My passion for cycling and to serve society...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Cycling in Connecticut, US - July 2016 to Oct 2016

Cycling in US that too in and around Connecticut State in US is dream come true. Before winter snow sets in, the trees particularly their leaves takes its own toll and turns into different colors and finally falls down. This season is best known as fall season and tourists throng at all the places in and around Connecticut to take spectacular view of falls.

Green is life & oxygen and hence, green leaves represent life. While, leaves falling down are old and have completed their life, people love and come to watch them for their varied colors. When we apply this analogy to life, we should see colors when we grow old and no one should regret when we depart like colourful leaves falling down. In fact it is salvation for the departed soul.

I really had wonderful time cycling in and around Connecticut during this time when it is colourful everywhere and one can see beauty with beds of colourful leaves falling down in many places.

I came to US in July 2016. Although I went on cycling to many areas on many occasion during the last 4 months in US, cycling in October 2016 in and around Rocky Hill area in Connecticut where I was staying with my daughter was really memorable considering fall season as mentioned above.

Few photographs and video shown below brings out the beauty of cycling during this time.


I have been in US for the last 4 months. Although I would have loved to cycle most part of my stay, I could not do that as my son-in-law Deepak would go to office every day on his bicycle. It was only once a week when he had to attend early morning meeting that he would go by car and bicycle was available to me for use. Therefore, to keep myself fit, I had to look at alternative and got into playing tennis in the evening. As part of my daily routine of playing tennis, I made few friends like Mani, Nagendra, Satish, Mudassar, Pawan, Senthil & Oli with whom I would play in the evening. All of them are young and I really felt young playing with them.

 Beautiful tennis court at Glenbrooke Apartment complex, Rocky Hill, Connecticut

I wish to record here my close association with Manimozhian Mathiyalagan (Mani) who was playing tennis with me for the last 4 months almost every day. Both of us had wonderful and memorable time and playing tennis particularly helped me in burning my calories and keeping my belly in shape. 

With Mani & Nagendra

With Mani & Satish

They were also kind enough to give a party before I leave US and all of us had great time together. Given below are photographs that I took along with my tennis friends the day they gave a party.

 Along with Nagendra, Pawan, Satish & Mani 

ALong with Nagendra, Satish & Mani

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

6-Day Cycling Expedition - Bangalore to Goa from 23rd Jan to 28th Jan 2016

Long distance cycling carrying Rotary mission & fund raising has been flagship program of Rotary Bangalore Whitefield Central for the past 4 yrs. A 15-member team (list given below) comprising members of RBWC and other Rotary clubs in Bangalore went on Cycling Expedition from Bangalore to Goa from 23-28th Jan 2016 via Tumkur, Arsikere, Bhadravathi, Sagar, Gokarna & Karwar.

Participants for Cycling from Bangalore to Goa - 23rd Jan - 28th Jan '16
Rotary Club name
RG Bhat
Rotary B'lore Whitefield Central
Srinivas Kumar C
Rotary B'lore Whitefield Central
Ajay Bansal
Rotary B'lore Whitefield Central
Rotary B'lore Whitefield Central
Sandeep Mittal
Rotary B'lore Whitefield Central
Mrs Bindu Mittal
Rotary B'lore Whitefield Central
Bharath Poovaiah
Rotary B'lore Whitefield Central
Vincent Raj
Rotary Club of B'lore
Rotary Club of B'lore
Ravi Gowda
Rotary Club of B'lore
Shripad Annigeri
Rotary B'lore North West
Rtn.M R Lokanath
Rotary B'lore South
Ramprasad Reddy
Rotary B'lore South
Pradeep Rao
Rotary Yelahanka
Roshan Naveen
Rotaractor-Rotary B'lore South

The team was flaggd off symbolically from Bull Temple by noted yester year Kannada film personality Mrs.Bharathi Vishnuvardhan. 

They started pedalling form the morning of 23rd Jan from Tumkur and covering around an average of 90-100 kms per day reached Goa on 28th Jan. The team had Joint Meetings with Rotary clubs (4 clubs) at Tumkur, Tiptur, Arsikere, Bhadravathi, Shimoga, Sagar & Karwar. RCs at Tumkur, Arsikere, Bhadravati & Sagar hosted dinner. Tiptur hosted lunch while Shimoga RC hosted breakfast on our way to Gokarna. Flags were exchanged with these clubs.

En route the journey we visited 8 Govt Schools and distributed dictionaries, atlas & notebooks to nearly 400 poor students. The smiles on the faces of children were most satisfying for the members. Children’s smiles helped the participants in a big way in rejuvenating with renewed energy and they could continue pedalling enjoying every bit of moment.

