“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”
I didn't believe in it until I experienced it myself when I and Kanishk attempted a trip of more than 200 km on our bicycles.
Being the cycling freak I am, I always wanted to buy my own bicycle. So I saved up enough money so as to get myself a decent mountain bike.
One fine day, I and Ayush went to check the cost of the bicycles that we were planning.
Initially, we went to the cyclofit shop at Indirapuram but there was no bike that we could afford.
We wanted a bicycle in the range of 10-15k with decent specs.
Previously I have used a Keysto KS-007 which belonged to my brother. On the back of my mind, I was planning on getting the same one.
So we went to the same shop of Cyclofit concept at Ghitorni. we reached there and came to know that the Keysto bikes were discontinued due to the low quality of deraillers.
But the shopkeeper listened to our travel plans and showed us the Montra Madrock.
I would have bought it on the same day itself, but seeing the cycles, Ayush also decided to get one for himself.
So, we decided to come back and get the bikes in the first week of March.
Fast forward to March
We were all kitted up and ready for the upcoming trip and frankly speaking, I was ready for a solo trip and didn't expected Kanishk to be brave enough to come with me.
We planned to start our journey before the sun rises to cover the cities like Delhi, Rajnagar, and Muradnagar before the sun rises. For this purpose, we ordered headlights and tail blinkers for our bicycles from Amazon. However, only the headlights were delivered and the taillights never delivered.
We searched in bike shops for tail lights and batteries for the headlights. Although we were able to find some good and sleek tail lights but didn't found any batteries for the headlamps.
We were scheduled to start our journey around 2:00 am. However, we worked the previous night at our office and due to the task of arranging all the items couldn't catch enough sleep during the day.
Okay... So we started the journey around 4:30 am and like rockets, we covered the initial 30 km or so.
The road wasn't as easy as we expected. The unlit road combined with the bright headlight from the vehicles coming on the other lane was making the situation more like biking in the pitch dark. Also, the large high-speed vehicles coming from behind us weren't helping.
We took a couple of stops on the way to look for batteries for the headlights so that we can look at the road ahead on what we were riding. However, the major stop that we took was at Modinagar. There we had tea and biscuits to recharge ourselves.
Then we left Modinagar and the highway continued. Mostly it was just a straight road with no bends or very light bends.
We stopped next when the sun was about to rise and we passed Meerut via over the Meerut bypass.
We stopped for about 15 minutes over there, called our homes and people who care about us and resumed our journey.
The next stop was for some breakfast at about 20 km from Meerut.
We stopped at a dhaba run by an elderly lady at her own courtyard and ordered for some parathas. We waited for about 15 minutes and then asked her about the parathas. Then we asked what was the issue and we came to know that she was out of fuel and her son has went to get a cylinder of LPG.
This stop lasted for almost 45 minutes.
When we had our food and started the journey, I felt a little stinging sensation on the left part of my left knee. We had muscle pain from a long time and this was a bit different, it was more like inside my knee.
thinking that it would eventually go away, I continued the journey.
By the time we were about 30 km from Muzaffarnagar, the sight pain has changed to more of a stinging sensation and it was becoming difficult to pedal with that leg.
We stopped at a dhaba and freshened up. There I found that when I am tying my handkerchief over my knee tightly, I was keeping the pain considerably away.
We went on like that for the next 10 km and then stopped at a roadside restaurant. It was a bit drizzling by then and we rested there for about half an hour.
This particular restaurant seemed like a hotspot for tourist buses. This was because it was more of a glorified dhaba and the place was barricaded and was sparkling clean with shops like Baskin Robbins and many others inside. Earlier on the way, we saw the government-run buses stopping at dhabas and other random places, but this was mostly populated by Volvo buses and was mostly dominated by foreigners and tourists. While the drizzle stopped, we got ourselves some really good ice-cream.
By this time, Kanishk also informed me that he was facing it difficult to pedal his bike due to muscle cramps. I wasn't facing muscle cramps, but my knee was a different story altogether.
Since I didn't wanted to ruin the trip for an issue of mine, I decided to move on and not return back. Also, to return back, we needed to pedal either 25 km ahead to Muzaffarnagar and get a bus from there or to go back more than 30 km to Meerut and get a bus. It was obvious that we go ahead.
Till now, we decided that we will reach Muzaffarnagar and based upon the situation of our legs, we will decide whether to take the bike to Haridwar by Bus and then rest for the night and ride to Rishikesh the next day.
While we were covering the last stretch of 20 km to Muzaffarnagar, the condition of my leg worsened and it was more like a stab with a knife on each stroke of the pedal. But we knew one thing, we had to go.
Now we were going at a snail's pace and were barely covering any kilometers stopping every now and then as my leg was giving up on me. This last 15 km was the most painful and after Kanishk also said that he was having pain in his legs, I completely gave up and decided to head back home, but we needed to reach the bus terminus which was about 5 km within the city.
The last 10 km to reach the city completely broke my spirit. One of my leg was dead as a rock with barely any functionality but immense pain with each and every movement. I was pedaling with only my right leg which was thankfully still functional while facing the strong winds from the front making the situation a lot worse than it was. The wind was so strong that one time it was throwing the cycle off balance. It felt as if God was testing our spirits.
Finally, we reached Muzaffarnagar and I knew we needed to cover just a couple more kilometers before we can find a bus and head back home.
However, by now I was clenching my teeth to even make one complete stroke of the pedal.
I was just seeing the road ahead barely to avoid any collisions and was completely blind to anything around which I saw while returning back or else I would have stopped once for food.
Somehow we reached the bus stop and found that we could get a bus to Meerut from here and then we had to take another bus to Delhi or go to another place bus terminus and get a bus directly to Delhi.
As we were dead tired by then, we decided to go to Meerut and have some food and then proceed to Delhi.
We struggled to take the bicycles to the top of the bus and then just dozed off in the bus while it was raining outside.
Now while going back, I saw many restaurants and food joints like dominos and KFC along the way which I ignored earlier due to the pain.
Finally, we reached Meerut and then had some street food for ourselves. Then again we boarded another bus to Raj Nagar where we rested at Kanishk's home.
When we were about to reach Kanishk's home, we had to cross an overbridge however, it was not possible to climb using one leg so Kanishk had to pull me on the way up.
Finally, we reached home and crashed on the bed till the next day.
Oh, one more thing, I named my bicycle "Maya".