One final luggage drop, one final briefing, one final climb
We were asked to get ready for breakfast and drop our luggage by 7:00 am. Satish gave the day’s briefing and sang a song.
We had one final climb of about 15 kms. It was the same route that we had taken yesterday past Aliyar Dam. I stopped at the same tea shop as yesterday and had a lemon tea.
At the top of the hill was a solitary temple. I must have been so tired yesterday that I missed it. Today I had climbed well beyond my usual standards. I had not only done it at a steady pace but also enjoyed one last view of the tea estates.
I stopped at the same South Indian meal hotel at Attakatty (I missed its name in the last blog. It’s called “Hotel New Restaurant”). A bunch of riders had gathered inside to enjoy the dosas and sambar vadas. Experienced riders had earlier mentioned that their ghee-roast dosa is amazing. I would wholeheartedly agree with them. The kitchen was not able to cope up with the demands. We shared whatever came our way. In the end, we all decided to pay the shopkeeper anything between 100 to 200 rupees depending on how much we had eaten. I thought I had eaten 150 rupees worth of stuff.
I took the descend very slowly and consciously. The organisers were very generous with today’s cut-off times. As a result, everyone stopped here and there for a breather, a selfie, a panorama or just a sip of water.
Finishing the tour
Once I was at Aliyar Dam, the temperatures soared. I was back on the plains of Tamil Nadu. I saw the masters (Venky, Lena, etc.) whiz by me. Later, I got to know that they were doing their own friendly competition. Madhu, a fellow rider who took part in the competition, said that these guys were sprinting above 50 kmph on flat roads. I stuck to my pace and rode to the finish line.
The organisers provided us with bubble wraps. We were asked to wrap our shifters and derailleurs as soon as we entered the resort in Pollachi. These bikes will be carried back to Bangalore.
After freshening up and having lunch beside Bharathapuzha river, we headed off to Coimbatore.
The champions dinner
Our accommodation was arranged at Vivanta by Taj, Coimbatore. They are the official hospitality partners of TfN 2016. Tonight I will be sharing my room with Sidhharth only. Manjeet will be sharing his room with Amit Goyal (The same guy who helped me out by lending me his spare bottle.)
During the gala dinner, I did not forget to say thanks to the guy who inspired me to participate – Bikey Venky aka Venkateswara Rao Navasi aka Lord Venky.
There is an epilogue to this tour. I will sum up my thoughts in tomorrow’s blog.