KEEP YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS INFORMED!

Once your ride begins, keep your family informed daily. Give them a call before you start the ride for the day and tell them where you’re headed to. Call them ( or text) again to let them know you’re ok after you stop ends for the day.If you know that over the next few days, you are going to be somewhere remote and telephone/internet connectivity might be a problem, let them know. Nothing makes your family worry more than their child (or a spouse) from whom they have heard nothing for a day or two.  Especially, when that person is travelling alone.

Along with your parents, let a friend know as well – preferably one of your regular riding buddies. A simple text updating your ride status 2-3 times a day should do. In case, of an untoward incident or a mishap, a family is bound to get panicky. But a rider friend will keep a cool head and will use his rider/ traveller instincts help you get out of the mess you land up in. Let your family also know who that person is.

INSPECT YOUR BIKE EVERY MORNING

Checking your bike to make sure there are no mechanical issues is a must on motorbiking tours. It becomes all the more so when you’re on your own. Becuase if something goes wrong in the middle of a ride with friends, you have them to ride to the next town and find a mechanic or a spare part to fix it. But while riding alone you have to sort everything out yourself. Check the tires, the tire pressure, if the brake and clutch levers and pads are all ok. Check the ground where you parked for any oil stains from leaks. Before you head out for the day do a test run for a kilometre or two and pay attention to anything unusual in the bike’s performance.

PACK LIGHT

When I used to go on group rides, my buddies and I were over cautious and ended up overpacking. And I carried this tendency even on my solo rides. Thinking now that I’m travelling alone I have to be even more cautious. However a few rides down the years I realized, I didn’t use half the stuff I carried. You’ll realize something similar as well. Ditch those books you think you’ll need because you won’t have anyone to talk to. Carry a kindle instead. 1 pair of riding clothes and 2 pairs to wear when not riding should be enough. Travelling light makes it easy to unpack and repack and also you tend to lose less stuff due to oversight.

Motorbiking on the outskirts of Leh

CLOCK LESSER MILES

Group dynamics in a ride often help all the riders in achieving greater distance than they planned.  Cracking jokes, sharing ride experiences, fooling around at every break will keep the weariness away for a long time. Also sometimes there are two riders (pillion and the rider) to a bike and that helps in sharing the ride distance. But when you riding alone it’s a different ballgame.  Tiredness will set in easily. And trust me, after riding a long patch of pathetically bumpy roads when you get off your saddle, if you do not have a fellow rider to share your sorrows, your butt hurts more.

Therefore do not try to attempt the same things that you did on a group ride. If you covered 1000kms over 2 days in a group ride, while riding solo make it 3 days if not 4. If you feel sleepy, take a power nap! If it still does not work, call it off for the day. Relax and start afresh the next day.

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