There were quite a few anxious moments when I thought it was truly beyond my reach.
However having crossed the 20K barrier I decided to go ahead…
As you rightly guessed, this is not about glittering rocks to be worn around the neck. I refer to the Necklace- in Pune cyclists’ parlance this is the circular route around the famous Pune tekdis’. It is a continuous left hand turn (or right hand depending on which direction you start) from Law College Road- SB Road-University Circle-NCL Road- DRDO-Bavdhan-Chandani Chowk-Paud Road-SNDT-Law College Road. One has to go up two hillocks- the Symbiosis tekdi and then way up to Chandani Chowk.
Why necklace? Probably because of DRDO’s lovely Necklace garden that one crosses en route.
Despite severe daytime heat, the cool morning air was condusive to my first attempt. We set off at a steady pace competing with no one but ourselves. A short water break beyond the Necklace garden and I was set for the final assault. To my mind the ride up to Chandani Chowk would be the most difficult part. I was determined not to walk up and cycle all the way up. I conserved every bit of energy, checked that the cycle gears were in top shape and cycled up one pedal at a time. Steadily I made it to the top… totally out of breath but victorious. Yeah!!
I was told that the downhill ride from any slope is a ‘prize’ to relish, a soothing balm for burning muscles as the wind rips across your face cooling you off. I had experienced this feeling on other downhill rides in Pune and looked forward to this one as well.
Yet things were different. Drastically different.
Congratulating myself I started towards Paud Road but was hit by the scariest feelings in my limited cycling experience. The road inclines downwards about 45degrees and is packed with trucks peeling from the Bangalore bypass. I felt the kinetic energy build up as my bike gathered speed, careening madly downwards with me precariously holding on to the handles for dear life. I did the very thing I had resolved not to.
I managed to brake and got off.
I walked the cycle downhill.
I guess a roller coaster ride would have been more benign at least one does not have to deal with murderous vehicles or maintain balance or ensure one does not veer from the asphalt into the stony berm.
My ego could take this fall not my bones or teeth!I had no wish to check healing powers of my bones.
The rest of the ride passed uneventfully.
Having said this, the ride was wonderful, something any cyclist must attempt. (Do so in the mornings when weather is cool and roads relatively free of vehicles.)
Cycling is a wonderful way to really ‘see’ the city up close.