Scottish poet Robert Burns said the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. So was the case of my plan for a Sunday bike ride in Pune, Maharashtra, India.
I was planning to ride on little sleep but I figured it would help adjust to the 9 1/2 hour time difference. Besides I figured it wouldn’t be any worse than the last 100K of the 300K I rode last month.
Fog on Friday morning in Chicago started the break down of the plan. Chicago O’Hare is the third busiest airport in the world after Atlanta and Beijing. Once they are behind it usually takes until the next day for them to catch up.
I had a business trip to Pune and had asked a co-worker from the Pune office if anyone in the office was a bicyclist. He said none of them where but he had a friend who was. He put me in contact with his friend and the planning began. He borrowed a bike from a friend, planned a route, and shared advice about what I would need. We were set for a 5:00 am start to avoid both traffic and heat. Some of our planning was about water. I packed two bottles and a Camelback with the intention of filling them with bottled water at the hotel before leaving for his house. We were going to ride 60K or maybe up to 100K depending on how the ride went.
The plane we were meant to take from NC to Chicago just flies back and forth. It was delayed leaving Chicago and we watched our departure time get later and later. In the meantime the schedule for our flight from Chicago to Delhi remained unchanged. Eventually it became clear we were not going to make the connection. They rebooked us for the next day, we went home and our extra day in India was lost.
The next day (really 2) after 33 hours of travel, 6 hours in the hotel (maybe half of it sleeping), we headed to the office Monday morning.
But the goal of riding in India was not dead. But more about that later.