Its not about the bike !

Well seems a single thread connects lance armstrong, the ace champion cyclist and ur's truly...as they pervaded through tough road conditions and became champions.Lance did it on the pyrenees and alps and most of france ,while i get to show my bravery on Old mahabalipuram road and the road linking to madipakkam,via the thuraipakkam-pallikaranai bypass road.Last evening after waiting for a long time..In office due to the rains...when the downpour mildly lessened , I decided to start from office.My bike suprisingly didnt misbehave even after being drenched in water for most part of the day. My bike started smoothly like a dream ...and soon enough minutes after I hit the Old mahabs Highway (so called IT corridor ) my dream became a nightmare..When strong winds and heavy rain had inundated the road in minutes.My bike though..was resistant to all that was happening around it braving the fact that some (4n + 2 ) wheelers in the hope to get home soon splashed water all around me and my bike.Now that is one thing that i hate ....when vehicles tend to accelerate when the roads are flooded , thereby splashing water on the other vehicles...near it. Anyway..it was ineveitable given the sense of urgency to return home for each of the people driving vehicles in such heavy rain.My bike as soon as it turned left from thuraipakkam towards pallikaranai ... entered what one would call a labyrinthine water trough.... where on a normal sunny chennai day the highway road is flanked by huge open spaces of the pallikaranai marsh....but due to the rains over the past week or so , the marsh had turned into an ocean ..and adding misery to my biking experience was the fact that all the roadlights went kaput and i had to pervade through darkness on a lonely highway road ..on which beyond a particular distance even the roads were flooded thanks to the flood waters receding the embankment level of the marsh. At this point my bike sensed danger and did a ctrl-alt-del and stopped right in the middle of the puddle of water..I tried starting it in vain ... only then did i condescend to get off my bike and see reality surrounding me after i wiped my glasses .the water level in that half hour of rains ...at 7 pm had flooded the troads to such an extent that i felt i was waiting to practice scuba diving in the middle of an artificial ocean.I could not distinguish between the road and the huge marsh that lay adjunct to the road..and given the fact that the marsh flanking the road was easily 50 metres deep as the road was on a higher level ....fears of me drowning soon engulfed my head ... I waited for a while for the rain to stop ...but it didnt ...

I had no option but to push my bike “”upstream”” agains the current of water on the road ,even as leviathan lorries and buses raced ahead with impunity splashing waves of water over me and I was left simpering like a fool , laughing at my own misery. I knew that it was a long walk back home ….6-7 kilometres to be precise …. But to walk along with a bag slung over my shoulder and to push a bike was a tough ask .

The road seemed to extend until eternity when I finally decided enough was enough..as my arms were aching from pushing the bike along …and thank goodness the rains had just about stopped …so I gave my rugged old bike a couple of more kicks to start the bike …it didn’t …. A few more it didn’t ….. Exasperated …I took a deep breath and with my might kicked it ..and finally my engine awoke ….making a brief noise and disappearing into the dins of the frogs croaking and the vehicles honking from behind. This was enough to kick start hope into my heart and I repeated the same with more patience … as I kicked harder , the engine started to slowly make some noise and it started releasing huge puffs of smoke …along with pumping a few litres of the gutter-rain mixture out of my bike ….and yo my bike seemed to start…. But ….the power in it seemed so dim that incase I switched off or lowered my speed/gear the bike wouldn’t start again … Taking note of the constraint my bike imposed on me.. I did a “”keanu reeves speed” making a steely resolve that I would not lower the speed below 40 ….and flexed my accelerator to full throttle on the roads ..turned into a (Himalayan moto cross track) to blaze my way through ….a relatively empty road.

My bike seemed all ok , when I turned on the pallikaranai highway road leading to velachery …but just remembered that this damn place has medians all around the road as the road has its own curves and potholes ..so biking on the wrong side of 40 was like committing hara-kiri and I slowed down to avoid …. Hitting the median..when I landed in a huge pothole …and drat the bike went kaput this time around… after a few unsuccessful attempts to revive life in my bike … the proverbial final kick …..Started the bike ….and it was like driving on free space ….with me not knowing where exactly the road was …as to expect street lights in this area was akin to expecting Neanderthal man to shoot an email to fix a bug and to make matters worse a fresh spell of heavy rains started again

Soon relief came when a IT company bus with huge lights honked me from behind ….and I did not dare budge from my position ahead of him …as the light from the bus seemed just about ok to confirm that I was on a road and not straying on any mud laden heap of sand …deposited on mist highway roads.

Finally a hour and a half after I started … and after facing a lot of verball volleys from the bus that followed me ,in the hope that I would give way …I landed home …. Bruised ,wet and of course with a sense of achievement that I had won the battle ….. (with the rains just about being reduced to a drizzle ).I was expecting a champions welcome ..when we mother chided me for using the bike in such wet weather…. Grumbling I went inside and after I settled down ….and sat near the window ….proudly gazing at the road my bike had braved through…..amidst such trying circumstances ….a fresh spell of rains again pounded …my place so as to tell me “ u just lived to fight another day “…while I said to myself “I might have won the battle ….but the war is still on …. With heavy rains expected for the next few days “….

Anyways its just that Lance Armstrong makes headlines on the Tour ‘de’france ….I thought why not claim my share of fame on the Tour’de ‘OMR”…. So that’s why this “epoch breaking story “ .Bouquets or brickbats welcome …..


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