Post Trip Write up - MTBX-3 off Roading Trip - Cholavaram April 20

Friday, May 3, 2013

Write up from Sameer:-

I had signed up for this offroading bike(bicycle) trip the moment I had seen the mail. I had not done any trips or treks for a long time and I thought this is a good way to test my MTB’s capacities. I knew Kumar Sir and Lakshmi as I had gone on earlier trips with them. Meeting new cycling enthusiasts was an added bonus. 
I went to Tidel Park station from where we took a train to Chennai central. It was surprising (shocking!) to follow the decided plan. Yes! We actually took the 5:05am train as planned.
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 After central, we took a bus to Red Hills. I saw this guy, Surya, with Manchester United jersey and shorts and he was the first person I talked to(:-P). When we got down in Red Hills, cycles were already waiting for us as they had been separately transported in a lorry from Tidel park. The group from other part of the city was to join us there. We had a little delay as there was a puncture already.
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After people were refreshed with tea and coffee, we started towards the Red Hills reservoir.
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Karthik was leading us all. After a little Highway riding, we reached there. A first group photo was taken and we continued towards the Aerodrome which I was particularly interested in. Unfortunately, we were not allowed inside because of some Defense measures. At this point, I started to cycle on the terrain on which I had never done before. We had reached Cholavaram Tank and the forest surrounding it was a huge relief from the rising sun.
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 The arrival of the breakfast carriers was delayed while people started taking pictures of all the poses they could think of on cycles(the Orange cycle was in demand!). Everybody sat around waiting and all kinds of conversations were going on. 
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The place was very cool as the air was blowing off the water beside. 
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Then, Arun – the organizer – came with the breakfast and it was all gobbled up pretty soon. Pretty normal by CTC standards.
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Next destination was the sand/mud quarry (Arun’s video
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 The sun was beating hard on us by now. People were looking for stops at smaller intervals. Cycling in the quarry stretch was the best part of the trip for me.All cycles, shoes and socks had turned brown by the time we came out of the quarry. 
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Somebody fell down and his whole body was covered with the sand(I don’t remember the name but Sandman would suit more).
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 We entered the village on the other side. Everybody refilled their water and some cycles were repaired. I could understand that the villagers were telling us to take the normal road and our guys were trying hard to convince them that it was not that we wanted to do.  We came back to the road passing through the quarry again.
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We entered the cashew forest then. Arun asked us to choose between lunch straight away or lunch after some rest in the forest. Unanimous choice was food first. We had lunch and came back to the forest. People tried their best to sleep and few of them succeeded to some extent. Others were just lying down or chatting with people around.
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 The lorry was asked to come a point on the highway which was near to the place we were resting. One cycle’s chain got damaged enough so that the cycle could not be ridden at all. He had to walk all the way till the lorry. As all of us could not have taken the bus back to Red hills from there, some of us decided to ride back till the Red hills bus depot while others took the lorry ride.
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The journey back was in bus and train again. The most pleasantly shocking thing about the trip was that there were very less punctures(three or four) compared to what was expected of a off-road trip. I guess everybody made a lot of friends. I am sure I made some but after two weeks I still keep reminding myself to send requests on facebook.
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At the end of the trip, I was very proud of my cycle J
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