Ironman in Making

Ironman in Making
Target - Ironman Zurich 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Tri Life!! Bhor Triathlon Report

It’s a great pleasure to share with you all about a recent change in my life. In December 2015 Multifit sponsored me to do the Ironman Zurich in July 2016. Since then I have wholly devoted myself to training for this beast of a race. For those who don’t know what Ironman is , it’s a race consisting of 3 sports swimming , cycling and running. The full Ironman (140.6) requires an athlete to swim 3.8 kms then cycle 180.2 kms and lastly run a full marathon which is of 42.2 kms. All this under 16 hours of time limit, to achieve the coveted title of Ironman.

With the support of Multifit and Cymour I have embarked upon this journey not only to complete this gruesome race which will test my endurance but also to achieve a competitive timing. I have been sharing my training pictures and videos online. But that is only 10% of what I am actually doing. The triathlon training has changed my life. I am in the fittest shape I have ever beenEach day is harder than yesterday. Everyday, I feel like quitting but that is when I get over it and keep pushing on. Thanks to my crew, coach, sponsors and supporters I have developed myself into a weapon.
Last week I took part in the Bhor Triathlon just to test myself. The longest distance offered was the Olympic distances (1.5 km Swim, 40 km Cycle, 10 km Run). Check out the following race report.

Bhor Triathlon

The reason to do the race was just to get myself ready for the bigger and more brutal Ironman. To simulate that I went in tired and exhausted into the race. I had a hard build up of training before the Bhor triathlon. Right upto the day before the race I was still doing running and swim intervals. However I was still confident of doing well.

All Packed and Prepped

Getting Ready for the Race

I camped out near the race venue on the night before the race. The race start was in a small village of Mhakoshi near Bhor. It rained throughout the night. Thankfully the tents kept us dry. I had the awesome Nikhita Nath for company and help me prepare for the race. After a good nights sleep I was feeling great for the race. A light breakfast and I was ready for the 1.5 km swimming. The organizers (Zenith Sports Initiative) had a pretty neat and efficient setup. The Olympic Cat triathletes were the first ones to get flagged off.

The beautiful location of the race!!

First out of water

I dived straight in and started with a fast freestyle pace to get away from the crowd and soon managed to put quiet a distance from them. The swim was is a small lake with good clean water. The swim had 4 loops of 375 mts. I had recced the loop the day before so I knew what to expect. I kept a comfortable pace never exerting too much which was enough to get myself the first person out of the water. I could sense my triceps were tired from swimming drills from last week, which did not allow me to function at my optimum. I later got to know that I took about 44 minutes to finish 1.5 km of swim. Usually I would do it in 30 minutes.

The cycling route was winding and rolling through the amazing countryside

After the swim I headed straight for my bike. The bike was a hybrid which was given to me by Aniket Mahashabde of Cymour. The hybrid served me well on the immediate slippery and muddy uphill section to get to the road. Thanks to the organizers who provided me with a pilot vehicle who was ahead of me the whole time clearing traffic and showing way. The cycling terrain was all rolling with pothole ridden roads and sometimes no roads at all. It was good to have the Cymour crew and Niki cheer me as they chased me in their car. I took about 1 Hr 30 mins to finish the 40 kms of cycling and managed to gain a considerable lead on my competitors. Then off I went for my run which was supposed to be only 10 kms but ended up doing 16 kms.

Trail Run
Greatful to Sushil and Prashant Tidke who paced me on my last lap

Always a relief to cross the finish line

Getting my bearings

The running route was supposed to be a loop of 2.5 kms x 4, but it actually turned out to be 3.2 kms. I started off with a comfortable running pace, slowly increasing my pace as I went further into the laps. By this time the weather had turned from a cool overcast to a hot, humid and sunny. By the 3 rd lap I still had a lead of over 2 laps over the guy behind me. After a cool 13 km run to finish first I was joined by Sushil and Prashant where we did one more victory lap and still finishing first. Although I would be lieing if I said I had an easy race. I was competing against myself never getting comfortable and pushing myself through the pain. I was glad to finish and lie down.

