this was our first century run at kanpur.
we planned it for august 5, thursday, when we had the morning free...

amit, joydeep and lavi bumpy-trailing along the akbarpur-rura road, about halfway through the run.
there were occasional drizzles, and bouts of fierce sun, but weather was ok, given the hot humid season.

the plan was to start at five in the morning, and get back in seven or eight hours (we had a thesis defence and other meetings in the afternoon). lavi joined us at the last minute and we couldn't provide him with a helmet. in the end, we started about 45 minutes late.

we were to go to akbarpur along the highway at dawn, and do the remaining 60km on rural roads...
the divided highway, smooth surface, and low-density traffic made for excellent speed and safety

route plan: kalyanpur-panki road to panki temple and straight to the rail crossing, joining the delhi highway (NH2) near SAIL. akbarpur is a 40km run via sachendi, raipur, barrah where a highway branches off to jhansi. then 10 km to rura, and 15km to the ramganga canal turnoff. follow the canal to maitha, and back via bairi siwai, baghpur and tikra.

click any picture to enlarge
joydeep and amit, before starting off. given our commitments in the afternoon, we had taken a qualis as a support car.


it was raining the night before, and even as we started, there was a light drizzle. we were worried we might have to abandon the venture if the weather got awkward.

past the temple on our way to the highway i was trying to eat a mango the chausa way when i didn't see a bump, and took a tumble. too bad i lost the mango :)

after reaching the highway (10km), we were zipping along the tarmac, with the occasional truck and tempo passing by.

after 25km, an Aluparatha stop at a dhaba in raipur. right: notice lavi's upturned seat.

under the flyover of the kalpi-jhansi highway

there is a popular perception that riding bicycles on highways is dangerous. however, we find divided highways like NH2 far safer to ride bicycles on, compared to crowded two-way roads like Kalyanpur-Panki.

... and now onto the road to rura. this was the only bad road on today's circuit.

joydeep, amit and lavi at the rura railway crossing,
the crossing was closed while two freight trains passed

lavi was riding a bsa mach, with his seat angled up at a weird angle.

it had been like this for five years; everytime the seat was straightened it would rotate back up.
he did nearly the entire run in this rather uncomfortable looking crouch.
of course, last sem he had run the marathon.

the rura-shiuli road is part of the pradhAn mantri grAm saDak yojanA and was finished in 2009, so the road surface was quite good.

clouds on the bridge over the dhind river.

10km from rura; about to reach the ramganga canal turnoff, which is 3km before siuli.

lavi and amit at a break at the canal turnoff. as the right got longer, so did our breaks.

the canal road has been newly built (pradhAn mantri grAm saDak yojanA). it has an excellent surface, and although traffic is infrequent, it can be dangerous with cars travelling at breakneck speed on the empty road.

the canal, which was dry only a few months back, was brimming with water, and bird life. but today we didn't stop to take bird pictures.

riding along the canal road.

our intrepid driver chhotu, who took most of these pictures.

at baghpur, i thought i would try to fix lavi's seat. i moved it forward all the way before angling it straight. the angle held, and he felt much more comfortable. but this was when there was only 13km left!!

while operating on lavi's seat, we had a large audience of students from the baghpur inter-college

Finally, it was just before two pm by the time we got back. we were quite zonked out, but a quick shower refreshed us, before we headed off for office.

at night, nothing could prevent a long, deep, well-deserved sleep.


amitabha mukerjee Sat Aug 7 mukerjee [at] gmail