 At Karwar the Prajavani, a Kannada daily & Deccan Herald journalist met us and our cycling expedition was published next day with a well written article with photographs in both the news papers thereby giving fillip to Public Image for RBWC in particular.

We terminated our expedition after reaching Goa at Madgaon. At Goa the members were received by our Dist International Director Rtn Srinath Babu and Dist Secretary Rtn Biligere Shivkumar. After loading our bicycles we boarded the vehicle and reached Kala Academy at Panjim i.e. venue for the Dist Conference where we were received by Dist Governor Fl Lt.KP Nagesh along with other district officials.

On 29th Jan 2016 - 39th Rotary International Dist 3190 conference got opened up at Kala Academy, Goa. What was heartening to note that in the welcome address by Dist Conference Committee chairman Rtn Nagendra Prasad opening remarks he said “Our Rotarians have come to attend this Dist conference either by train, bus or flight. But I am happy to say that we have 15 Rotarian Cyclists who chose unique way of pedalling all the way from Bangalore to Goa to attend this conference. They started their journey on 23rd Jan and reached here in Goa yesterday. Throughout their journey they have also visited Govt Schools distributing notebooks, dictionaries & atlas to students and they are here today attending conference. I salute them”.

Later during 2nd half of the day, International Director Rtn Srinath Babu invited every participant cyclist on the stage and they were felicitated with a memento by DG Fl Lt KP Nagesh in the presence of RI President’s Representative Rtn Mario Cesar (Trustee of TRF).

On the whole, for the participants, the entire Cycling Expedition was refreshing, joyful, memorable, challenging and meaningful with service to community. 

The smiles that they saw on the faces of children are still fresh in memory. What was most notable in this expedition was that not a single participant sat in support vehicle at any point in time. Apart from this it brought great friendship and fellowship amongst participants of different rotary clubs. 

This cycling expedition has touched on some key avenues of rotary service viz., Club Service, Community Service, Youth Service, International Service, Public Image & TEACH mission.

My sincere thanks to Rtn Prasanna who coordinated the whole expedition with perfect arrangements, Rtn Srinivas Kumar for arranging TEACH materials for distribution amongst Govt Schools children, Rtn Ajay for providing Tee shirts and banners on time, Rtn Bharath thru’ his Company TripOn in arranging comfortable accommodation for the participants in hotels at every location, Rtn Sandeep Mittal in providing back up vehicle. Needless to mention support from all the Rotarians of our club for supporting us in this memorable expedition in one way or other.

Joyful time in Goa post cycling expedition:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Ooty - Madumalai Wild Life Sanctuary Mountain Biking Expedition was organized by Youth Hostel Association of India (YHAI) from 25th Dec 2015 to 31st dec 2015.

I along with my 3 friends viz., Amit Agashe, Abhishek Bawkar & Tejaswita attended this mesmerising and memorable cycling expedition. 

All of us had registered for participation well in advance. The age criterion for participants was from 18 to 55 yrs. As I was 63 yrs old the system was not accepting my online registration. While I had given up hopes of participation, my friends persuaded me to contact YHAI Chennai division. With faith in their words I contacted Director of YHAI, Chennai  Mr.Venkat Narayanan who gave me patient hearing and told me that as long as I am interested in cycling, age is just a number. He advised me to pay participation fees by NEFT and send details to him by mail. Accordingly, on 28th Aug 2015 I paid participation fees by NEFT and sent confirmation mail to Mr.Venkat Narayanan. A copy of the mail sent to YHAI is given below:


Mail ref Fri Aug 28, 2015 at 3.52 PM from R G Bhat to YHAI Chennai

Attention: Mr.Venkat Narayan
Dear Sir,

This refers to telecon that I had with you this morning. Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in Mudumalai Mountain Biking while I am 63 yrs age.

As per our telecon I have remitted Rs.6500/- by NEFT in favour of YHAI TN Branch thru' Corporation Bank (Transaction Ref no. 967526). Please find attached proof of NEFT. Please put me in batch commencing on 25th December 2015.

My YHAI membership no. is 027-RAJ17-S1176608. My date of birth is 18th May 1952. I took up long distance cycling after the age of 58 yrs and I have cycled from Bangalore to Kanyakumari, Bangalore to Mumbai, Bangalore to Tirupati etc.  Last year in December I participated in YHAI Thar Desert Cycling expedition and before that in December 2013 in YHAI Goa Cycling expedition. As on date I must have cycled around 10000 kms.  

I am also the Founder President of International Fellowship of Cycling Rotarians (IFCR) Bangalore and was part of a 12-member team that went to France this year in May where we had 3-day cycling in country side of France.

I am also the National Representative of FCS for India. FCS is Rotary International Fellowship Cycling to Serve body.