That is all you need after a hard race

                                                           Crossing the Finish Line

It was an honour to receive the winner’s trophy from Prashant Tidke, a long time friend who has been inspiring me since I took up the sport. I was overwhelmed by all the strangers  coming  up to me and said I was inspiring them. They all cheered and clapped for me. All in all it was a great race, very well organized, a beautiful backdrop of the sahyadris and the perfect rainy atmosphere of the monsoons to top it all. I would recommend the race for beginner triathletes, a great way to get your first tri experience.

Receiving the Trophy from Parag Ghuge, Pravin Patil and Prashant Tidke (From left)

With the beautiful Trophy

My Baby and the Trophy

The Tri Life

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Desert 500 : Overcoming the Desert!!

As the hours passed the terrain started to roll up and down , the winds kicked in and the sun got back to its unforgiving self.  I was getting cranky and really mad at my crew. There I was,  at the start of the race thinking that I would finish it within 24 hours. Boy!! Was I wrong or what? Now it was more a question of survival.  I was so exhausted that each pedal stroke took a lot of effort. It was here that I started to think of quitting but I just couldn't accept that. So I had to dig deep inside to muster the courage and will to keep up a brutal 30 kmph average speed........

Another Ultra race under the belt! After 2 Deccan Cliffhangers and a RAAM crew experience, I thought I had seen it all. But the Desert 500 remarkably proved to be otherwise. I walked (hobbled) away with a lot to learn. Here’s a brief and exciting summary of the race!

The Desert 500

This race is organized by Delhi’s Velo Sportive group and has been conducted for 2 years now. My good friend Divya Tate recently joined their team I was looking forward to a well organised race.  The race had different categories of 50km, 100km, 250km, 500km and 684 km. The last one was advertised as a challenge and a qualifier for Race Across America (RAAM). With my eye on RAAM my priority was to do the longest distance on offer and also to bag my 3 rd RAAM qualification. The race was based in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. A very picturesque desert city. As the name suggests the race route was through the scorching Thar desert of Rajasthan. This was one challenge I was looking forward to conquering as racing in this heat would simulate the RAAM conditions found in Colorado and Arizona.

The Race

This race required me to have a crew to supply me with everything I need in the race. One of my sponsor and good friend Aniket Mahashabde of Cymour volunteered to be my crew chief and mechanic. Saniya Patil and Monish Deshmukh had both crewed for me in my DCs had returned to support me once more and one new addition was the energetic youngster Arham Shaikh. All 4 between them o now have 10 crewing/racing experiences. I without doubt can say that these guys are one of the most experienced crew in the country and I was lucky that they had my back.

Team Chai Before We left for Rajasthan. From Left - Aniket, Saniya, Chai, Monish and Arham 

Aniket had lent me his SUV for the race which was what I needed to carry my race gear all the way from Pune to Jodhpur. Aniket joined us in Jodhpur directly while the rest of us had a pretty amazing road trip. Especially north Gujarat and Rajasthan!! The roads were great and the countryside near the Aravallis was breath taking. We arrived in Jodhpur by evening and were settled in a comfortable Youth Hostel.

The Race Venue

A day before the race me and Arham assembled the bikes and got them ready to ride. We both headed out towards the race start point, to check the bikes and spin the legs to take out the travel stiffness. On the way back to the hostel I had an unfortunate crash. 24 hours before the race. I was distracted by my phone and did not notice a stone right in the middle of the main street.  Fortunately I was on my back up bike which did not sustain any damage. However my left calf and hand and thumb had bruises. I rode back home. They dint seem as major injuries. Although the bruises hurt a bit I was concerned about my thumb which had swollen up and had difficulty moving it. I could still hold my bike handle properly so there was no question of dropping out of the race.

