Monday, December 27, 2010

TFN - Day 5

The day was supposed to start at 8 am, but it has been drizzling since the time I got up. This being a day of long descents, organisers didn't want the riders to ride on wet roads. The schedule start was pushed to 9 am. The rain however, didn't stop, and instructions on efficient braking and speed controls, we were out on the road at 9 am. I had my rain jacket on; it was still drizzling. But my body heated up pretty soon, and it felt nice to ride in rain. The terrain was rolling to start with. I was super careful on the descents and were testing my brakes every now and then. However, the rain stopped as we closed towards pykara lake. That made me confident on the descents, and I started enjoying it. This was definitely my longest descent.

Soon I passed the first service station, hit gudalur , and was off into the tea estates.The terrain became rolling again, the landscape breathtaking. I stopped every now and then to take pictures. The road has been pretty good with lots of down hill too. But towards the end I realised I was running behind time. I pushed a little hard towards the end, and made it to hotel Green Gates, Kalpetta by around 6.30 pm. Overall, a nice and long ride, with the best vistas so far in the tour. Heard later that one of the riders crashed on the ooty, and had to return back to bangalore the next day.

Riders waiting for the rain to stop

On the ouitskirt of Ooty
A waterbody couple of kms down the pykara lake. Definitely worth a breather.
Riders zooming past
More greenery
Mansij - the blogger, and Jas- the volunteer trying to reach the bike mechanic to help out a rider in despair.
After neduvattam, on the way down from Ooty, the road was surrounded by mist and fog
The fog started to thin out after a couple of km though
A cyclist passes through the eucalyptus forest.
Came across Boni and gang on my way to Devala. Turned out the hanger that Boni had fabricated in Ooty wasn't really able to take the load. So boni is in the middle of converting his bike back to single speed.
Riders ride through the tea gardens around Devala.
Tea gardens and hills where ever you look at
More tea gardens

Ravi breezes through

Ankur rides up at one of the small uphill sections. At this point it was close to 4.30 pm, and I had more than 55 km to be covered. I decided to push it a little hard ride non stop .
Is that the chembra peak?

Around meppadi, the landscape gets a new life. The hills are now closer and bigger, and some of roads seems to be merging right into the hills. I was definitely running out of time, but thought I won't do justice to the place if I don't do a pic stop here. Our destination - Green Gates hotel, kalpetta was around 20 km from here.

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