On 30th May 2009, Krishnan and I woke up early and went for a cycle ride … Little knowing then that we were succumbing to a lifelong passion !! We were to meet some more folk at the Genpact signal. I was without a helmet for the first and last time. I got off the bike at Genpact only to be greeted by this tall guy, whose hello was followed by “your seat is too low”. Manish didn’t listen to my feeble attempts to inform him that I was scared of falling off the bike :):) he went on to increase the height of the seat and we started on our first ride with the Pedalyatris. There were about 7 odd people and the ride was to Manger via GFR. I had packed some raisins and we sat at some place in Manger to munch on those. We had been told that there was this bearded gentleman who had started the PY group, who threw you out of the group if you left any non-degradable things on the trails.
Well we collected many non-degradable things on the manger trail that day – friends for life, an appreciation for the trail, my challenges with climbs, the passion of cycling, my becoming a morning person … None of which has degraded till date 🙂
I promptly told Krishnan, let’s ride during the weekdays, these guys ride too fast for me and I don’t want to be left behind and slowly the miles piled on, the tea stops, the early morning chatter, the many explorations and the many many discussions on everything under the sun. Wives became friends, further education happened, biscuits got re-branded, I continued to ride slow, many transfers happened, fractures happened, trails became roads, and PYs remained true to my mother’s moniker for us “paagal yatris”.
But we still had not had discussions under the moon !! Finally yesterday that too happened. The night ride to Manger, not the old route, but our new route and a much tamer trail but the love of the outdoors, the charm of cycling on the trail, all intact. Yes that bearded gentleman who didnt like non-degradable things to be left on the trail is still around – and this time I left something behind, my fear of riding on a trail at night :), sorry I don’t listen to anyone – a non-degradable birth defect !!
Thank you Rajesh – for Pedal yatris, for the many jokes, the irritations, the friendship, the non-bloated head and above all just for who you are. Hmmm who you are minus the friendship with that guy who raised my seat on day one :):):)
Now I want rains, am turning degradable from non-degradable in this heat !!