Camping while touring on a motorcycle is a great way to visit new and exciting places. But, before you venture out into the world of motorcycle camping there are some things you need to know before you hit the trail. Let’s break down the elements of this fun and exciting opportunity to become one with nature, meet new friends and bring home a lifetime of memories that can’t be matched.
Shelter, clothing, food, and motorcycle; when you boil it down these are the main ingredients that will determine if your experience on the open road is a success or a dismal disaster When planning an extended motorcycle road trip there are many things to consider before setting out. The more obvious items are things like where you will be going, the routes you will take along the way and doing your pre-ride preparations on your motorcycle by checking things like tires, brakes, cables and fluid changes. The most obvious problem with long motorcycle trips on the road is often overlooked. That overlooked problem is the person (or group) that is traveling with you.
When it comes to road buddies one doesn’t need to look further, and the CTC biking trips provides all the fun, adrenaline to satiate the adventure appetite of a budding biker. Within the biking circles, one name appears more frequently than the others and that’s one of Mr. Praveen.
A member with CTC for more than 3 years, Praveen apart from biking has been part of a variety of activities of CTC, be it the treks or the rappelling drive or the tree plantation drive with Ainthinai. But its biking that’s most close to his heart, having organised and been a part of over 15 biking trips.It all started for Praveen in Dec 2012, when he was part of the first Xmas ride and travelled as a pillion rider. The places covered in that trip were Athirapally, Vagamon, and Valparai. The passion ignited in that ride has taken him all along till now.
Having organised over 15 biking events, there are some that stay very close to one’s heart and the entire experience remain as a memorable experience. Praveen has a few to mention in this category; The Get Wet Go Season 1 in the month of June 2013 travelling to Agumbe, Chikmagallur, Bhadra. The live with your bike series in the month of January 2015 for 10 days to Bhutan and Nepal.
The Riding team
A typical CTC biking trip includes anywhere between 5 to 10 bikes packed with all the gear and necessities to last for a decent two day trip. As much as these rides are about the adventure that they bring with it, it is also about the intermingling of riders of varying skill sets and taking the entire team along.
Riding skills can mean a lot of things. For example, riding skills can mean how fast a motorcyclist navigates a “tricky” section of road. Imagine you reach a really twisty section of mountain highway, just what you have been waiting to enjoy on your trip. However, the other riders (possibly beginners) are a bit intimidated by those same roads and slows down.
When you have completed that nice section of roadway you may find yourself quite a few minutes ahead of your group and spend a half an hour waiting on the side of the road.
First, and most importantly, you can’t force the group to pick up the pace. This can take away the enjoyment of their ride not to mention the possibility of creating an accident. Secondly, the slower rider may ask you to slow down and ride down to their comfort level, and matching the pace is as important as any or a successful ride. Riding skills can also include the rider’s stamina.
A typical CTC bike trip as per Praveen will have anywhere between 350 to 400 kms of biking per day and with such intense riding individual stamina plays a vital role that make or break a trip. But Praveen goes on to add that in the case where the rider’s stamina are known upfront, happens in case of a private trip with close friends, the limits gets pushed even harder to 650 kms in a single day.
Another important quality that helps in biking trips is the experience in Night driving. It may be possible for an amateur driver to clock miles in the bright of the day, but the tables turn upright in case of night driving, with headlights beaming right at the rider’s eyes and the pushing the muscles calls of fatigue. But, Praveen adds that safety should never be compromised in the endeavour for thrill and they ensure that they don’t ride past 12 in the night.
This apart, Praveen adds that basics about driving that gets ignored so often while driving in the hustle and bustle of city traffic, comes in quite handy in all of these biking trips. These include, proper usage of indicators, mirrors, brakes, proper right side over taking techniques, frequency of gear shifts, lastly and more importantly safe driving through the slopes requires lots of attention and practice.
No other transport allows for a greater interaction with the surroundings, especially in India where every corner seems to manifest an astonishing new aspect of the unpredictable kaleidoscopic wonder that is this country: an unannounced religious procession in full color with elephants and costumed gods; a thunderous waterfall; or just a traffic gridlock 14,000 ft above sea level and that inspires the lot like Praveen, burning the rubber every week in search of new horizons to explore.
Rishikesh is from Chennai, working as a field service engineer with Tata motors Ltd Chennai.He has participated in treks to Nagala, Kumarapavata and Munnar hills with CTC and also completed half iron triathlon and Trail marathon.