Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. — Albert Einstein

With this in my mind, I pushed myself against the winds as I completed 125 miles from Bloomington to West Lafayette in two days. It was a fundraising bike-ride called the “Bucket 100” organized by the Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds houses for the homeless.

Let me firstly heartily thank my dear friends who helped me complete my fundraising goal. Kudos!

We set out on Saturday morning on a bus to Bloomington, IN. The night halt was 60 miles away at a school at Danville and today morning (28 Oct, Sunday) we set out for Purdue.

Tanner and me

The maximum I have ever rode on a bike was around 30 miles, around Purdue, so 60 in a day, and then 65 the next day seemed formidable. On the first day, the winds were not very strong but Bloomington is full of small hills. (In fact, the beautiful IU campus reminds me of the IITB campus with its hilly terrain). I found a biker friend in Tanner, whom I befriended in one of the practice rides. We encouraged each other to pull ourselves; at one point, we missed a turn and ended up cycling 6 miles extra. The last 10 miles were the toughest with daunting hills but the drive to reach kept us going. After arduous efforts I made it to Danville, wondering how I would make tomorrow’s 65 miles. But it was okay as I did those (dull) ‘stretching’ exercises.

The next morning (today) was much more challenging. The route from Danville to West Lafayette was a typical mid-west one. You can see nothing but farm-land for miles on end. The north (Chicago) winds have nothing – no forests, trees, houses – to stop them and we had to ride head-on into the wind. Tanner fell behind but I found myself riding with Karen, an awesome biker from near Chicago. We drafted each other from the wind alternately without which I could never have completed my ride. On the way, we passed lakes, rivers, railway-tracks, stinky pig-farms and many strange animals. At one point, a pet dog started following us even beyond a mile! We carried it to a nearby golf-club and whose owner was kind enough to keep it for a while.

Karen and I after completing the ride

The SAG vans (support and gear) stopped at regular intervals and we could replenish ourselves with energy bars, bagels, energy drinks and also chat with other bicyclists. Elaina and Marcus did a fantastic job of coordinating the entire ride – from marking the route to arranging the victory cake. It was great to get to know some cool people from Purdue and beyond!

I tracked my whole ride through my iPhone and it’s fun taking a look at the statistics. Here is the link –

Day 1      Day 2

Some ride photos

PS: Marcus has clicked an awesome photo of me, just as I rode toward the finish line. I will upload it as soon as he emails it to me. (Here it is…)

At the finish line

PS: The previous post on the blog was about mandibular fractures, my experience about the broken jaw from the bicycle accident. I would like to tell the distressed reader that recovering from a fracture takes time but life comes back to normal sooner than you expect!

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