BSA-TFN 2010: Day 8 – Adios Amigos, Its Over – Just for Now!

Rosanna Nitti and the 9 year old Rishi Nair: The mother-son pair of BSA-TFN 2010

After 8 days of hectic cycling, loads of great efforts, heroics, ignoring pain barriers, making friends, exploring amazing natural riches and riding through 900 kms through the lush Nilgiris of South India and climbing some 8500 meters by the 100 riders and with the inspiring support from 30 odd volunteers- India’s biggest and most coveted biking event the BSA-TFN’s 2010 edition came to an end today.

At Gonnikoppal, the 100 riders were flagged off for the one last time this year. The route was short- only 84 km to KrishnaRajSagar Dam and the mood was that of festivities. People exchanged their bikes, took lots of pictures, slowed their pace to just stretch the day a bit but finally it had to end 😦

The ride could be divided into two distinct parts. The part one was through the state highway till support station 1 which had shocking road conditions and the second part was through the super smooth and lightning fast expressway with lots of headwind till the destination.

The riders were pleasantly surprised when a huge tusker appeared on the road to the support station 1. Some of the riders stopped by and clicked photographs and some moved on towards the destination. It was an interesting start of the day.

The tusker who stole the thunder on the last day

Naah...I am not in for tusker trouble, I am going past this now!

I keep going, I have seen enough elephants in zoo

One more angle....

However, soon the road conditions of the state highway turned to hell. The surface quality was shockingly bad and heavy traffic on the route slowed the riders down. One of the riders Vandit Kalia, a famous MAMIL (Middle Aged Men In Lycra), who is an expert downhiller (superfast downhill record from Ooty) suffered from loss of sense of humor owing to the road conditions and fumed “Now I know how the dinosaurs got extinct; the space-rock that killed them had landed on this state highway otherwise how do you explain the size of all these craters”?

The road was filled with slow moving bullock carts and bully bus drivers and insensitive mobikers. To make things worse there were speed breakers on an already broken tarmac. “Why do you need speed breakers on a road that is back breaker by itself” said Priyesh, one of the riders who was finding it uninteresting to negotiate the conditions.

Potholed, Cratered, Broken.......

Check out the width of the road- hardly as much as a seal!

some open sections were relief but that would be ephemeral mostly

Anand Sinha: Apparently he risked his marriage to come to TFN 😉

yeah how can you travel in Indian roads and not see a bullock cart?

Traffic snarl caused by two bullock carts- thats how wide the road was!

Siva and Rakesh Nair was seen ambling on the road in a much less intense pace that they are well known for- what the heck it’s the last day of the tour, right? Rishi Nair, the 9 year old kid and already a celebrity among the riders toughened it out with his mom Rosanna Nitti. Mark, the rider from USA, found the roads as minefields but negotiated them well to reach the one and only support station for the day.

The support crew was efficient as ever. These guys made the tour happen. They put in days’ and nights’ of efforts to ensure that the riders get what they wanted at all times. Great job guys, it is a tough job and you guys did it with some panache!

The BSA-TFN 2010 Volunteers: The guys who made the whole event possible. Super effort people!

 

Support staff ensures all these bikes are transported to Bangalore without any scratches

and they ensure luggage is tagged and that they reach the to destination each day and then to the rightful owner!

Neeta Shankar: The official photographer and my partner in crime in covering the whole event. Our days would start at 6:30 am and end at 4:00 am. Hectic but enjoyable!

On duty photograph of yours truly. Run from this place to that and capture the event, take notes, interview folks and reproduce it in writing

 

Post the support station, the ride went to the National Highway to Bangalore and the conditions changed instantly. It was a smooth dual carriageway that carried on for next 40 km and the riders sailed through this to reach the destination in an upbeat mood.

At the destination, all the riders got an amazing welcome from friends and family that had gathered to cheer for their loved ones. The cell phones kept ringing and the guys kept congratulating each other.

yeah we did it!

The sight was heartening. People exchanging contacts, hugs, handshakes, broad smiles, laughter- filled the place with a vibrant energy. It was hard to believe that from tomorrow onwards there would be no rides with 100 riders in the beautiful Nilgiris. The BSA-TFN 2010 is officially over.

So, how did the riders feel? Here is a quick assortment:

Item Riders’ Views
Overall experience of BSA-TFN 2010 Awesome
Scenery Great
Length of Tour Good
Road Conditions Patchy (Good, Bad and Ugly)
Food OK (a bit too spice laden though)
Accommodation Good (a few great ones, a few average ones)
Support Staff Awesome
Medical Care Awesome

It was a great experience covering the event and I had great time writing about it. Yes, it was a job that makes one work late nights but the friendships I carry back from this event would be for a very long time. If I close my eyes, I still see a pack of riders in their striking colored outfits coming down at express pace through the mountainous loops of Ooty in the great backdrop of lush green tea gardens and a clear blue sky. I hope you enjoyed my coverage as much as I enjoyed doing it!

thats me- yours truly

Would you not like to be a part of this great event in 2011? Would you not like to be involved in India’s most coveted bike tour? I bet it would be a great experience the year next as well.

Adios Amigos, Its Over-Just for Now!

-Manasij Ganguli

manasij.ganguli@gmail.com

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7 Responses to “BSA-TFN 2010: Day 8 – Adios Amigos, Its Over – Just for Now!”

  1. Guadzilla Says:

    While I was fuming, I cannot take credit for that crater quote, hombre. That was someone else.

  2. Varun Says:

    Adios Manasij! Great job! I enjoyed the tour through your blog posts and pictures!

  3. ajay Says:

    Good Job Manasij :), enjoyed your coverage and it makes me wanting to participate next year

  4. vikoe03 Says:

    Thanks for the wonderful blogs Manasij. It was sort of a daily routine for me to look at the posts all these 8 days and feel the spirit and the belonging to passion.

  5. Balu Says:

    Hi Manasij,
    It was a nice read backedup with nice pics…
    🙂

  6. somesh Says:

    nicely covered Manasij. Good work! thanks 🙂

  7. dauji_saha@yahoo.com Says:

    Well, today only I managed to read all your blogs on TFN 2010 – coverage in words and pictures has made the ride even more cherishable than ever before. Keep it up, Manasij.

    Dauji

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