Getting used to your inner silence as you embrace the totality of the world expressed starkly in being exposed and singular; just two eyes, just two ears, one man (or woman) and a set of two wheels cutting across a landscape in its nakedness. The epitome of independence as an expression, a meditation, a penance, a risk, an expedition, an escapade however you name it, matters naught but little since deep down it still is something you’d almost involuntarily do, something more resembling a need and less a mere desire.
This post serves the purpose of sharing a few personal tips about solo motorcycle riding in India, assuming that you’ve done a bit of group rides and know the basics of riding out of town, here goes : if not, click link Loading up for your Ride…
- Reliability of your machine is paramount when it comes to solo riding, all those normal bike niggles become the source of irritation and worry when alone. So try to eliminate any issues with your bike that you were accustomed to living with.
- Avoid leaky or smokey old bikes.
- Make sure engine oil is topped and fresh.
- Spare clutch and throttle cables are a must.
- Toolkit is essential.
- Spare tyre tubes or Puncture repair kit and DIY experience.
- Spare length of nylon rope and bunjee chords.
- Med kit with bandage patches and medical tape.
- Self tested rain wear for you and your luggage, especially if you’re travelling in the mountains.
- Carry a spare BSNL sim card if you’re heading to desolate or off road locations, could help in emergencies.
- If you are undertaking an expeditionary ride, it would be very wise to assign someone at home as your non-riding partner and report your movement to him/her.
- Get yourself insured for accidents and emergencies, keep photocopies of it with your non-riding partner as well.
- Research and keep a list of nearest authorized service centers for your bike in your travel zone.
- Carry an offline or paper map of your travel zone.
- Keep some emergency cash somewhere safe and not so accessible, you don’t want to get stuck in a place because the one functioning ATM in that town isn’t anymore.
Some dangers that need be mentioned :
- National Parks / Wildlife sanctuaries are home to a tremendous amount of fauna many of which are built for the hunt, riding through solo on a motorcycle on a desolate jungle road is dangerous enough not to be stopping to casually take a selfie. Keep your senses sharp and don’t become a professional hunter’s man snack.
- Small time thievery is common sometimes in India, especially on the fringes of a developing metropolis so its wise not to leave anything unfastened, unguarded or flick-able. I’ve lost 3 good pairs of gloves to petty thieves till date, they love gloves!
- Going to a public toilet when soloing in India means leaving your fancy bags on your fancy bike alone for a snazzy length of time. In a way its similar to shutting down your computer firewall and go click waltzing into dark-net, carry toilet paper or spare water and learn to use nature …deal with it!
- Anger… yes anger is one of the biggest dangers while soloing, anger can piss off anyone; you don’t want to piss off hotel caretakers, fellow road users, village punks, waiters, mechanics etc especially if you’re traveling alone. Drop the anger in exchange for mirth, this will turn these very bunch of people into very helpful albeit overly forthcoming souls.
They say the key to happiness is freedom and the key to freedom is bravery. This holds especially true for a solo rider, being calm and able to process your mind even in difficult situations is possibly one of the best things your mind can be equipped with while solo motorcycle riding.