Me and Arham going for the Test Run

At the Race Venue, just before I crashed. (Atleast I got the pose in)

Race Day –
After an uneasy night I woke up to a buzzing morning. My team were on top of the things, organizing food and logistics for the race. I even got a breakfast in bed. I chose to ride to the venue as I needed to check on my thumb. Bad news – I could barely use my left hand for anything other than holding onto the bike. Breaking and changing gears was painful. I knew it was going to be one painful race. I was one of the last riders to show up. Saniya had already reached ahead of me and done the formalities. Realizing I was the last to be flagged off with still 15 minutes in had, I went off for a warm up spin. I only realized they started the race when I saw Mayank Tripathi zooming off. I thought he was just warming up too but then came his crew car. So I sped back to reach just before Sumit Patil who was just ahead of me was getting flagged off. My poor crew were frantically looking for me.  Well not a perfect start but no harm done, all I had missed was a photo-shoot with my fellow competitors.  

At the Start Line

Arham Giving me a TT style start

The race started at 10 am when the sun was just getting warmed up and it was already 32®C. The max was predicted to go all the way upto 40®C and a minimum right down to a freezing 6®C. With my usual steady but brisk pace I head out into the desert. Soon catching up with Jagdish Italiya and Sumit Patil, both strong and proven riders. About 2 hours into the ride I realized I couldn't even use my left hand to receive my drinks and food from crew. Arham was risking his neck as he stood in middle of the road for the handover from my right side. Even though they were few and far between the bumps on the road hurt my thumb and I started taking my left hand off the handle every time I went over one. This one time I almost fell as I did not slow down enough. This reduced my average speed by a few decimals. Despite the issues I thought I was going pretty well and to the plan. The plan was to finish the race within 24 hours.
I had decided to try out a new strategy. Stopping after every 90 minutes to stretch my legs out. This actually kept me fresh on the bike and keep my speed up. The crew were brilliant in giving out the massages. As the day went on it got hotter and hotter. I usually do not have a problem with heat and can sustain it but the desert was getting very formidable. It threw heavy winds at me which kept changing directions. And these winds were hot as if coming right out of the owen. My crew were constantly on their toes trying to keep me hydrated and cool. I got water sprays almost every 5 minutes. I later learnt that my back was covered in the white salt deposits from the dried sweat. I was gulping almost a litre of water every hour along with gels and electrolytes. Around 3 pm the heat was getting to me. I was getting cranky and frustrated. By that time I had overtaken all the competition except for Rajnikant Yadav a naval athlete. Due to the heat and wind my average speed dropped and I panicked a bit, I put in more effort trying to stay at 30kmph without realizing that it was taking a big toll on me. An hour of this super effort drained a lot out of me and I had to stop and take a nap at around 5 pm. I only needed a 5 minute nap and I was back refreshed on the bike.

Passing Jagdish Italiya

It went on and on and on. 

