Monday, July 9

The Bhopal Mud Challenge

It was undeniably a challenge to bike through the mud said Asif who won the man of the meet award for speed 2007 Mud Challenge Dirt Track at the Kalia Sot Dam on July 8.

In its fifth year this annual event was slightly different though. We at Miracles thought what better way to draw attention towards water conservation than biking at the dam that once was full of water. In the past four events we had dig up artificial pits and create mud by pouring water it them. The idea was to have a race with challenges. We succeeded partially in creating the fun and adventure we had desired but this year it was nature at its best to present the icing on the cake. Two days before the event the monsoons arrived. The met department predicted heavy rainfall for July seven, eight and nine. We even thought of postponing the event. But than as they say whatever happens for the good. We decided to go ahead with the event after consultations with our bikers. Asif in particular said it would be a challenge. And challenge it was quote.

And this is what the Hindustan Times reported while Quoting Asif the next day. “The track was muddy and it was challenging to ride a bike on it. Gripping was bit of a problem.”

At Kalia Sot there was not a drop till the rains happened last year. The monsoons were a bit late and we had organized our rally a little earlier. Kali Sot even before the onset of the monsoon this year had sufficient evidence to show that there was good monsoon last year. Heavy rainfall is best desired by reservoirs and the August 14 rainfall in 2006 was just an indication of what happened last year.

This year for once as predicted by the met department it did not stop raining on the mud challenge day either. The Incessant rains had not stopped since the night before and but failed to dampen the spirits of the adventure seekers and nature lovers.

Natives started coming in by nine in the morning. The participants and organizers were there an hour before. The stage was set for the riders to burn the Tyres in this weather. The track of 16 km was irregular, clammy , sticky and waterlogged at 5 places. The passion to ride despite all odds, overtook everything and challenges thrown by the monsoon could not play spoil sport.

There is temple at an elevation in the midst of the dam and if sufficient water is there it surrounds the elevation from all sides thus making it like a crown on an island. Lacily for us this island is surrounded from three sides only and we had access to this place. From here it gave a view of a valley, encircled by people watching down the gorge-the stage which was clearly visible by the branding done- “this mud challenge”.

The track prepared in-between 2 natural lakes created by last year’s rains near the temple was bustling, at one corner you could hear the loud cheering for favorites, on other hooting sound as if the rider skipped and at the last corner of the triangle clapping sound for those who cleared the pass over the mud pit.

This went on for one and an half hour and finally 5 champions emerged. The competition was tough. It required strength agility, composure concentration and above all speed to be there at the top.
This year we had a new motto as well. As the rain gods were more than obliging we had thought of postponing the event as I wrote above. It was this motto that inspired us at miracles to carry on.
We should welcome the rain, we said and what better way to welcome rains in the city of lakes other than biking when it is raining.