Indian Cyclists Network

Trepidations of an amateur cyclist on his first ride.

The going was great. I set out at about 3 pm to Narara which is a bird sanctuary near Jamnagar. The total distance from my place being around 26 kms from my place. Started off well, armed with my spare tube and pump, helmet, tool kit and all. Nice pleasant ride, but mainly on the road so I set about to check the MTB out offroad. Went on a dirt patch which was handled well, the shocks kicked into action pretty good. But still have'nt made out exactly how to control the lockout of the front suspensions. Went back on to the highway. Something missing was the rear mirror. Something I will add the next time around. Then veered out of the highway and the village roads on the way to Narara- a bird sanctuary( or a marine reserve). It went on for about 6 kms inside till I saw the turn for Narara which was 8 kms ahead. Figured I didnt have enough time before it got dark and set about to returning. I just could'nt go back the same way! I had to try out an offroad patch which was rather grassy. Went there, got stuck on the way, turned around in front of a cow and the cow gave a leap which scared the living hell out of me, returned back to the road.

All's well I said but I said it too fast.. My seat was bobbing up and down for some reason. Checked the rear tyre and it was flat. Lucky me, I had my trusty spare tube with me and pump. So I set about removing the rear wheel. The tube removed and the spare was kept in place, but the entire tube wouldnt go inside along with the tyre. This part tested my patience to the hilt. All the bikes and cars were honking by as they passed me. I started shouting out obscenities. Well the tool kit helped and I filled up the tyre to 50 psi with my trusty pump. Now I just had to just slip in the tyre and fix the clamp..... But wait, the tyre just would'nt get into place coz of the V brakes. Damn! I set about deflating the tube and then fixing it with the rear wheel pin. I again forgot that I had to slip in the chain first over the rear cassette. Trouble again, as I tried to meddle with the chain, when the entire cycle fell down on its stand. Aaargh! was the word I had to say. Went about getting the chain fixed admiring the people who could fit the rear wheel in a jiffy ( as seen in the Paris Roubaix video-A Day in Hell intro). Finally got it fixed wen I put on the clix clamp on the derailleur end, curses again... followed by more curses. The entire process of changing the rear wheel took about a half hour. Man I was super!

The rest of the journey back was cool. Came back to the township- straight to the cycle shop to get my punctured tube for repair. Two holes and 1 thorn in the tyre. Wonder where the other thorn was? Then it was all, talking bout replacing the tyre on the road and all, the cycle shop guy was looking at me at awe so were the other guys getting their cycle repaired. Basking in the glory so to say.. But think you get this cool feeling when you do things that others do not normally do.... On the whole a great ride.

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