Sunday, October 02, 2011

Tour of Nilgiris is back

Cycling all day is fun. Hanging around old friends is more fun. Clean air (served chilled) and misty mountains are super fun. A week away from work (the boss actually) is something to kill for. What if you can get all of the above? That is the Tour of Nilgiris for me.

This is the fourth edition of the tour. In some ways the tour has come a long way since the first tour. Every year has been learning in its own right and helped revise and refine the arrangements - accommodation, routes, food, publicity ideas so on... So, after three years I am coming back to totally new scheme of things.

Competitive Sections: 

Believe it or not, 7 days of too much natural beauty also can be boring at times. So, in order to keep oneself motivated there are sections of the tour that are timed. Winner wears RED the next day. This will keep the fitness freaks interested all throughout the tour. Yes, they will claim the bragging rights during the camp-fire. Those who opt out need not worry at all. They get the bragging rights of the rare birds, butterflies or the lone elephant they spotted on the way. Truly a win-win innovation.

Charity Rides: 

RACF understands that goodwill is best paid forward. The TFN route touches so many people who clearly are on the rougher side of the rich-poor divide. Unknowingly, unintentionally tours like this can increase the divide. Actually, tour organizers cannot control it. Hence they came up with this idea of compensating any such unintended excesses by helping local NGOs sustain their good work. The chosen charities for the year (and the riders championing the respective causes) are here:

Please feel free to support the cause you identify with the most.

The Route:

What a sigh of relief to see that Bangalore-Mysore highway is out of the race. This year has more climbs than ever before and a cyclists’ paradise. Hope that the road conditions remain the same till the tour begins. The fact that it takes you so close to the sea is another plus. The icing on the cake is that it is a mountain top finish.

But some things simply do not change. You may find many people with "Can Do" attitude. There are fewer with "Should Do" attitude. These are people who know what is the right thing to do and possess the goodness in their hearts to do what is right. Then there are yet fewer of the people who have the "Will do" attitude as well. These are the actual doers. RACF is thankfully filled with such people who are ever hopeful of the future, aware of their social responsibilities, have perseverance of seeing it through. 

Cycling is just a medium.