Sunday, January 29, 2017

It's Wedding Season in India!!


"January is wedding season in India", we are told at our first riders meeting - get ready to party!  In fact, there was a wedding going on at our hotel....

Delhi is crazy - I've seen none of it beyond a 1.5 hour drive from airport to hotel in pouring rain when we arrived.  Dennis (fellow rider and Brit) was on the same flight as me which was reassuring.  The money changing is very challenging since the government is trying to curb corruption and you are limited in how much money you can change at one time.  

Our first hotel (Vivanta Taj - Surjkund) is on the south side of Delhi to facilitate leaving the city on our first ride day.  This means it's about 3 hours into Delhi to see the sights in the most daunting traffic.  Stayed at the resort instead.  It's so beautiful - had a swim and a massage and the towels are changed every 5 minutes or so in the room - every very time I returned to my room, the slippers they provide were in a different spot, along with clean towels.  

First riders meeting on Jan 28 - met our small band of like minded travellers, 10 in all + 3 staff.  Daily schedule reviewed (bags to van @ 6:45; breakie @ 7:00; and on the road @ 7:30). Reviewed the use of the white boards which will identify our daily route; the rules of the tour and rules of the road.

Day 1
(84 km, 350m climbing), smog/fog, warmish (14'C -> 21'C)

Group photo, Priest gave us a blessing, gift of a bracelet from the God Ganesh to protect us on our travels and provide a safe journey, including a blessing for our bikes with coconut water.
We had our 2 vehicles (1 in front and 1 behind) escort us for the first 10 km out of Delhi, then a straight shot to our destination - Kosi.  This was an experience - horns are constant, signalling rare, and the slow'ish speed of the traffic makes the "dance" doable for all shapes and sizes.  The best part is the maze of traffic going through any community along the way. Why not go the opposite direction on the road - you can fit, just honk your horn -organised chaos....   The road was paved and a bit of construction, but in much better condition than I expected.

Lunch just beyond half way (50 km) - sandwiches, chai, fruit, veggies.  I hope I'll enjoy it as much on last day of tour as today!  

Our hotel for the night is pleasant - had my first, of I'm sure many, experiences with a bucket wash to wash the grime of the day off.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

T-2 Days


Two more sleeps until I leave for India!!

Contents of bags have been inspected and passed by Carla.  Then packed, weighed, repacked, reweighed, you get the picture.  Woohoo - I'm under weight!!  (Carla sent me a follow-up text after I celebrated via text to advise I was underweight - "You didn't add anything else did you?" No, I behaved, but thanks for being my conscience.)

With great assistance  from mechanic, Paul, at Bow Cycle, bike is boxed and ready to go after it was weighed and rearranged a little too - it was a little heavy, but since I have room in my bag and can take 2 carryons I'm good to go.

Oh wait - I need to sew a pair of pants.  Perhaps I should get off the blog and do that....

Packing for this trip has been a huge challenge for me.  I didn't do a great job when I went to Cuba last year and do recall having great difficulty with my suitcase every night and morning b/c it was so heavy!  The packing list sent by TDA was so helpful, as was Carla.

I have an envelope full of receipts and so many trips between MEC and a travel store, buy/return, buy/return.  Last night as I did the final pack - I actually took the tags off everything.  This has been an expensive trip in regard to purchases, but many of the things I've bought will serve for multiple trips and are multipurpose.

Ciao, happy training,

Do Epic S**T


I'm not one of "Betty Designs" Ambassadors, but I do like their "do epic shit" sense of purpose.
I may be carrying this a bit far .....I thought turning 50 was "my year" to challenge myself (2014 Ironman Arizona Triathlon), apparently not. Someone needs to remove my credit card from my possession - NOW!!

Not only have I signed up for an amazing adventure in India with TDA Global Cycling, but this morning I also signed up for a "gravel grinder" race Dirty Kanza 200 Mile on June 2, 2017.  Umm, Paul - remember our conversation yesterday morning around plans post India?  Well they went a little askew this morning.  The Dirty Kanza 100 Mile was full .....and then I thought, what to do, what to do... and I did.

India will now do double duty as a training camp/holiday.  Not really, I'm going to enjoy every last moment of India, but I also didn't want to waste all the endurance and strength I'm going to return with.

Ciao, happy training

PS - received my Visa for India! (even TDA was asking for it....)

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Piles are Accumulating.....


22 days, but who's counting?  I AM!!

Things have been rolling along since my last post and I was doing so well with training and preparations.  Had an excellent time trial pre-Christmas with an 8 watt increase in my power output and an increase in my watts/kg too.  YAY!

Then I woke up on Christmas day with a flippin' cold - grrr.  Oh well, life does move along.  It's been freakin' cold, so not the end of the world to be staying inside while feeling like crap.  I've refocused a little and started various lists of things still left to do for India.  Thankfully a relatively short list since time is running out.

I've amassed 2 piles - "clothing" and "stuff".  I'm almost ready for Carla's inspection.  I'm so glad TDA sent out a packing list.  It's been really helpful 'cause I love to overpack.  I have a distinct memory of 9 pairs of shoes for my week in Arizona for Ironman.  Why would I need 2 pairs of the same runners -1 new and 1 old? - which is how I wore one of each on race day.  I also realized I don't really have a pair of long, light travel pants and those aren't too easy to find in January in Canada. But, I've accumulated a return pile for MEC.

I think I have all my extra days pre-post ride taken care of.  Jan 26-29 in Delhi, then a few extra nights in Goa before flying home.  I have to double check on this as I've been booking all over the place online.  Perhaps not the best planning.

One thing I have been delinquent on is getting my Visa for India.  I should have taken care of that before Christmas.  I went to the Visa office today unprepared and have lost another day....

Happy training and here's to the New Year - so excited to be starting off 2017 with a cycling trip!!

Ciao - Cindy

P.S. - The Brooks saddle seems to be the ticket!