthan-Uttar Pradesh

Our crew experienced the first day-night trip of their expedition. It was also their first expressway experience!
After a soothing (both body and mind ) restful night, at Bharatpur, the crew set off determined to ride one shot till Lucknow. Keeping this in mind, they ate a heavy breakfast, aware that halts would come few and far in between on the expressway.

The expressway commenced at 12 noon after crossing Agra and its delicious Pethas. It was a lovely ride free of traffic jams and full of speeding vehicles. “We were the slowest vehicle on the highway riding at the speed of 20 kms!” jokes Ms. Nivedita.
Ms. Nivedita is the crew of our team. Her primary role is that of officiating for WUCA (World Ultra Cycling Association). She feeds in the log sheet daily which includes the distance travelled, date, time, location etc. To participate as a WUCA official, one has to register for WUCA membership and attempt an online test. Once appointed as WUCA official for the athlete, he/she must ensure that the WUCA rules are diligently followed while attempting the world record.
“Preeti does not eat entire meals while we are on the go. So we keep her hunger at bay and maintain her energy level by feeding her every 1.5-2 hours with small portions of food like a couple of bites of sandwiches or parathas, proteinshakes, coffee, fruits, chocolates and so on. Yesterday we even packed Dosa for her which she enjoyed.” explains Ms. Nivedita.  
Except for short water, washroom and tea breaks, the crew rode on till 6.20 pm when they finally found a food joint called Food King. Here they replenished themselves with a wholesome dinner of roti, dal, chawal and sabji. They were back on the road at 7 pm.

They persisted till 4.30 am, when they ultimately took a long halt. As Preeti napped in the car, the cycle tubes were changed, and it was geared up for the next phase of their journey.

Preeti has some interesting insights to share on their expressway experience, “We shall avoid the expressway going forward. While it does have its pros like zero traffic and a smooth ride, it is not conducive as food and washrooms are available only every 100 kms. We are unable to spread the organ donation awareness too since there is almost zero people interaction on this way. Also it forces us to ride the entire stretch since one cannot halt on the expressway. So while riding 300-350 kms everyday is doable, anything beyond that is stretching it.
I was in agony yesterday due to severe pain in my thigh and knee muscles. It is only after some massaging that I felt relief. This reaffirmed that I must stick to a relaxed average speed instead of speeding it up as I have a massive distance to cover. Also post midnight, I found it extremely difficult to stay awake. Yet we continued till the last 60-70 kms of the expressway when I finally realised I was falling asleep on my feet!
Speed cycling requires a different type and level of training. It involves a coach who teaches interval training and sprinting and helps prepare the muscles according. It involves a particular diet too. I have not undergone such training. Being an Indian housewife, I manage both my household chores and training simultaneously which usually gets relegated to the weekends. Hence I cycle at a different pace keeping a certain distance and time in mind. Keeping all the above factors in mind, we shall stick to our original planned route itself.”

Our fiery lady and this fantastic crew is such an inspiration for all of us. To persist on their goal, while encountering novel innumerable factors is a huge accomplishment. While our crew will definitely pull this record off, I believe they are winning every single day with every new experience and hurdles crossed.

Blog by: Arohi Bhimajiani