|Lots of cow company on the road to Hassan|
I’m currently in Mysore enjoying a rest day before we set off on 5 days of challenging riding to Cochin.
A while back I was saying how the first half of the trip was more tour than really cycle centered … that’s not true the second half. We’ve shifted to a more cycle centered trip since Mumbai and the last two days into Mysore had me ready for a day off.
Leaving the Jungle Lodge at Lakkahalli I was braced for more horrible roads, only to be delighted to find that they were quite good for our 135 ride into Hassan.
We climbed up to coffee country- a long, steady climb that wasn’t too steep and where we shared the road with more cows than cars. At the top of the climb we passed many “estates” that were gated, signed and fenced. For a while I thought this must be where rich folks for the Bangalore tech world come to build homes. Then very belatedly figured out we were passing tons of coffee plantations – shade grown coffee for miles.
|No Coffee for us|
We’d been told about a great coffee place at Km 55 so we were primed and ready. You know I love my coffee- even brought packets of Starbucks Via with me to help manage the craving. The coffee café was at the bottom of a long decent on the other side of the mountains and it was …. CLOSED. Doh!
What’s interesting is when you mentally set your mind on something (I’m having a cappuchino and big pastry at 55k), and then it’s closed, you feel very deprived. And ravenous even if you’re not. So, every last one of us stopped at the first roadside kiosks down the road for consolation sodas. But I bet many would not have stopped until lunch at 75k and would not have felt deprived at all without the bait and switch espresso.
The rest of the ride was lovely, banana and coconut trees framed by sharp mountains that reminded me of Oahu.
The second day was a fast ride into Mysore. I say fast because many days it feels like it takes forever to get anywhere riding in India, and it generally takes much longer to cover the same distances than at home. The 120 km into Mysore was rolling hills and even a tailwind for part of the ride – a nice change from some of the tree-tossing headwinds we faced the day before going into Hassan.
It’s fun to ride fast when you can …makes you have fantasies of actually having some true athletic ability rather than being what I am … a normal person who works at it.