Arham Spraying Water on my back 

Then started the chase for Rajnikant.  From 5 pm in the evening I was on his tail trying to catch him. Every turn I took I expected to see his crew car. As night fell every car I saw in the distance I thought it was him. I got into a mad obsession to catch him. That drove me into deep frustration as the kilometres kept piling up and still no chance of him. I was surprised as I did not think he would manage to hold me off for so long. Mind you I was going pretty fast and he still evaded me. The last time I had seen him in Deccan Cliffhanger in 2014 he couldn’t finish the race in time. This time he definitely surprised me. I had completely under estimated him.
The hours passed and so did the miles. The night in the desert started to get really cold. A complete contrast to the day. Thankfully the cycling was keeping me warm and I dint really feel any chill at first. As the turn around point came close at around 500 kms, my miserable mood started to get better as Rajni still hadn't passed me. I finally caught up to him right at the turn around point. It gave me a huge boost. I finally settled down mentally knowing that I can get my lead now. Wasting no time we turned around and in about 15 minutes I had come up to him. He was looking good, going off the saddle and hammering even after 500 odd kms. He was literally hammering away like  a guy on a final sprint. He even taunted me with some snide remarks. ** ( After clarification he had just said "Aja aja aja" - means come on in hindi. I took that as an insult when it was not intended to be. He was just encouraging me I got to know later) That did not provoke me at all and I still kept my calm as I pushed on with my steady pace. I steadily overtook him. But he did not let me go away easily. We kept passing each other for 5-6 times until I finally managed to shake him off with a calm and steady pace never pushing too much. I had put on a good 20 minutes lead on him. That’s when the cold of the night got to me. It was almost nearing dawn. The coldest part of the day. I have no idea what temperature it was but even the constant pedalling could not keep me warm. I put my jacket which only helped for while. The cold was lulling me to sleep. Couldn’t stay up, so I took another 5 minute nap. An uneasy but a much needed rest. Afraid that Rajni would pass me I awoke with a start in 5 and was back on the bike. This period was one of the toughest times I had. I was sleepy , I was tired and I was concerned that Rajni could pass me any time. Its true what they say – “it’s the darkest hour before the dawn”. Barely hanging on the bike I finally made it to dawn. Once the sun was up it started to get warmer and the sleep went away. I started to feel better and better. Also there wasn’t any sign of Rajni on my tail. Now however another problem arised. It was around 10 am. I had to do about 120 kms in 4 hours!! That meant I had to ride with an average of 30 kmph to just finish within the cut off time which was at 2 pm. Now if you ask me on a normal day I would say 120 in 4 hours is pretty darn tough even when you’re fresh but imagine you've already ridden almost non stop for 22 hours ; done 550 kms and now they tell you to go at 30 kmph. At first I was pretty confident as I felt good and mostly the terrain was flat. But I was wrong …

The Night Rider

As the hours passed the terrain started to roll up and down , the winds kicked in, the sun got back to its unforgiving self.  I was getting cranky and really mad at my crew. Here I was thinking at the start of the race that I would finish it within 24 hours. Boy!! Was I wrong or what? It was a question of survival.  I was so exhausted and each pedal stroke took a lot of effort. It was here I started to think of quitting but I just couldn't accept that. With that I had to dig deep inside me to keep up a brutal 30 kmph average speed.

It was getting harder and harder as the day got hotter and the terrain wasn't exactly flat. Soon it was down to 90kms in 3 hours then 62kms in 2 hours. During these last few hours I had become immensely focussed and with that came extra-ordinary performance. My body surprised me. I dint know I had it in me to dole out the 30 odd kmph speed. But I was doing it, It was hard and it was painful. The fear of reaching too late was enough to push me to the extremes of my limits. Limits I dint know I had. In the last hour I had to cycle another 30 kms. The enormity of that effort was causing a great strain, more emotionally or mentally rather than physical. I even passed and overtook some of the 500 km / 250 km category racers. Somewhere in that flurry I got a giant bee sting right on my chest. As if I needed any more pain. But in those few hours, everything had become blurry and all I could see was the finish line. Pedal Pedal Pedal. The crew kept feeding and hydrating me, I have no memory of that. Saniya even had a fall as one of the hand-outs went wrong.

Grumpy Chai 

The last half an hour I had 15 kms to go. I was pushing and averaging between 32-35 kmph trying to finish before time to keep some cushion. Teeth clenched, heart pounding , legs pumping , lungs exploding I went up the short climb which dint feel so short and zigzagged through trucks and cars as I reached the final few kilometres. As I took the turn off the highway to get to the finish line which was about 2 kms I only had 5 minutes left on the clock. It was here my crew tells me that they had lied to me and that I actually have 30 more minutes to go to the deadline. I was so angry at them but I knew they had pushed me to my limits to get me across on time. I even yelled at the media vehicle that started filming as I approached the finish. Songs blaring, people cheering, cameras rolling I crossed the line with 20 minutes to save.

To come out of that state of utter focus and pushing myself to the brink I was overwhelmed by all the emotions that came flooding out. The relief, exhaustion, happiness, frustration and anger all at once. I could not contain it. Thanks for my crew who helped me bury my (awfully dirty) face in some towels and shoulders. I was saved from too much embarrassment.  I did manage to cycle further from the finish line to the venue to collect my medal and pose for the pictures. The crew soon whisked me away to the hotel where I just passed out on the floor without even bothering to clean up. I had officially finished first and completed the Desert 500 race – 700 kms in 27 hours 40 minutes.

