I mentioned a couple of posts back about Cycling & More. I joined this ride too; basically helping out my organizer friends. This turned out to be a fun-filled two day ride, with 36 riders riding from Sakleshpur to Sunticoppa (near Madikeri).
For most riders, this was an initiation ride into touring: some had ridden 20 kms max a day, and most less than a 100 kms a day. There were road bikes, mountain bikes, two "single speed" bikes, and a Kona Sutra, my new touring bike (more about this in my next post!). There were two couples riding as well : Divya & Chinmay(
Chaitanya. Thanks Harsha for the correction. Sorry for the goof-up. I hate getting names wrong!), Madhavi & Sampath.
Bringing up the rear was my responsibility on day 1. Secretly, I was glad that I could ride easy on my new bike - no need to spend energy chasing the road bikes and other speeding bikes, see ! Greenery surrounded us everywhere, but mountain views were scarce. The road was mostly nice, there were no bike malfunctions, and no punctures; no real 'excitement' ! Only three riders gave up and opted for the support vehicle. The last rider reached Somwarpet, 65 kms away at 3 PM, having started at 8:45 AM. Slow and steady finishes the ride
I was stumped yesterday evening by a receipt lying on my office desk. It was from the Department of Posts, India, and asked me to pay a customs duty of Rs. 1161 + PF Rs. 100 = 1261 total. The folks taking care of posts at office told me that I'd have to go to the post office, pay the money and collect the parcel. I was left wondering what that could be. I hadn't ordered anything, nobody had told me they were sending me a parcel, and my friends and relatives wouldn't have my office address! Clueless indeed I was.
My teammate, Manju, jumped in to help. He put forward his theory: parcel must be sent by someone in HP, for the simple reason that only they would be able to find my office address with ease. I bought this theory, but deferred the visit to the post office till today morning.
Once at the post office, things became clear. Parcel was from my colleagues in Europe. We work quite closely. The contents: A shiny new, gray coloured riding jersey. Fits me like a skin. Although I had to pay the duty, it didn't break the bank and I didn't have to seek financial advice from one of those sites like lovemoney.com. The note with the gift said
We hope this shirt will accompany you safely in all your bike trips !
A very thoughtful gift, and one that I appreciate very much. Thanks again to Patrick, Philippe, Engelbert, Markus, Jochen & Wolfgang !