This is one of my favorite photos from the ‘Tour of Tamilnadu’, the 7 days, 900 kms cycling trip. The tour was split into 7 stages and the toughest one was on Day 3. We had to cycle 188 kms from Rameswaram to Tuticorin and had to do it within 12 hours. Not only was it the longest distance of the tour, it was also the harshest. The sun was beating down hard and the heat amplified by salt pans that spread across thousands of acres. As if that wasn’t enough, the route was through a boring stretch of National Highways. Our legs were weary from having pedaled 94 and 127 kms the previous two days.
It was tough day. Both physically and mentally taxing. They say that the race is divided into two parts. The first part is 150 kms and the second part is 38 kms. It may not make mathematical sense but they are right. The last stretch is the hardest. Each kilometer starts getting longer. The pain in the legs grows with each push of the pedal. The sun saps your energy no matter how much Enerzol you drink.
That’s when I teamed up with Ramesh, fellow rider and NLP trainer. We stuck together and gave each other company. We chatted strange subjects to fight boredom. We also had to fight the sweeper van which threathed to pick us up off the road in case we didn’t finish before dusk. That’s an ignominy we didn’t want to face. Now, in addition to fatigue and pain, we also had to fight the clock.
We finally reached the destination, GRT Regency Hotel at Tuticorin, exactly at 6:01 PM. The first thing I did after parking my cycle was reach out to Ramesh for a bear hug. That hug showed the power of human mind to overcome physical hurdles. It showed the power of team work.
Kudos to KrishnaKumar, fellow rider and a photo enthusiast for seizing the exact moment. To me, this photo will be special. Very special.