Write-up by Uma:
Out of too much enthusiasm registered for Peter’s 50+50 trial run/ride in kalrayan hills. Had all plans to practice before the ride, but thanks to the rains for making me lazier to get some guilt free sleep in the mornings. Friday afternoon, took permission and rushed home to pack and leave early to Kalrayan. Myself, Partu @sriram, Subbu @subhajith, Programed @vijay and Viki @Vignesh started our travel by car from Porur. After a sumptuous dinner at 99Km everyone was feeling drowsy and on the verge of falling asleep, that’s when our DJ Viki pitched in to change the music mode from “Shape of you” to “Doddabetta roatu mela mutta parrota”.He didn’t allow us to change the song until we accepted that the song had great music and profound meaning in the lyrics. Little did we know that this song will be our energy mantra for the next two days.
Reached the camping spot around 1.30 in the night and hit sleeping bags in no time.
Saturday morning we had our BF in Vellimalai and left to our day 1 starting point. After the routine instructions, map sharing and group picture we started towards our mission for the day. We happened to encounter a stream crossing in 500 meters and all runners had to remove their shoes to cross and we cyclist gave look like “nanga cyclist apadiyae povome” as they were drying foot to wear shoes again. Though, It wasn’t too late for them to take revenge once the actual trail began and we had to push our cycles to climb the rocky trail, runners ran past us like “mudinja vandu pudichikonga”. After the runners were long gone, myself, Sriram and Arpan were left behind the running lot. We were in our own pace chit chatting with villagers, kids and bypassers enquiring if they had seen people running along that way. When the kids were so curious to know where all of us were going, I managed to sell my story that the runners were thiefs, we the cyclists were cops and those kids must inform us when they see runners. We escalated it further by scaring them that they will be caught failing to do so.Could see the fear in kids eyes thinking if it was true and they would go to jail. On the way push & cycle walk met the ever blushing mageswari, heartbroken Annamalai thatha, corn field akka, pettikadai thambi, shy little Anbarasan and many other akka, thatha, paati and thambis.
After 22km of push and ride with the magic mantra muttaparrota song we reached a steep downhill trek route where the route markings were found. We started to carry cycle and climb down the hill mid way met angrybird thatha and few others. They were not ready to allow us further as they thought its too dangerous to carry cycle and climb down. They asked us to return and take small road to nearby village. In the pettikadai, when we were munching on some lip smacking thattais, the thief runners bumped into us and we regrouped. After some rest and chit chatting runners left to resume their business on the trails and we cyclist decided to take long road route to reach vellimalai. Dramitic sunset, rollercoaster downhill ride and last leg ride in middle of forest made my day.
After sumptuous dinner and chit chat as we waited waiting for runners to return we retired for the day. After the bumpy uphill ride on day one we decided to do trial run in our own pace on day two. Started to run with the team initially and myself, sriram, viki & subbu were left behind the running lot as we were too slow for the runners. We were grazing around the places, chitchatting with ppl along the way and after 8km decided to climb the small hill near by. On our way back we took an exploratory trail to Velimalai as suggested by the local Govindammal, it was indeed informative to chat with her. Also, it will be really hard to forget or not to make a mention of our crazy swim session in a well enroute.
Finally weekend well spent with 47Km cycle ride and 23km run/hike.
Not wishing it was easier just wishing that I was equipped better physically and mentally to cycle/run through the trials. I will definitely be back for more