I did my first Mumbai Cyclothon this year. Overall, it was fun. There were several colleagues and twitterati who were there as well.
I couldn’t help but think afterwards how things could have gone better. Some suggestions for the Organisers:
- 7:00 AM means 7:00 AM and not 7:30 AM. A lot of people got in well before the gates to the grounds were opened and they were pissed at the delay. One of them in fact told me that he had overheard one of the organisers tell a spot registrant that the reporting time was 6:45 AM. Given this, this gentleman was convinced that start would be heavily delayed.
- The ground is ill suited for the scale of the event. The exit was quite narrow and having the Ambulance right in the way created a big jam. I’m not sure why the Ambulance was inside and why it started moving with its sirens moaning WHILE the amateur run participants were still exiting! Didn’t anyone notice that there was room for only the ambulance and not much else? Looks like shoddy planning or breakdown in communication.
- The one thing that participants need the most is water and it was in short supply. Just one station in the entire lap is too less particularly when the start was delayed and sun had come out.
- Very few people knew that there were two laps. This meant that the people on the second lap were quite confused about the route and also when we finished no one knew if there was a third! Similarly, a lot of kids got confused on the routes and parents were asking/turning around. Again communication could have been better.
- Where was the finish line?!!
I also took down things that I should do:
- Don’t leave cycle repair and servicing to the last moment. I had to juggle a few appointments around on Saturday because of this. Thankfully, Gaurav who bore the most of the brunt very understanding and accommodative.
- Take a longish ride after the servicing. I discovered on the downhill slope of sea link that I was going very slow compared to everyone else. Until then, I had thought I was the most unfit one in the event and hence I was struggling. Still the slope should have been equal for everyone but it wasn’t. I checked and found that my front brake was too tight and it was practically on all the time! I had some issues with gears too but it was manageable. On the whole, need to “break in” the servicing before the event.
- Carry the cycle in an auto or taxi to the venue instead of riding it down. I had already done about 12 KM when I got to the venue. It was another hour before the race was flagged off so I had cooled down by the time we started. Both took their toll.
- Lastly, the one thing that alone can take care of all the items above – Be Regular. 28 KM is not much but still that is no excuse for what I did today.