How far can you go: The Asola One Day Classic
Planning where to go the night before a ride is sometimes quite tricky. Like any other cyclist, I like to go explore a place which I’ve never been to and yet make sure I get in the desired number of kilometers. I found someones Strava recording on Friday about a group ride to Bhardwaj Lake in Asola Sanctuary and decided to go check it out. The sanctuary is located on Southern Ridge, all along Delhi, Haryana, Faridabad and Gurgaon interstate border the northern terminal of Aravalli Hill Range, one of the oldest mountain systems of the world.
I left home at 6:10 am, with a quick breakfast of oats. Stocked myself with dates and bananas and set out onto the road. The route took me through a major chunk of the Gurgaon-Faridabad Road and then a 5km extension on the road connecting Gurgaon to Surajkund. I rode hard and set myself a good pace of 25kmph for most of the ride.
I munched on few dates and tried Google Maps to find the exact road leading up to the trail. This resulted in failure as i found myself standing at someones doorstep. I asked someone for help and he sat behind me on my bike and offered to direct me towards the trails.
I entered the trails of Asola around 745am, scared that my thin tires wont survive the thorn laden sandy paths. I rode past a few empty lakes and crossed a group of peacocks running into the bushes, trying to hide from the monkeys chasing them.
It was a nice contrast to see them on their Harleys and KTMs in the middle of jungle scrub.
There are a few lakes in this region which I wanted to explore and stopped at the first one I came across, named CITM Lake 2 on Google Maps. I had ridden into a very beautiful landscape. The lake, pretty huge in itself, was about 40m below where i stood. It was surround by hills on three sides and sandy, beach like terrain on one side. There was a group of boys sitting on their scootys and playing games on their mobiles. There was another group of noisy locals who’d walked down to the lake for a Sunday swim. I didn’t want to leave my bike unattended so i sat on a jutting out rock nearby and enjoyed the view. After sharing a banana with a monkey who’d seen me munching and getting the perfect panorama frame on my phone, I decided to head back.
I wanted to go to the other lakes as well but decided I’ll leave them for next time, so there would be something new to come back for.
Flat Tire in the Middle of Nowhere 🙁
On the way back, I got a flat about 30 km away from home. The extra tube turned out to be a dud and the puncture gel had run dry. i had no option but to fill air in the punctured tube and ride till the air fizzled out. Every 4 km I found myself stopping and furiously pumping air into the back tire. It was a tough process; 11am sunshine and constant break of flow.
It was a lovely ride in retrospect. The way back was just another test of patience and lesson about better planning in the future.
Total distance : 78km