Biking in india has moved on. With bigger and better bikes and new biking groups sprouting up every other day, kick starting a bike and hitting the highway has become another checkbox in the bucket list of things to do.
It’s been some time since I have been involved in what I consider a passion. Touring. Having travelled to the far corners of the country on two wheels , I can only claim to have travelled to these place. Exploring them and seeing them is another matter altogether. It is only recently when I have started to ride the highways with close friends and like minded souls that I have started the exploration of places.
Earlier , riding with large groups and clubs had its own charm. Just the feeling of being a part of 30-40 bikes on a highway and the head turning that ensued, gave you a high. However, it’s the question of moving and doing things that the majority of the group wants and in a lot of cases , forget about one’s own wants.
On a recent ride to the Kutch, we explored. 4 bikes, 6 bikers open highways and 1200 kms in 4 days. It’s no longer about having ridden 500kms per day but about seeing the beauty and the heritage that this country offers us. It’s about understanding the local customs talking to the villagers to see what is the best activity to do there, and going and doing it.
We explored a lost civilisation who taught us that rain water harvesting is not something we invented. It’s been there for 5000 years.
We explored the White deserts of the rann where we can practically touch our neighbouring country, noticing that the people on the border don’t really share the animosity that us city dwellers have towards this same country, even though they are more affected by them.
We explored the cuisine of the region. Oh boy did we explore the cuisine!
From convincing a vendor to let us cook our own food to making a hearty egg breakfast for all to jumpstart the day, to eating the famous thali meals that seems never to stop being served.
More importantly. We had potfuls of fun.
I guess what I am trying to say is this, As in most cases, it better to tour with friends you trust.
I know there is a lot of talk about brotherhood and such, but it’s just different when you trust and intimately know the rider in front and behind you. When you don’t need to explain why you want to do things a particular way, it’s just taken for granted and understood.
To all the new riders out there, a humble request, please try this. Get on the highway with and start exploring with friends. It will change the way you see the country and definitely the way you ride.