BAR ITT 2

I read in a delightful book a few days ago about how particles of inspiration continuously zip through the universe; and how, by  some quirk of statistics, they make contact with susceptible minds. The results? Revelations in the murk of half-sleep about the benzene molecule being a carbonaceous hexagon; or the X-ray plate revealing the truth about a double helix; or the realisation that there exists an all-pervading force of attraction between any two bodies possessing mass (The legend goes that this particular particle was rather red, and rather tangible.). Things like that. Pretty important, I’d say.

Most are never hit- the book says- while a blessed few are hit once or twice in their lifetimes (And they go on to propound theories that change the world.). But the most unfortunate are those weird particle-magnets who, by some statistical bias, seem to get them all. Like me. When the first one hits, I work out an ingenious method to overcome the problem I was wrestling with. Then the second one hits and my mind, true to its impish nature, begins exploring the ways in which the subject of my project could be turned into a bomb. I work that out and am immediately hit by what could only be called a hailstorm of particles, and the resultant cerebral riot forces me to turn to my blog. Forgive me, netizens, polluting the internet allows me to preserve my sanity. But oh boy, a single particle can cause enough havoc sometimes.

“Looking happy today, Shaunak.”

“Eh?”

A rather reckless particle of inspiration had chosen that very moment to dive out of the ionosphere and straight into the right hemisphere of my brain, and was now happily splashing around trying to drown the other, more important, things- like the ITT I was about to start on in a few seconds, and the worries about whether my injured knee would start creaking again- with alliterated nicknames for Craig. (Sorry, mate. I’m ready to die on the next ride.)

“Rocket Raynes?”, the particle ventured.

” Sounds too much like Rocket Raccoon. Get the hell out of my head.”

“One. Two. Three. Go!”

“Who, me? Dammit!”

I pushed off, somehow managed to scrabble on to the saddle without any incidents, and fumbled the clip-in.

“Double dammit.”

I glanced down and realised that I had not started the GPS.

“Triple dammit!”

Gawd I despised untimely hits!

“Ripper Raynes?” the particle insisted.

“Oh, shut up.” I focused on Raghu, who had started before me and was now hammering away tucked in the TT position, about 300 metres ahead. I did not have TT bars, and wondered if I had enough power left after the injury to catch up with him.

“Craig the comet?”

“Stop trying.” I impatiently batted the particle away and focused on my cadence. It buzzed away to a corner of my mind and gave what it obviously thought was a menacing growl. If only it weren’t in falsetto…

 My legs were definitely weaker, but my heart was still just as strong. I decided to keep spinning at over 100 rpm and transfer the load to my aerobic engine, and prayed that the result would be the same.

I passed Kartikeya and was almost on to Raghu when Craig zipped past.

“Whaaaaa?”

“Crusher Craig?”  My nemesis was back. And it had a point.

“Yup, definitely. Well done.” I patted the particle. It purred, tried to take an affectionate bite out of my mental hand and melted away.

I heaved a sigh of relief and glanced at my GPS. 9.6 km, 165 BPM and 36 kmph. My knee seemed good. What if I went full-power now?

“Might as well. God mode: Engage.”

Finish line

I slumped back on the saddle and took another look at my data. 24.5 km, 175 BPM, 38.17 kmph and 97 rpm. And my knee didn’t hurt! 

Yep. I was happy. Definitely.



Advertisements

Breakaway 101

38 kmph.

39…40…41…41…42…

I resist the urge to pull harder as the gradient dips. We go way back, this stretch of road and I, and the memories are mostly of the unsavoury kind. I scan my numbers carefully, and tense for the attack that I know would come in a minute.

I zoom through the trough at the head of the train, and drop a gear as the ramp says hello to my legs.

46 kmph… 49… 50…48…

And it comes.

I hear the tell-tale rhythmic skrish-skrish of tyre on tarmac. Someone is off their saddle.

“Heh.”

I get on the drops as Murali zips past, followed by Phani and Sarvesh and whoa, Azzy!

“Aha! So you caught up.”

Before I know it, the gap is twenty metres.

“Scrawny buggers.”

I begin cranking the juice out of my legs, and I’m on to Azzy in a flash.

“CLOSE THE GAP!”

But he is already depleted.

I lurk in his draft for five seconds as my legs recharge.

“God mode: Engage!”

I quietly rejoice as I settle on Murali’s wheel and wait for the long false-flat that I know is only metres away. If I know these boys, there’s a big one coming.

And it’s Sarvesh. We’re all off our saddles in the blink of an eye, all guns blazing, and Phani  closes the gap.

Sarvesh goes again. I follow Murali as he clings on to his wheel.

He shoots forward one more time, and this time it’s me who bridges.

He goes again.

“Gosh, what’s this kid made of?”

I survey the other two, but they seem unwilling to respond.

“Ah, chuck it! God mode: Engage!”

I glance back from Sarvesh’s wheel.

Nobody.

He looks at me out of the corner of his eye.

“Let’s hold them off till Upachar.”

“Another TTT, huh?”

I sink into my private world of pain, where each second is as long as an hour, the only sensation is a dull, smouldering ache, and the only sound the rush of the wind in my ears.

“Come on, we’re gaining on them!”

I dig a little deeper as I move up. We can’t be far now…

“Good effort. We’ve likely put over a minute into them.”

I clumsily squeeze the hand Sarvesh extends at me as the edifice of Nandi Upachar looms out of the fog.

“So THAT was a breakaway.”