Monsoon Sundays are surely the hardest to stay motivated. Especially when you are busy tossing & turning in bed the mind tricks you with gazillion reasons why you should sleep just a bit more. I had every reason to skip today’s ride, an electrifying Euro 20 game the previous night which I sat up watching, the Copa qualifiers at 2:30 am, a flat rear tire in the morning, and a stolen foot pump from my basement the night before. Add to it, my brand new rear brake shoe had jammed my brake lever, phew!
But no matter what, I wasn’t going to give up just yet (word of caution, always check your brakes, and tire pressure before hitting the road). I reached Upvan Lake huffing & puffing around 7 am, the steep inclines will tease you to no end. Did a couple of loops, took some selfies from the vantage point, and returned. Just as I had returned to LBS, someone called out from behind, “Dada. Oh Dada, roj chalate ho kya”? I quickly realized it was my C3B (CycleChalaCityBachao) Jersey that had gotten him curious. He appeared to be middle-aged blue-collar labor on his load-carrying bicycle, had some long metal rods tied to his front shaft, a small bag that looked like his tiffin. “Kahan ja rahe ho” I asked him in an engaging tone and said he worked at a machine tooling factory in Vikhroli, pounding Indian spices (Haldi, dry ginger, Pudina, Pepper) for a living. I slowed down to chat him up a bit, he said he was always fascinated by the cyclists around this area, even wanted to stop one of them to ask about their experience but was always shy and never mustered the courage. Today was the day, and we exchanged notes on a range of topics including Thane traffic, my rides, distance traveled, where I lived etcetera. Never asked his name, he didn’t bother to ask mine either but the short Sunday conversation was enjoyable “#Ram Ram Dada”, he signed off and we parted our ways.