Please put me in batch commencing on 25th December 2015 as few of my friends who are in mid 30 age have also registered for the same batch.

Request you to kindly confirm receipt of this.


RG Bhat  (Mob. 09886063055)
Bhuvaneshwari Road, Behind Sea Air Logistics Pvt Ltd

As Christmas holidays for the School had started for my granddaughter, both I and my wife chose to go to Mangalore on 20th Dec 2015 and I booked myself for the train from Mangalore to Coimbatore leaving Mangalore on the night of 24th Dec such that I reach YHAI Ooty base camp on 25th Dec 2015 by 11 a.m. 

Ooty YHAI base camp

I reached Coimbatore railway station Junction on 25th morning around 6.30. From there I took an auto to local bus stand from where I should catch a bus to Ooty. I reached Bus stand around 7 a.m. I was damn hungry. Inside the Bus stand I found a cafeteria clean, neat all managed by women and serving hot idlis to passengers. As I stood at the counter to pay for the Idlis the lady at the counter asked me to pay just Rs.5/- for the Idlis. This was a shock for me and unbelievable. After paying her I took the coupon and tendered it at the counter where I was given 5 fresh hot Idlis with hot Sambhar. I was really astonished and wondered am I dreaming!. I found the kitchen clean and well maintained by women. My appetite was well taken care at an unbelievable price of Rs.5/-. I then  came to know that the cafeteria was run by Amma canteen promoted by Chief Minister Ms Jayalalitha. I am not a fan of Ms.Jayalalitha but had heard about Amma canteen. Today I could really witness the same.

The route from Coimbatore to Ooty is serene and beautiful. Due to up terrain it took about 3 hrs and I reached YHAI base camp at Ooty safely around 11 a.m. 

View of beautiful Nilgiri Hills

After I reached YHAI base camp at Ooty, I met lovely couple Mr.Adwait & Ms.Prajakta who had also registered for the ride. I was shocked to find that my name was not appearing in the list of people registered for the ride. On contacting YHAI director, Mr.Venkat Narayana I gave him all the details of my conversion with him in August and also NEFT details and mail that I had sent. He told me to re-send the same. Luckily as I was holding smart phone I sent  him all the details instantly. He immediately advised the local in-charge to add my name in the participants list. I had a big relief. 

As we were very hungry I along with Adwait & Prajakta then went to have our lunch. We came back to base camp around 1.30 p.m. Around 3 p.m  my friends Amit Agashe, Abhishek Bawkar & Tejaswitha came to the camp all the way from Mumbai via Bangalore airport. 

Schedule for the ride was as under:

        Day 1: Reporting at the Base Camp Ooty Youth Hostel After 2.30pm
—      Day 2: Acclimatization and orientation
—      Day 3: Ooty to Manjur- Both side lush Green Tea Garden (33 km)
—      Day 4: Manjur to Masinagudi –Emerald lake one side (40 km), (25 kms downhill)
—      Day 5: Gudlur  to Naduvattam –Pykara. Both side Mudumalai Wild life sanctuary
                    (36 km) – 26 kms Uphill
—      Day 6: Pykara to Ooty- Both side lush Green Tea Garden and Pykara falls
                    crossing (31 km)    
—      Day 7: Disperse after Breakfast.

     The bicycles that were given to the participants by YHAI were fairly new and of good quality mountain bikes. Although there was an ambulance following us along our ride, it had hardly equipped with any first aid materials. So much so that one of the girl participants who had a fall while climbing down to Masinagidi could not be provided even the bandage and had to be provided with medical aid at a local clinic in Masinagudi. The accommodation and food provided by YHAI were good and nutritious.
Participants for the ride

     Of all the ride most memorable ride was from Gudlur to Nanduvattam-Pykara. It was 36 kms ride with 26 kms complete uphill. I had initial inhibition if at all I would be able to ride 26 kms uphill since riding uphill was tough, arduous, challenging and tiring. But it was one of my most memorable rides. Of the 26 participants it was heartening to note that I was amongst first 5 to have reached the top Pykara YHAI camp site by 5 p.m. In all 16 participants could make it to the top while for rest 10 as it became dark had to get into some vehicle and reach the top.
   Nonetheless, Ooty-Madumalai wild life sanctuary mountain biking was the most memorable bicycle ride that I had.

After the successful completion of final ride that we had on day 6th from Pykara to Ooty, we took our certificate from YHAI Ooty base camp office and left for our home. My friends viz., Amit Agashe, Abhishek Bawkar & Ms Tejaswita left for Mumbai. I took a bus to Coimbatore to return to Mangalore by train.

On the whole it was a memorable cycling expedition where you challenge yourself and once you achieve that challenge you experience an inner joy of achievement motivation and sense of accomplishment.

With Amit & Abhishek