Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Race of Truth

... the bicycle is the most energy efficient transportation mode. It is 3 times more efficient than walking, 5 times more efficient than using the train and 15 to 20 times more efficient than driving a car. [Source:]

Cycling is as healthy for the rider as it is for the planet. What's more, it's enjoyable too. Although I cycle my way around the campus everyday, I'd never taken part in any cycling race or cycling tour. The 'Race of Truth' organized by the IISc Bikers Network and Students' Council provided the opportunity to change that. It was an individual time-trial format bicycle race. There were separate race categories for single-speed (non-geared) and multi-speed (geared) cycles.
As it was to be an on-road event, it wasn't wise to use my old and faithful Hercules Thriller. In search of a thin-tyre bicycle, I borrowed a friend's humble BSA Photon. I was told that for the 13.5 kilometer long race, 30 minutes is a good time to log. Anyway, I went into the race not to compete but to complete. On my third and final lap, the chain came off the sprocket while I was going up the unforgiving slope of Silver Oak Marg. I tried putting it back in place but ended up only with greased hands. Too bad!

The organizers were generous though. Since it was a breakdown of the bike and not of the biker, they gave me a second chance. But I had to start afresh. This time I borrowed Abhijit's Hero Hawk. Crouching on its drop handles was kind of weird for someone used to cycling upright. But I had a race to complete. And so I did clocking 30 minutes, 27 seconds.  Phew! That somehow ended up being the fifth best time in the men/single-speed category. Here's the full list:

After the unexpected but encouraging results of my experiments with the Race of Truth, I'm looking forward to the next chance. This time I shall think beyond just completing.


  1. Hey, congrats! Great going!

  2. U look great..Nice pic. Lalit.

  3. @ indisch, Manisha Das: Thank you :)

    @ adhirajad: Well, actually it was more than 5 laps! ;)

  4. Bicycle is such a wonderful machine. Sometimes, I feel we should come up with something like 'save bicycle campaign'. And why not have a cycling track along side the roads..

  5. Great snap! and a great exercise! congratulations to you :)

  6. @ Gouri: Nice inputs. Dedicated cycling tracks along the city roads will certainly make life safer for cyclists. As of now, it seems lack of safety is the biggest deterrant for taking up cycling.

  7. @ vinay: Thanks :)
    Photo credits: Shreekant Deodhar (CES)