MIDWAY : Rain riders

Immensely inspired by the recent tour-de-France, five of us started our cycling trip to Nagarkot. The sun was blazing; the old roadway followed the terrain up the mountain — steeper in some places, less in others, but always winding around. As we cycled over the narrow roads, the smells of cow dung, petrol and gas fumes, the whiff of meadow and the aroma of flowers all seemed to generously welcome us. It was a pleasant ride amidst the green trees and dry leaves covered road. Numerous times I have been to Nagarkot, but cycling was a wonderful experience. The picturesque expansive fields, the pointy mountains and the artistically eroded cliff faces — I thought that was my ride to heaven. But we were left awe-struck by something unexpected. The thunderstorm roared in the clouds. From absolute nowhere, the dark clouds invaded the sky and pitch darkness prevailed all over. And before we could realise our misery was to begin, big droplets of rain hurled upon us with a ghoulish whine.

Soon we realised we were in deep trouble. But there was no way we were going to stop our excursion. We all knew that we were there for adventure, not for recreation. On the slippery road, it became a great challenge to control our cycles. Moreover, the hard wind blows the raindrops hitting our faces made our ride more troublesome. We were drenched. But defying all odds, we just rode on. Cycling is fascinates me. As I cycled, I remembered the days when as kids we played stunts on the neighbour’s garden often ending with tattered clothes and bad wounds. Those glorious days of early cycling beckoned me with a host of fragrances and thus inspired me to ride even faster. Time passed slowly, and only near to our destination the patter of the pelting rain had became a slight sprinkle. The night was a victory, as we had dinner and animated conversation fuelled by the day’s hardship. It was the day we experienced the greatest adventure of our lives. Before I went to bed, I wished it would rain the next day as well. I had wished for a perfect ‘rain ride’ return. It did rain the following day but it was a transport truck that carried us home as none amongst the rain riders had enough strength left to pedal anymore.