Strava Logs -

 Click Here For Part I

 Click Here For Part II

Later I came to know that Rajni had managed to finish half an hour after me, about 10 minutes after the cut off. He was still later announced as an official finisher owing to the fact that we had to cycle close to 700 kms rather than the announced 684 kms. A tremendous effort from him and his crew.
To conclude I would like to say that this was by far the most difficult undertaking of my entire life. Never before I had pushed myself to the brinks of a mental breakdown. I came out of it surprised that my body could actually handle these extreme conditions. It was actually my own mind that was limiting the body to function at its most potential. With that in mind I have started to train myself for my ultimate dream Race Across America (Target – 2017) and the Zurich Ironman (July 2016).

                                       WATCH THE DESERT 500 MOVIE MADE BY ME

*** For Raw Footage check out my youtube channel -

Winning the D 500 was worth more than that Voucher and Medal

On the Stage with crew and fellow riders

Lastly even though I train myself to make the weapon I am, all this wouldn't have been possible without my crew – Saniya, Arham, Monish and Aniket. They all performed beyond expectations to keep me safe and to push me to my limits. The man behind all this who’s responsible to making me a cycling machine Michael Lehnig, my coach. Also a big thanks to my sponsors – Multifit and Cymour who have believed in me and supported me in my crazy endeavours. Also my family and countless other folks who have supported me, cheered me on – I can’t thank you all enough.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Of Dhoklas and Kachoris!! Rajasthan Cycling Travelogue

Just as I was getting over my DC (Deccan Cliffhanger) hangover I started training for the Desert 500 race!! The aim is to dominate the Ultra racing scene in India. So I jumped at the opportunity when Divya offered me to join her for the recceing of the race route. It was going to be a week long road trip and I was concerned about my training. But Divya said we will be taking our bikes with us to do the 200 km brevet in Bhuj and cycle most of the D – 500 route.

The Team –
Divya Tate
Director of Desert 500 race. A 680 km race starting in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Jatin Kale –
Crew member and photographer of Team Saniya.
Vrunda Shete –
Crew member and photographer of team Apurv.

The Team before we left Pune

Day 1 – Pune to Ahmedabad
We left Pune on an afternoon and reached our first destination Ahmedabad at about 2.30 am. Stayed at my parents for the night.  It was on this first night that we had a taste of authentic Gujrati “Umbadiyo” (spicy vegetables steamed inside an earthen pot). So spicy yet so delicious. Later in Ahmedabad we had the traditional Fafda- Jalebi for breakfast thanks to my Dad. The carb loading had started even before the cycling started.


Day 2 – Ahmedabad to Bhuj
My parents joined us in this drive to Bhuj. It was here I got introduced to the stark countryside of Gujarat. No hills whatsoever for miles. Being from Pune where you are always surrounded by hills it was a strange feeling. We drove through some big salt pans. The weather even at high noon was surprisingly cool. I had mistaken the desert. By evening we reached Bhuj where we met some local cyclists and those from Baroda, Ahmedabad who had all gathered in Mr. Pathik Vachhani who had hosted them all. His huge maze of a house/mansion/haveli was accommodated the 20 odd cyclists with ease. All these cyclists had gathered for the 200 km BRM starting from Bhuj and ending in the historical town of Dholavira. My dad was going to join me in this ride.

