The weather was very pleasant when I woke up. I got ready to leave by 5:45 a.m. but rain showers and thick black clouds prompted me to stay inside. Wind was also blowing very fast, which would have made cycling difficult so I started very late, at 8:30 a.m.

Sun playing hide & seek; better hide I would say

Sun playing hide & seek; better hide, I would say

Meanwhile, I helped the aunt at whose home I was staying in Bathinda with some computer-related stuff. As I left the home and got out of city, I could feel the thrust of wind. It remained like this for the next 65 km, till the city of Barnala.

Friends made on way

Made new friends on the way

As I cycled just 15 km, a car stopped in front of me and an old sardar motioned me to stop.  I had met him at Arjansar, Rajasthan Gurudwara, and he wanted to meet me again at his home town, Rampura Phul, which is 30 km from Bathinda towards Barnala. I told him to go ahead and that I would reach in an hour at his office, which was on the highway. After 50 minutes, I reached and he was standing by road only. He took me to his office and made me meet  twenty or so people. It was as if everyone there knew who I was as all were saying, “So he is the cyclist!” as they entered the room.

En route

En route

They took many pictures with me and asked me many questions. People there in the office told me about the city of Rampura, which it is the largest exporter of Darjeeling & Assam tea to all over India and number one in blood donation.

Gurudwara Sri Tahliana Sahib, Raikot

Gurudwara Tahliana Sahib

I stayed there for 2 hours and 20 minutes, after which I carried on with my journey. It was after the Barnala city that I was able to ride faster as the wind stopped blowing and I reached Raikot at 5 p.m., where I stayed at the Gurudwara Tahliana Sahib. It is a famous gurudwara and I got a separate room here (the first time in my whole trip!). I cycled for 99.5 km and could have reached Ludhiana on the same day but it got a little late. I would reach Ludhiana next day.