Friday, December 16, 2011

BSA Tour of Nilgiris 2011: Day 0

Pre-tour briefing happened in Ramanashree Brunton. It was a moment to remember all our sponsors and introduce the riders.

BSA talked about the new bicycle brand they are introducing - Montra. It is an all carbon and indigenous designed. Guess what, riders on the tour are accompanied by 5 brand new Montra bikes that they can test ride - on the mountains.

MyTVS and Excelfore introduced their brand new GPS tracking system that are used to track fleets nationwide. MyTVS has a 30 member call center team which is monitoring the movement of most of the cyclists. The GPS update is provided by the Excelfore devices using which the riders can do a one-touch-SOS call to the back-office. The back office can alert the nearest support vehicle to respond - all in a matter of minutes.

Rest of the sponsors are also riders on TFN... In that way, it’s a self organized tour. Vandit from Dive-India explained the prizes - Week-long diving holiday in the Andamans. Arvind Bhateja and Dhananjay from Sita Bhateja Super speciality hospital outlined the medical arrangements for the tour. However, they honestly hope that their team will use-less. Siva from LeapSky introduced their latest product (still hot out of the oven) that liberates you from the astronomical data-roaming bills.

Then came the time to introduce some of the riders who shared why they are riding. A few funny ones.
Jeff: It’s the best way to let some one else find all the good roads and you get to ride.
Meera: There are not many women riding cycles. Someone has to.
Wise words from a 14 year old - Rishi Goyal: I once read a poem where the poet is 100 years old and suddenly realizes he has not done so many things in life. I don’t want to After TFN, I can say 'I have done TFN'.
Mark Anderson: Considers this ride as a reward his wife gave him for taking care of her during the tough times of knee surgery.

Special mention: Vishnu Navada is riding this TFN to raise funds for Vivekananda Girijana Seva Trust. His target was to raise Rs 2 Lakhs. With generous pledge to equally match his effort by his employer - Microsoft Research he could reach the target easily and looking good to surpass it easily.

We are fortunate to have two fine army men amongst us on bikes. Captain Ritesh Goel is on a deservedly hard earned vacation from guarding borders at Kupwara. He thinks this will be a connection between the two worlds that he has to manage. Colonel Aparjeet Nakai picked up cycling as a hobby after a horse ride with Arun D'silva. I have no idea what Arun said, but Nakai is hooked to the sport since then.

Francis, the Tour Director did the boring task of briefing, Jerseys distributed and dinner served. At 11:30 PM, Most of the support crew headed to the Manek Shaw ground. For them, the day had just begun.

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