My longest bike trip 50kms!
Yup,there are no zero's missing just 50kms.. I have done motorcycle trips of 3000kms but the 50kms on a bicycle was excruciating.
Riding a motorcycle seems nearly out of the question here and I have turned to next nearest thing a bicycle. :D
bike == bicycle
NOTE: If you want to just know how the trip was, just check the last couple of paragraphs, rest are just rambling of my mind.
It all started with a bicycle hidden behind our garage.
My landlord said, "Ya u can use it, it must be ours, who else would keep a bicycle behind my Garage?"
Confidently, I took it out, it was a kids bike. Anyway I got a Helmet (16$), Headlamp + tail lamp(14$), a small pump(12$), lock(5$), Sun glasses(9$), 4 AA batteries and 4AAA batteries (8$)for the lamps and found myself 60$ lighter.
Armed with all these I went around exploring the neighborhood. I reached my room and looked outside to see somebody taking off with the locked bike!
I ran off and finally found that it was the neighbor who was also the owner of the bike :D
Here I was with 60$s of bike accessories with no bike.
Fortunately with the help of my colleague Sergei, we where able to get another bigger bike for 20$
Now armed with the bike, the accessories and the nomadic spirit, I took out the Google maps.
After some discussion I selected Stony Creek Metro park, a biker's haven. This is the route I took http://tinyurl.com/24487p (a tiny link to the bigger url of googlemaps).
The direct route to the park is 12miles from here, I decided to take a longer bike trail back. There are lots of railway lines here. They have all been closed down and converted to tarred/paved bike trails.
On the way to Stony Creek, I decided to visit the parks en route. Unfortunately that turned to a daunting task, since once I entered into the smaller lanes, I got completely confused and managed to make big circles and squares :D
The people I met on the road, are all very courteous and not even one failed to smile or say hello. Most of the roads have paved bike trails and the vehicles will stop for bikes/pedestrians. They will even reverse the vehicle when they see a bike. Is it courtesy or is it fear? As mentioned by others the fines and more importantly the insurance costs and the permanent record they receive, if they meet in an incident usually is enough to keep everyone in line.
Anyway the courtesy seems to end there. Once they are on the highway, they do not care for a bike or a motorcycle. Speed Limits + 15mph seems to be mostly acceptable and the cops usually only catch if you go above this.
The weather is clear and bearable 23 degrees celsius, but there is cool wind around. Another thing is that the sun is up from 5.30am to 10pm, so you have hell a lot of time to ride.
Armed with bottles of Gatorade, and wearing a bikenomads TShirt, a big bagpack(i had only a big one with me so had to carry that) and some Snickers :D. I had some trouble in the first block to find my way out especially since there seems to be new roads not shown in Google Map, but managed to come out. The first park Raintree was a nice and quite park but there were only some kids around there, so I moved off.
After the next block, I went to Jaycee Park and watched a kids football match in progress. Sitting there I heard the unmistakable sound of a piercing whistling sound that can only be made by a full grown malayali. And yes my guess turned to be right, as I could see far in the distance a group of people playing cricket :) and in the background could hear the choicest of abuse words in the air.
I then decide to take a detour thru Atkins Road, on the map it seemed interesting as the whole block seems to build inside the Emeral Lake such that most of the houses have the lake as the backyard. It was a very nice place, but warning of 'Neighbour hood watches. Suspicious strangers will be reported to Police" kept my speed up a little.
I reached back on the John R Road and decide to go to my next destination Thelma Park, but it was a no-go since the park didnt seem to have any bike trails and there was a toll. So I pushed on to reach the lane called 'Enfield' and a board underneath it 'Dead End'. hmmm?
From then on the traffic got heavier and the road started to get steep. I was feeling very tired and was taking longer and longer breaks. I had only done 10 miles!
I reached the junction at Dequindre Road, 25th Mile road and I could take it no more. I went to a Restaurant and had some lunch it was 1.30pm so I was on schedule. After the lunch, the road became so steep that even on 1st Gear, i couldnt move, and I was getting totally exhausted. I got off and started to push the bike, Once on 26th Mile, I decided to ask directions, which was a mistake. The guy happily told me the car route which was a good 1.5 miles longer than the bike route!! Anyway it was down hill some of the way and I got some energy back :)
I reached the Park after walking around the lake, I found a bench, exhausted I happily slept for 1.5 Hrs on the cool breeze of the Lake after riding around 13miles.
I had only given myself 2 hrs at the park, I went around for some time watched yatches and people and decided to return since I didnt want to get caught in the dark.
I took a different route since the route I came didnt have bike path, which is a lil dangerous.
I took the Shelby road and found an old railway track, which was now converted as a bike path. It was an amazing road, much better tarred than any of our roads!
But the joy was short lived, since soon it became just dirt track, anyway I pushed on. On the way I met a German couple Kai and Maria, both on bikes. Kai was working in GM. We talked on the way. He was also an avid biker. We discussed on other places to bike and on Stony Creek. Anyway it took away the exhaustion I was feeling. After some time I decided to take a break.
At Adams road, Kai told me to divert since even now I had overshoot my turn by 2 miles. So I took off but decided to go a different route. After a couple of blocks I met Kai again :) they also need to get back but there was highway in between and had to come my way to cross it. After taking a couple of pics, and exchanging cards, we went our route.
After this my exhaustion was turning me feverish and I was now desperate to reach back. Somehow I dragged myself and reached back. It was 7.30 pm and a total of 32 miles, I had a shower and crawled in bed and closed my eyes. The last thing I remember is the sticker I saw on a bicycle at Stony Creek. "200 miles in 24 hours". I woke up 16 hours later.