Sunday, December 14, 2008

You ride, I write

10 days from the start of TFN, a large number of people, largely unknown to each other, are working towards the same goal. As Radio Indigo sets up its mobile communications and Flaunge, their cameras, an ambulance crew at Manipal's department of sports medicine prepares for a seven-day vigil on the move. On one side of town, Wildcraft assembles a phenomenal amount of gear. On the other, the Diet Pepsi brand team puts together their own. Nilgiris nutritionists put finishing touches to the menus designed for endurance cycling, while Nilgiris bakers bring to fruition the piece de resistance of the 34th Annual Cake Show - and 10 days from now, a tour that hopes to become one of Bangalore's annual legends will set out from an event that is already one.

In the centre of this web, where everything begins and ends, 40 cyclists are training hard. Across the city, the country, bicycles are being tweaked, limits tested, briefings begun, equipment and fitness checked and re-checked. There are literally mountains ahead.

I write. It's what I'm here for, to tell the story that those who are too close to it cannot see. For someone who's spent all her adult life in the communications industry, this is a new and fascinating branch. And since my recent years have been given to the bureaucratic side, it's exciting to be in the "field" again. So while I test my datacard, re-examine my camera-to-laptop connectivity, readjust my battery settings, what I do most of all is train. Study the subject, feel it. Gain different perspectives on it. Find out what others have said about it (after all, you don't want to repeat what's already been said). I listen to conversations on Bikezone, at parties and around watercoolers, and suddenly, I'm interested in Rajesh's gear upgrade and curious about why one would choose not to ride one's Colnago. These are not things I would have cared about before, or indeed known. But I'm working, and I've always needed to know more than I need to know!

We're a large group, but perhaps we're not all here by accident. All of us seem to share one quality - a driving need to do what we do, well.

Incidentally, in the course of my research, I was interested as always by the almost infinite number of ways in which one subject could be treated. These are just three examples among the many I came across.





Vasu said...

Very nice article. If only you went to Nandi - the training ground of cyclists here in b'lore then you'd see the training first hand.

Ravi said...

As Vasu said, you must go to Nandi coming Sayurday or Sunday. You capture what you are looking for :-)

sameer said...

Hey - good to see *everyone* preparing for the Tour :)
BTW, its almost 55 riders - 40 full-tour and 15 of us who don't quite have the time or stamina but want to do our damndest anyways!
Looking forward to your next post on this - and yes, a early morning at Nandi Hills will provide a lot of great inputs...

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