Note:- The following article is based on my experience from September 2013, my first ever inter city bike ride.
Post tea break somewhere close to Bidar, I started again. It was 4.30ish and I had covered 450 km or so. Hyderabad was still 100 odd km away. The road continued to stay miserable with crater sized potholes. The signboards and banners were now had distinct yellow background with English and Telugu script. Throughout the ride, I experienced one thing about regional language; whatever language it may be and in whichever state, the language varies in how people speak it about every 50 km.
The shopkeepers on highways speak languages from all the possible neighboring states; they might not be fluent at it but know it enough to do business!
I saw the time on my watch once again and it was 6 PM. I have been on the road, riding for approximately 12 hours. Hands, shoulders, butt and feet were giving up. Bright headlights replaced the daylight as the sun was calling it up for the day. Hyderabad was still 50 km away; I started feeling tired, lonely and scared.
I now wanted to reach hostel and my room as soon as possible. This was the most dangerous phase of the ride, knowing that my mind and body were tired; I still had to keep riding carefully and was struggling to stay alert. My reflexes weren’t sharp anymore that meant braking and shifting gears were terribly slow. The speed had dropped considerably.
After reaching the outskirts of Hyderabad, the situation got worse. The folks in Hyderabad were busy maneuvering their vehicles mercilessly in the traffic. The ride from there till I saw the sight of my hostel was the toughest part of the day.
As soon as I reached, I parked my bike and greeted friends who thought I came from office, completely unaware of the fact that I rode from Pune. I sat with them in the canteen and discussed my ride. By this time, my tiredness had turned into pride. I was proud of myself that I did this ride.
A few friends and family thought (and still think) that it was one of the most idiotic things one could do, but I dismissed them (and still do) with “I love to ride” phrase.
The hangover of this ride remained with me for many months if not days. Photos on Facebook; comments, likes, and replies on it made sure that my friends kept talking about it. Besides my IT job, I now had one more area of interest to talk about and bore people around me to death with it.
In a few months, I went to back to my usual life where riding my bike remained an activity to commute between office and home and to malls on weekends…………until one day!