Stories of Rider : Nakul khadilkar
Gates of Heaven 2022
The clock ticked past 6-50 am, the tracking device read 1200km, the finish line was in sight. After a fist pump celebration with Abhishek, I saw my welcoming crew (Satish Addanki, Chethan Ram, Imtiaz and Pritish), the same people who have seen my cycling journey evolve very closely. It was a pleasure sharing my success with them. However, such was the exhaustion that no words were coming out, a smile is all I could manage. The body has suffered yet the soul was satisfied. Every rider had a smile on the face to go with the pain suffered within, making it a lifetime experience. This is a story of stories, an experience unmatched, a ride unforgettable: GOH 2022.
One of the advantages I had with this route was that it passed through my native (Mundaje). Having ridden in the terrain and weather provided some sort of confidence. However, I soon came to realize that no preparation will be enough as myself, Mohan and Satish did a recce of the route. After a few iterations the route was finalized and numbers came up: staggering!! It was going to be one of the toughest rides organized in India. There were four major climbing sections that needed to planned well. I kept my plan simple: ride the climbing sections in two parts and keep the distance to elevation ratio 1:10m on all rides leading up to GOH.
My partners in Chalukya (Nitin, Imtiaz and Dhananjay) along with Satish Addanki formed a group to plan our rides. Myself and Nitin did a couple of 200+km/2300+m rides (basavanbetta/sangam/muttatti) to warm up to the task at hand. Imtiaz, Dhananjay and Satish accompanied me to my native where we rode the Mundaje-Madikeri section of the GOH route. We learnt valuable lessons en-route: critical navigation points, hydration/food points and elevation profile. Having started fresh it took us 12 hours for 190 kms, which left us wondering how the hell will we do it!