Bike setup in the Haveli

Manjha getting ready for the Kite season in Bhuj

Day 3 – 200 KM BRM Bhuj to Dholavira
This is where the cycling started. This was going to be my first opportunity to go on a long ride with dad. So instead of going into my usual aggressive cycling mode I stayed back with Dad to enjoy the ride with him. It was a great idea, because then I really got to soak in the beauty of the country. We had started out in the dark before the dawn. I had heard that the deserts can get mighty cold in the nights but it was the first time I was getting to experience it. I regretted not having bought a jacket. After about 2 hours into the ride we saw the beautiful sun rising on the desert landscape. We even had a jackal cross the road in front of us. Everything was different from the usual countryside of Maharashtra that I’m used to. The cattle were bigger with huge horns, the birds were different, the terrain, the good roads, the crops in the farms, the villages, the villagers and their colourful dresses. It was a joy to experience all that. Me and Dad were making good time and were pretty much ahead of the field. The organizers of the event had stopped at about 140 kms in a village. There I had my first authentic Kachhi Dabeli. Obviously I couldn’t stop at one. After 3 of those big dabelis I was so full that had I not been riding slow I’d have had trouble to stay on the saddle. The last 30 km was where I was looking forward to. Dholavira is on an island surrounded by a shallow lake which during summer dries up into a white flat. To get to the island you have to go through this salt deposition. There’s even a BSF post on the island as this lake goes on into Pakistan, which is merely 50 kms further west.

Dad in front of the Salt flats

Salt Flats


Salt Flats

Crystals in Saline Pond

Saline Pond

At the end of the Ride

Interacting with the Locals

Our Cheerleaders

Our Cheerleaders

Capturing the Photographer

Jatin got the sun right on the Salt flat

Day 4 – Dholavira Exploration
The day after the 200 km ride I went for an early morning run. The trail was arid and sandy. But surprisingly there were a lot of water bodies around. I met and talk with a few local farmers who were as intrigued in me as I in them. On my way back I misjudged a mound of sand and twisted my left ankle. It was a bad one. Barely managed to crawl home. Even today i.e. a month after the tour my ankle still hasn’t recovered full mobility. We later on went on foot to explore the ruins of Dholavira. These ruins are the remains of the Harappan Civilization, who were one of the first settlers in the Indus Valley. It was sad to see such beautiful ruins in shambles and neglected by the government. According to our guide there are still a whole lot of ruins yet to be unearthed. After the ruins we proceeded to explore the fossil park right along the lake.
We were very hungry after all the exploring and were thankful that our guide invited to his house for lunch. How could we turn down an opportunity to eat authentic local food? The visit to his house provided a glimpse into the local culture itself. They were very hospitable and happy people. After that we set off in the car towards a village called Adesar which was the entry point to the Wild Ass Sanctuary.

The gateway to the Harappan Civilization

Royal Baths

Couldnt walk with a swollen ankle

Saline Lake

Saline Lake

Saline Lake


Royal Lunch at our Guide's house

Bajra Bhakri, Tomato Curry, Garlic Chutney, Buttermilk

Our Guide and his Bro

His Garden

Family Selfie

Our Host


Day 5 -   Wild Ass Sanctuary
After we set off from Dholavira we camped just off the highway near Adesar. I had my ankle swollen so wasn’t of much use in setting up camp. But the other were right upto the task. As we were setting up camp on someone’s field we had midnight visitors coming in with torches. The morning after we went straight into the sanctuary with a hired guide. If anyone is looking to go into the sanctuary make sure you get permission from the forest department and I recommend getting  a guide. Once inside we went off the road into the Rann. A vast expanse of nothingness with only the guide directing us. Soon we sneaked up on a horde of wild asses (which look very much like horses). They dint really like us and started running away from us and we chased them around for a bit. To be alongside a herd of running horses was really mesmerising. The guide then took us to an old diamond mine. After searching in vain for any stray diamonds we settled for some pretty looking stones.

Wild Asses in the Wild!!

Hunting some Wild ASS

The Nothingness!!


If you are anywhere near Osiyan , Rajasthan this is the
 place to have the best Daal Baati

Sooooo Friggin Good!! DAAL BAATIII!!

