For us humans pull comes in myriad hues. There is the want. Want for a good bed, nice food or a life companion. There are desires, fast cars, trendy cloths, cozy home. There is ambition to rise and see the top. There is a longing to meet soul mate. Wishes for unattainable. Hope for circumstances. Then there is the unfathomable pull of passion. Unrealistic. Unrelenting. Irrational. There is no suppressing this pull.
Few pulls are not from with in but the elements. There is the pull from the roads and mountains. It gets into the blood stream and take hold of mind. For bikers Leh pulls and the bikers answer.
I am getting leh’ed. Every biker in India wants it or he/she been there, done that. I did it last year from 9th Jun – 29th Jun.
We from the BAC Bengaluru been planning it since Jan of 2017 for it. The group made plans and set a prep and selection program. I started my own perps to get fit. Iteratively. Travel, illness, laziness and Rahu kalam tendencies are strong in my zone. So it was plan for 5K runs, Yoga plans, long walks, deep cycling plan with hint of Sudharshan kriya along the way.
My bike on the other hand is fit and gets its servicing and polishing. Yet inside there were potential show stoppers.
My club is not one to toy with. It regulates and imposes. Thank god for that. So this mega project too has a plan that a corporate , PMI certified, jargon filled, MBA approved, project manager will be envious of. There were the qualifications and preparations and homework assignments from the club. From getting the people to show interest to test the skills, attitude and stamina. We factored a lot towards forming the team. This created a disciplined team with matching wave length.
First of the initiations rituals was a night ride. While lot of bikers like the dark hours and grave yard shifts I prefer a day run. But. We need to be ready for all-nighters so let’s check out the night, fog, sleep deprived riding skills was the clarion call.
We rode on a dream sequence worthy trip to the CCD in Kushal nagar. Start of the ride was at 9:00 pm. As I was rolling over the Nice road towards meeting point, my head lights blanked out. I had blown a fuse. At the meeting point we discovered that old avengers use old cylindrical 10 Amp fuse for lights and the modern plug fuse for the ignition etc. And none in the group had that one spare. Normally there will be a spare in the bike itself but seems mine was replaced during a service. We did a jugad with a wire patch up and went on.
This is how a road trip is. Unexpected events can strike any time. Rest of this trip was smooth, dreamy via a cold, misty route. Lead would peer ahead and pierce the darkness and make way for the followers. I was thankful for the guidance of the tail lamp and the side indicator lamps. As night progressed and dew mist rolled in I settled to a neat rhythm. I could get used to the night.
We reached the CCD, eat and drank and danced to beats from those nifty blue tooth speakers that amplify the phone rhythms. Grave yard hours are hard but the die hard experience junkies stare back at sleep and do a tiger dance. Tired but energized.
We headed back as the dawn was preparing to break adding a hinty grey to the inky black of the night. Little tired, throat dryish but with no other incidence. That was just a taste of the long rides we would have to do.
So the preparation is a must.
Part of the selections and preparations we did a hill run to ooty, kodai kanal next – to test the hill riding. And then the final test was the mandated solo 800 K single day ride. I did a bangalore- Mangalore –Lunch- back to Bangalore.
The passion and pull can be strong. The longing may be great but there is the plan and preparation and fitness that is needed. Bravery and foolishness are close cousins and the pull can soon bring them home to you. Goals can be audacious but the path must be thought out. Understand the terrain, weather and the lands layout. Get physically and mentally in shape. Pamper and know your machine.
- Keep you self and the bike fit. Running, Gym, Yoga, breathing exercises, back and shoulder strength is a must. Bike needs to be fit the part that take wear need replacement. Found this article good:
- Test your capacity in tough conditions and terrains.
- Our practice runs did help in preparing. Night riding, long distance non stop, hill runs. Where possible do group and solo rides to know the road, endurance and your self.
- Read experiences of others and adapt them for yourself and your trip
- Places to plan for the visit