This blog as might be apparent from the title has to do with running, biking and basically other outdoor individualistic sports, sometimes extreme, such as rock climbing . But don't be surprised if you find articles on work, personal life, music and even philosophy, this blog is an exception in this aspect in the blogosphere of running blogs and I am trying to revamp the blog to make it more runner friendly. You might want to look at the sidebar titled 'categorised', which as is obvious, categorizes my posts into different areas of interest.
The other thing that might interest many people is a section on 'running videos' and 'general videos' on the side bar, which I keep updating now and then.
I plan to bring in more posts on running and biking, with some added colour, so as to make them 'complete'. That's about it for now.
As a post-note, I have run a half-marathon, but I am yet to attempt a marathon, which through some concerted effort and time should happen in the future, but that ofcourse is not the culmination of this blog, it would on the contrary be something to jumpstart this blog onto new vistas.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bike Incident II: Lost and found

My bike is one hellofan adventerous bike...It likes to get involved in accidents and likes to get stolen for short periods of time, I believe..

I come out of my department building and usually I just look to where my bike is(20 yards away) and I always find my bike at where I look..Except that tonight it wasn't where it was supposed to be. Were my eyes deceiving me?

What would be your reaction if you were to find your $500 road bike missing?
Mine was.."Oh another one of those unnerving, shocking incidents that's been happening to me lately."

I don't know why but I just ran down the stevens way and as if it were to be, a police car was waiting around the corner and the patrol sergeant was just about to get into the car. I explained to him the situation and he met me again at the scene of theft. The U-lock which is normally supposed to be hooked to the frame of the bike was placed around the parking slot frame..a grave mistake. And the cord that I use to lock the back and front tires of my bike was cut..into two.
The sergeant asked me a couple of questions and most importantly asked if I knew the serial number of the bike. I told him I could get that info. from the bike shop tomorrow. I was given a case number and asked to fill in the serial number of the bike on to the case record asap.
I was kind of annoyed at how casually I was reacting to this situation. I was like, yeah the bike's stolen, but can you do anything about it now? No.

I wondered if the thief was from the campus. Probably. The bike wasn't parked for more than 5 hrs before it was stolen, so this guy probably had to be someone familiar with when and at what frequency people come in and out of buildings, when the roads are deserted and a general familiarity with the workings of the campus: especially with the patrol car doing its rounds every half hour and given that my bike was parked close to the road.

I unlocked the U-lock from the parking frame and placed it in my bag, just in case I was to find my bike stashed somewhere behind the trees or if it were to magically pop up in front of me...somehow.

Now, the thing hit me. It usually takes 5 minutes to get to my bike. Walking would take 15 minutes. I could manage walking daily, but the bike...that's...that's my precious.

I proceeded now in an arbitrary direction towards the gilman trail..Why? I don't know..Some thought that I might somehow find it there. Just as I entered the trail, I saw two bikes of a similar make parked at a nearby parking slot. One of them didn't have a back tire(apparently stolen), the other was ok. The locking mechanisms used in both the bikes were the same U-lock. Lucky bike I thought.
I gave up hope now, the only way I would get my bike was if the guy were to land up at a pawn shop and the pawn shop owner were to notice that the serial number of the bike was one in the stolen bikes list supplied by the campus police.

There's nothing I can do about that too, so I started walking back towards my department and then one guy comes riding a road bike(that looks like mine) and parks it in the exact same spot where I had locked my bike. I run upto him and ask him what the hell is going on. He had an interesting story about his friend stealing my bike and him returning it back. "I had my bike stolen once and it was pretty bad, and I don't know why my friend did that. So I decided to return it."

I was happy that my bike was back and in good shape and after a few more questions I let him go.
A while later, I come out of the department to see a car parked by the road side and our sergeant staring at my bike and going around it and shaking his head. I go towards my bike, and he exclaims, " did you find the bike?"
I thought of telling him that all this was a game, but I let that pass and briefed him on the new development.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The fusion route to Indian classical music

Indian classical music can be broadly classified as Hindustani and Carnatic. One is popular in the north and the other in the south. But they complement each other very well, as can be seen from fusion albums of the two genres of classical Indian music.
One such fusion is the "Remembering Shakti" live performance, which has five greats coming together:
John Mcloughlin - Of the famous Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia and John Mcloughlin guitar trio
Mandolin Srinivas - Unmatched god and my role model for carnatic music on the mandolin
Zakhir Hussain - The tabla God. Period.
V Selvaganesh - A Percussionist who plays the mridangam, ghatam and Kanjira equally well.. I have seen him perform at the IIT bombay Mood Indigo cul fest and he was awesome.
Shankar Mahadevan (vocal) - Shankar Mahadevan needs no real introduction, as he has sung popular numbers in movies like Dil Chahta Hai, etc and is also popular down south.