Day 6 – Mt Abu, Rajasthan. 
The sanctuary marked our last day in Gujarat. We then headed towards Mt. Abu the first town in Rajasthan after crossing over from Gujarat. I was very excited to experience Rajasthan for the very first time. The drive there was very beautiful. Green lush fields welcomed us into the state. We even saw a wild boar strutting along the road. We had planned to camp along a lake in Abu but since we reached there pretty late at night we had to drop that idea and instead we camped on the top of the Abu hill on a camping ground. Had a great view from there the next morning. The weather was super cold. The host gave us nice hot ginger tea, which was so good that amongst the 3 of we finished their whole batch. I then got my bike out and decided to try my legs against the big Abu climb. I cycled all the way down to the base to begin my upward climb. Got the whole effort logged, strava shows me as second overall, if only I hadn’t stopped to click pictures. Divya went off riding towards Jodhpur. Meanwhile me with rest of the gang went all the way up to Gurushikhar the highest point in the Aravalis.

Mt. Abu

View from our Campsite!!

Climbed up the 30 Km ghat of Abu

Stunning Scenes all around

Looking down to Abu base

Cheerleaders egging me up the climb

At lake Nakki on the top. Its very commercialized up there. 

Climbing Abu 

Gurushikhar Peak. The highest point in Aravalis





Day 7 – Jodhpur
I was eager to get to Jodhpur as I had heard so much about it. After camping straight for 3 days we got ourselves a hotel. We arrived fairly early to enjoy a great rooftop dinner at Pal Haveli. The dinner included the much talked Mutton dish of Rajasthan “lal Mass”. The next day we explored the Mehrangarh fort. This for looms threateningly over the whole city. Its big walls rising above everyone on a hill. It was even more intimidating once near its gates. I was totally awed by fierceness of the fort, now that’s something considering that I have been to most of the lofty forts of the Sahyadris. Later in the day we made our way to Bijolai Palace which was the start point of the Desert 500 race. Me and Divya set out to ride along the route. I ended up doing about 60 Kms till a town called Osiyan. After the Sunset we started hunting for camping sites on the way to Jaiselmer. It was hard finding the perfect camping site. We had to look for a place away from villages and hidden from the road.

Rooftop Dinner at Pal Haveli

Lal Maass 

Mehrangarh Fort 

Blue City Jodhpur 

The Kachoris should not be missed. 

From Mehrangarh

From Mehrangarh

It was really cold!!! 

The Main Town Square of Jodhpur

As I said one Kachori aint enough
Start of the Route Recce for Desert 500
Riding the Desert Scape

With the Race Director

Camping Grounds
Cold AF!!

Day 8 – Jaiselmer
Jaiselmer, the golden city of Rajasthan.  I was bowled over by this charming little town. Its stunning golden hues, smooth sandy dunes, yellow stone walls of Fort Jaisalgarh. And not to mention the amazing food we had there.   


Golden Battlements!!
Golden Battlements!!

Ancient Architecture!
Its all legal here!!

Delights of the North!! Chana Bhatura

In India Peacocks Cross the Road!!

Day 9 – Ranau
After spending a day exploring Jaiselmer. Me and Divya went riding towards Ranau through some stunning desert landscapes. That night we camped on the Desert dunes. One of my most beautiful camping experiences. I got a firsthand experience on really how cold the desert gets at night. If not for the campfire nothing would have kept us warm. We were even joined by one of the locals at the fire. Many a stories were exchanged. Good times.

Riding on the Boder Roads!!

Camping on the Dunes!!

Had to huddle to stay warm
That Kept us Defrosted!!
Jatin the Entertainer!!
Local Company at Ranau!!


Day 10 – Jaiselmer-Nagaour – Ahmedabad - Baroda 
This was the last day of the trip. We drove all the way from Jaiselmer to Nagaur which was the D 500 route . Then made our way down south to Ahemdabad driving througout the night. We had one more stop to make before we went home. This time it was Baroda. The fair and kind cyclists of Baroda (The Cycling Club of Baroda) had invited Divya and me to conduct a seminar on ultra cycling. It was good to share our knowledge with them and we enjoyed their hospitality too. Kudos to Raghu Vishal, Raghvendra Jhala and Manisha Patel and the rest of the Baroda cycling community for entertaining us. Me and Divya even managed to get ourselves in the local Baroda tabloids. 

Back in Ahemdabad!! Thanks Mum for Hosting Us.  

Into the Tabloids We go!!

The Seminar!!