Something is wrong with me, yesterday I played cricket and today Cycling!
It was 5AM and I pushed myself to get up from bed, washed, got into my car to drive to Madras Crocodile Bank by 6:30AM. Started from my house in Mambalam at 5:30, roads were empty and I was in ECR (East Coast Road) by 5:45. It was still dark, from Neelangarai area I started seeing fully equipped cyclists (pros) riding two in a row on the left of the road. I waved at them and continued my journey. Paid Rs.45 for a return at the toll booth, continued on and reached Madras Crocodile Bank at 6:25AM.
Cycles were unloaded from trucks. I went to the volunteers of ACT-We Care to sign in the roster, get my bib number and then a cycle. I was pleasantly surprised when they handed everyone a disposable shower cap along with each helmet (very thoughtful of them). In next fifteen minutes all the riders were ready and we were flagged off on our way to Mamallapuram. As soon as I got on my cycle, a familiar voice called me “Venkat”, turning around I saw V.P.Mathur (JMD, Future Focus). We both rode together, talking with a friend made the ride easier and before we knew it we were in the first pit stop. With a quick drink of water, we kept going without stopping. By 7:50AM we reached the finish line in front of G.R.T. Temple Bay Resort. I was delighted that I made it !!
We returned our cycles and we were treated to a scrumptious breakfast (Freshly made Dosa, Idli, Kancheepuram Idli, Vadai, Noodles, Upma, Cereals, Bread, Fruits, Halwa, Juice & Coffee). With a full stomach we were called in for a brief presentation ceremony where United Way Chennai presented cheques to about 8 other NGOs working on causes from domestic violence, first aid to multiple sclerosis. ECO Kitchen (an NGO working around sustainable meal production for women empowerment) talked about their program called “என்றும் புன்னகை”, a relationship and lifeskill programme for boys and girls at schools of the Corporation of Chennai. I got a nice feeling the little I did today (that too with loads of fun) helps many causes.
Thanks to all the organizers including TAF, United Way, Act-WeCare for delivering a professional, hassle free event.
Background: Today morning, TAF (a cycling company) had organized a cycling event called “Chiefs on a Roll” for United Way Chennai (part of the global social organization). They had two rides, a 50KM one from Tiruvanmiyur to Mamallapuram, second a 15KM from Madras Croc Bank to Mamallapuram. I went for the shorter one, as this was my first cycle (ride) event. Thanks Pravin Shekar for introducing me to this event.