There are many songs on the youtube from this performance, but I recommend the following song for a first intro to classical Indian carnatic music:
Giriraja Sutha
Giriraja sutha is a popular carnatic song and is set in the Bangala Raaga and the song is composed by the composition genius Thyagaraja.
Another recommended port of entry is the song Thaye Yashoda set in Thodi Raaga from the movie Morning Raga. Find the video Here.

Here's an instrumental piece where Srinivas and John complement each other very well.
Another instrumental , where the players interact and tease the music, albeit in a pleasing manner.
Remembering Shakti on youtube search.
For those interested in further exploration of Carnatic on Mandolin or for that matter any thing Indian classical, here are some sources for classical Indian music:
Kannada Audio
Music India Online

A final note: The cousin of carnatic on mandolin is carnatic on guitar. And a good exponent for the same, is Prasanna. Here are a few of his videos: Thodi, 2

P.S. If you have come thus far, you might as well watch this one. It resembles dance from Dream

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bike incident - I

Chapter 1

"Aah..ah", I groaned taking in the heaviness of my forehead, looking ahead from where I was. I saw an elderly woman sitting beside me on the side-walk and staring at me in a concerned manner. I dismissed her and looked ahead to see the university bridge, I looked around to see the East lake avenue. The university bridge sounded familiar since its close to the university, but the Eastlake avenue..seemed vaguely familiar. All this was very surreal and..
"Are you alright?" asked the woman interrupting my efforts to know what was going around here. I looked at her, looked behind to see a van approaching me and looked at her again. "Am I in a dream?", I asked her., you just fell off your bike..
"I am actually a bit disoriented here.."
Yeah I can see that.

Can I have your name sir?
" this an ambulance?", I ask with my eyes half open.
Yes sir, you just had a bad fall. Your name please.
"I will tell you everything. I want to, because I don't seem to recollect much of anything...Please ask me as many questions as possible.."
Do you know what month this is?
"huh..Novemeber..its 9th or 10th I guess"
Do you know what happened before you fell off the bike?
"Uh..I..wait..yeah..I was riding on the East Lake ave..wait I was riding from my I was riding on the East lake avenue and I don't remember what happened after that"
Do you know where you were headed?
"I must have been heading towards the university"
"Is the injury severe?"
Well, the hospital guys would take a good look at you..but yes you have had some abrasions and deep cuts from what I can see.
Do you know where you live?
"I..I live at..."


20 minutes hence

Could you tell me where you are from?
I looked up and vaguely saw a man in white clothes, and from the movement of the walls around me, I guessed I was being wheeled to a ward.
"I am from India. Where are you from?...."

I am Dr. Solzberg and this is Melissa beside you..
"Hi Melissa"
We are taking you to the ER ok, we will get you covered up as you seem to be shivering and Laura would take care of you from there on.

"Yeah, that's me"
I am Laura, me and Melissa here would make you feel comfortable and see what needs to be done. Sound good?
" you have another sheet"
You mean a blanket?

Ok, now we need to wrap this collar around your neck. Hold still while we do that. don't move your neck..don't help us, we need to ensure your neck is as stable as possible.


" are..", I exclaimed as I saw a guy coming into the room.
I am Dr. Solzberg, I wheeled you in.
"Where are you from?"
North dakota..I am actually a norwegian. I told you that remember?
"When you wheeled me in?"
"Oh..I dont seem to recollect that.."
"So you are from the land of midnight sun eh"
he he..yeah.
Ok, let me just look at your cheeks here..Hmm..looks like a laceration and a deep gash around your eyebrow, that might need some sutures. Your shoulders seem to be swollen, minor bruises on your hands. Looks like your legs and hands are doing fine, it could have been worse.
Yeah, a lot of people involved in bike incidents come in here in a real bad shape.
"Oh.." know..broken bones..

