Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mountain Biking - Exploring new tracks

Our every day Mega Morning initiative had brought us to such a verge that we had run out of new tracks on and off road for Cycling in and around Nangal situated in the foothills of Shivalik Hills. Gaurav and me were starving to explore new tracks for our pulses to come back to normal.

Everyday morning when we hit the road either on cycle or on a run, we do not come with pre decided plan. 2nd June 2012 Saturday was not different from our normal routine. We manage to hit the road at 05:00 AM with a clear aim to explore new track.

Crossing through NFL jungles we went out of Nangal town and were wandering somewhere in the forests along side serene Nangal Dam. First Rays of sun in front of serene and soothing water filled more energy and excitement to pedal hard.

So far the track was not new for us. After pedalling 10 kilometer with a blend of uphill and downhill ride, we took a diversion towards new corner of the valley. In couple of moments we were right in front of humungas Nangal Dam and stable green water to cross. Wait wait, I am not going to say that we crossed it either by riding on water or by swimming along with our mountain bikes. 

There was a 100 years old bridge to cross to reach other side of the dam. The length of the bridge was approximately 500 meters and looked too giant standing tall in the sky. Bridge was narrow enough to not to ride on it so we had to walk on it with our cycles. With our every step, the movement of bridge increased a lot and looking down into the green water of dam made it more challenging for us to concentrate. There was another thrill to the game, since steel made bridge was broken at many places, people had put wooden floor  on it which was also too old and damaged badly. We had no choice than to cross it smilingly. Surely we soaked some blood here.

This bridge called "Handola" was the beginning of exploring new track. The track ahead was completely off road and full of odd rocks lying all over the place. An old railway track joined us soon and we learnt from a local that we were heading towards Bhakra Dam through an off road track. We rode along with Railway track and valley full of plants and trees.

While riding off road for few kilometers we crossed a very small village when off road track abruptly ended and a smooth beautiful road welcomed us with easy uphill ride. This was the beginning of Bhakra Dam territory. At a diversion of road towards two direction, we inquired about both tracks from a policemen guarding Dam territory.

Again with no plans, we decided to go on a different route than one which went towards Dam. We crossed a bridge over Dam outlet and reached on the other side of the dam. It was like going into the different world where there is nothing called noise and life. For miles and miles there was no churping of words and spotting a human being was almost like next to impossible. But surprisingly road was newly built and street lights at almost every place.

The sun had grown harsh by this time and we had locked around 15 kilometer with half of it an uphill ride. The serene track covered with trees on one side helped us pedaling harder to ride an uphill track with 250 meter elevation in three kilometer distance. We rested, we drank water, we slogged and above all we thoroughly enjoyed.

We were riding along with Dam and harsh sun rays made us pedal fast to reach somewhere. By now we were targeting to reach above the altitude of Dam and see the real beauty from top. Finally with lot of sweat and pedaling we manage to kill the altitude and reached very near to top of the dam.

There was another thrill waiting on our way, and it was nothing but a dark tunnel. Crossing that tunnel on a cycle with no traffic was fun to do it. We were so badly tired that wanted tunnel to not to come to an end. But it was shorter than expected.

The uphill riding had not yet ended and seemed that this will go long.But we were not yet broken and decided to move ahead. Soon we realised that this road will take us to Jawali Ji of Kangra District if we are able to manage another 80 kilometer riding.

After moving out of Dam territory, we started spotting few houses close to road. Spotting people here was equally difficult and we were clearly riding in isolation.

The day had started growing hot. By now we were more than satisfied to explore new area, new track and new fun.

We decided to turn back after 21 kilometer of riding. We knew that on our way back we have more than 10 kilometer down hill riding. By clearly knowing the fact that its a NIL traffic area we did not even touch our brakes and let cycles plays with tracks. The terrains were thrilling and maximum speed we touched was 60 kilometer per hour. This seemed exciting and provoking to ride hard.

We were not yet done with uphill riding and another 2 kilometer of uphill was still left. This proved to be a challenging task with sun clearly coming on the face and boiling water in our bottles becoming undrinkable. There was no other way to continue pedaling hard and what can stand in front of stubborn minds like ours.

The last stretch of downhill involved some traffic. I was so exhausted by this time that even hot air gave me so much of enjoyment as if I was running out of Oxygen.

Soon we entered Nangal where we rode on inner roads of BBMB and NFL to avoid traffic and reached back home.

This was among some of my toughest tracks and I fully believe in the fact that there is nothing called Free Lunch in this world. The spirits are high to write some more pages of fun to make people believe that Life is Beautiful and You Can do it temperament. Use your mental strength than physical strength to stand out from the crowd.


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