It’s not always about miles, or speed or grinding the muscles. But when all three come together with a peloton of highly motivated riders, the all night adventure of “Cycling Under the Stars – Season-2” could not be better!
This is what is witnessed in the second edition of “Cycling Under the Stars” organized by Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club – BCAC. A peloton of 61 riders with 6 riders from Raigarh Raiders (Raigarh, Chhattisgarh) and 3 riders from Rourkela Riders (Rourkela) took a challenging yet fun-filled ride under the stars in a Summer Night through one of the nostalgic routes – the Golden Triangle Route with the Marine Drive Road (one of the most recognized scenic road for any type of road trips) from Puri to Konark. The night sky with Dwadashi (12th day) Moon was blessing lights from the top guiding through the otherwise dense forest route with tree canopies offering a spine-shivering chill for any lone rider in the midnight.
As planned, we started this ride from the Club House exactly at 6PM in the evening on 8th of April (Saturday) after having a gala welcome for each rider with tilak, flowers, and sweets. The welcome session was also followed with media interaction and introduction with the guests. In the meanwhile, the riders packed some calories with fruits, biscuits, tea and snacks with buttermilk and frooti. The first pit-stop was planned at Pipili (under the flyover) after 20kms from the Club House. All riders passed the city roads with blinking tail lamps and headlights, which resembled like stars blinking on the road. The crowd on the roads and the traffic stood still for a few moments to witness this extravaganza of riders dressed in Neon Green with reflective vests and lights on bicycles, shoe-laces, spokes, helmets and flashy torches. We reached Pipili around 7:40PM where there was a short-break for tea and water.
The real test was now when riders have to zoom through the headwinds estimated to be around 17kmph. Although winds from the front was offering some solace to the sweat-drenched cyclists (yes, the humidity level was quite high in this time of the year), still passing through the headwinds was another challenge for the cyclist who are all on their toes. The music of portable JVL speakers and shouts from local toy horns keep the spirit high till we reached our next stop.
The next pit-stop was Sakhigopal, where we all had some cold-drinks, water and fruits with a little more refreshment. With a break of around 15 minutes, the peloton moved towards Puri with another small media interaction at Bata Mangala temple. By 9:50PM all riders were in front of Shree Jagannath Temple through the Medical Chowk after covering almost 60kms from the starting point. We took some group snaps, had a war-cry to thunder the Bada Danda (Grand Road, Puri) and got surrounded by the passerby and onlookers. It was more than a feeling of joy and relief as dinner point was approaching with a little longer resting period.
At exactly 10:15PM we left Shree Jagannath Temple and headed towards our dinner destination – The Wildgrass Restaurant on VIP Road. We took a sumptuous dinner with some nice menus on the platter. It was not until the midnight, when we discovered that one of our fellow riders is having his birthday on 9th of April. And there was no better chance to celebrate the birthday by making a human-swing for Bibhu Prasad, throwing him up in the air and catching to throw him again with a counting to celebrate his birthday number. The celebration was in the air and all riders rejuvenated to the full extent to take the most spectacular part of this ride on the Marine Drive road amidst the forests of Balukhand Deer Sanctuary in the middle of the night.
The feeling on this patch of the ride was no less than a Royal King’s Parade! With the sound of Begul, powerful mini blow-horns and over all music and shouts of the “HhhhhhhUuuuuMmmmPppppppSssssss” never actually let the spirit down even while covering 100kms in the stretch. The hoax of Ghosts from the corners of the trees made us all to ride along in a group. Buddheswar, who as hurling past with full speed, felt some cold-winds throwing him out from his cycle, added a little bit more color to the ghost hoax on this road. We all reached Chandrabhaga Sea Beach by 2AM in the night and stopped for an hour for a quick nap on the sandy sea-bed. Some riders felt the company of sea-crabs on the sandy beds of the beach and some could find another opportunity to trek small distances in the moon-lit beach of Chandrabhaga. This part was the real “Cycling Under the Stars” part of the ride with absolutely no electric bulbs, pitch dark roads and the growl of wild foxes, jackals and dogs.
By 3:30AM all riders geared up for the third leg of this Night Ride through Konark Sun Temple, Gop (Village) and Nimapada. We halted briefly at Gop to have a morning tea and moved on towards Pipili through Nimapada route. The day was coming brighter, but the cloud was kind enough to cover the sun in its shadow till we reached back at Bhubaneswar. With the pleasant morning winds and soothing greens of villages we rode back to Pipili for a breakfast at road-side location. By 8:30AM all riders joined back at the Club House in Bhubaneswar (after covering 160kms distance) with a bag full of memories, a refreshed mind and a little tired body along with an unquenchable thirst for riding the same patch again – that too under the stars.
The arrangement was splendid with precise planning and superb execution by team BCAC, and especially by Sanjeeb, Ajay and Nihar. And with that we are supported by winds and clouds as compared to last year of Cycling Under the Stars. The Season-2 of Cycling Under the Stars was so enchanting that almost all the riders completed this ride without a single casualty (except a few punctures…).
Bibhu Kar, Arti Kar, Añsuman Bhujabal, Nihar Giri, Aksharpadma Mohapatra, Smruti Sampad Padhi, Ajay Kumar Nanda, Sanjeeb Panda, Buddheswar Dehury, Sanskar Mangaraj, Hrushikesh Patra, Miss Ankita Patra, Kalyan Dash, Santosh Rout, Deepanker sahu, Soumya Ranjan Biswal, Amit Paikaray, Kedar Pradhan, Sohan Mishra, Asrujit Mohanty, Dillip Kumar Dash, Manoj Prusty, Nihar Mallik, Beauty Milli, Rakesh Agarwal, Roopesh Sahu, Kushal Agrawal, Sudhamaya, Jay Narayan Pujapanda, Dr Utkal Kishore, Gopal Sahu, Kumar Devdutta, Naman Joshi, Manas Ranjan, Trilochan Barik, Biswajit Tarai, Ravi, Atul, Abhishek, Ayush, Anoop Bansal, from Raigarh, Chhatishgarh were the members of this Crazy and Fun Ride.
Author : Author : Santosh Kumar Rout, (Content writer by profession and cyclist by passion. Always ready to ride 24 * 7).