Hi..I am Dr. Allen.
"Hi..", I looked around to see another white clothed person come into the ward.
So what speed were you driving your bike at?
"Uh..Must have been around 15 miles an hour?", I replied as I wondered if this was
a general enquiry.
So how much is that in Kilometers?
"24 kms/hour"
Must be around 27 kmph..
"No its 24kmph"
Good..your are not doing bad. Ok, I got to go now, you are in good hands with Dr. Solzberg.

We don't know if you have had any head or neck injury, but its standard protocol to take CT scans and xrays ok?
Allright, lets get you started here. I will call in an assitant to wheel you into
the radiology department. Till then, if you need any help, press this button on the remote and watch TV if you like.
"Thanks man"
Sure, no problem.

1 hr past

Good, you do remember my name.
"Yeah, I seem to have had a short term memory loss and now I am clear about what happened during the incident and can recollect stuff better"
Good, ok we are just gonna change you into this gown ok..
So, what hapenned?
"I was riding my bike towards the university.."
And you fell off the bike?
" was raining, the roads were pretty slippery and I was late for a meeting"
"Do you know where my bike is?"
I actually don't, the paramedics or the police might.
"The police?"
Did you see any police vans at the accident site?
"I..I actually was blacked out for sometime till the paramedic van came to the site. But I don't recall seeing any police car"
Hmm..ok, you should check up with the Seattle police, they usually clear the site, before letting the paramedics in.
"But mine wasn't actually an accident.."
Oh..well I should still say you contact the paramedics that got you in and the police.

"So, Laura, you are from here?"
Well, my parents are biregional.
Yeah, from korea and America.
"yeah you look..hmm.."
Ok, I am gonna go out now, but you can press that button anytime you need help before you get wheeled in for a CT scan.

90 minutes later

Dr. Solzberg walks in with a grim face.
"So what's the scan say", I ask.
Well, I want you to stay calm. Do you have any kind of pain at the back of your neck?
"No..I mean this collar is a little painful for me to move my neck around..but nothing that's painful"
Ok, let me just move my hands around your neck and tell me if you feel any pain anywhere.
"Well..there..yeah there..Its just a tenderness at that point..but no pain"
"But what do the reports say??"
The radiologists' reports indicate that you might be having arteriosclerosis somewhere in the region of your neck.
"What?? You mean hardening of..."
Arteries...which is unusual for a young man like you.

To be continued

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Another slump

Man I try, but sometimes things in your life..grad life in my case, takes toll on running. Its been three weeks since I ran...I seem to be repeating the same mistakes I did earlier this year. As georgiamarathoner puts it, "its hard to learn–how to drop everything that's going on in life and go for a quick run and then get back to life again".
Anyway, I went for a run today, 17 minutes on my feet and it was good. Hope to continue in the same vein in the future. Its all hope, that's all I can say. No guarantees. There might be another post 2 months hence describing another major slump or may be not. Let's see.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Most of you would have watched the movie, Forrest Gump, where Forrest runs across states just because he felt like. That was a movie. What we now have is reality TV baby. Yep, Dean Karnazes and his much publicised 50-50-50 not withstanding, he's decided to run home after finishing his last marathon of the 50-50-50 a couple of days back. Home from where? Newyork. To where? SanFransisco. And how much is that. Ah...atleast 2500 miles(shortest path on google earth).
It looks like 50-50-50(1300 miles) was a planned warmup not revealed by Dean towards his Run back home(2500 miles+).
Way to go Dean. Awesome.
Here are some links for more info:
1) Dean's own blog (sounds like God's own Turf eh)
2) Run back home and Run back home blog with maps et al of his run.
3) 50-50-50
4) 350 mile run
5) Sam Thompson's 51-50-50
6) Thanks to trailrunner, for his post on the same.
7) To finish off, you can get to watch a lot of videos on Dean at this place.

Also if you were to google blog search for "Dean Karnazes", you would end up innumerable blog posts like mine applauding his la super-human effort.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Phd comics rocks

These are lifted from the recent three strips on the phd comics website. For all those who don't know why I am bragging about this website, it's because the website is the best 'virtual/online empathiser' in current literature!

Kennenisa Bekele with the WR

Robbie Mcewen and steve o'grady - The 'Nudge'