The Bragging Goodies

I have said this before and say it again. For us, this is a ride of a lifetime. Various reasons, as cited under The Riders page. And we will want to create as many memories as possible. Memories in the mind and memories captured on media – be it video or photo.

As we did for our Rickshaw Run, we will be creating the souvenir and bragging goodies to associate with the ride. I have been a little behind schedule on this and currently rushing around like a headless chicken trying to finalize design and colors and making sure we have the items well in time before we leave.

Items that will make up the #PoshGoondas ‘merchandise’, using our Logo (image below):

  1. Embroidered Patches: These will go on our Jackets, Pants and/or Backpacks
  2. Hats:Β  (Or as the Limeys call them, Caps! πŸ˜‰ ) The Hats will bear the Logo in the front. Undecided whether to have the hat in Red or Black. Any suggestions?
  3. Tshirts: Crew Neck with the Logo printed on the front.

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The Assemble

At the time of writing this post, our Countdown clock has stepped into the Teens. 19 days 21 hours to the start of our ride on July 5. However, we have a 2 day travel time. Which means we have a Real Time of 17 days and loose change as hours. This applies to the two, using Nimish’s label for us, Indo-Yanks! Nimish, the Indo-Limey leaves a week earlier than us out of UK. He travels to Ranthambore related to his interest, hobby, passion of Tiger Preservation.

I enjoy the preparatory elements of travel – packing my bags and choosing my outfits – but my favourite part is getting there.
Dominic Monaghan

Needless to say, we now have to initiate active Prep mode. Thus far we have been loosely working off lists and checking the items off. Items we didn’t have, had to be bought. Other items to be pulled out, cleaned and prepped. Every time I think about the Gear and Equipment, I have the fear of forgetting that one item that could mess up the trip. To avoid this, I need to make up a Global final checklist of Equipment, Gear, Clothes we need to carry with us.

Broadly our list would be drilled down under the following List:

  1. Motorcycle Gear
  2. Photographic Gear
  3. Non-motorcycle Gear

On my part, I have the first two items under control. Items are in hand and those that were not have been ordered and are winging their way to me, as we speak.

The photo below is not that of my ‘to be packed’ items. Collecting, assembling and laying out the gear as shown makes the packing so much easier. It would surely be packing instead of stuff everything into a bag. Then pray like hell that you find something when it is needed!

The photo above is not that of my ‘to be packed’ items.
image: https://farm7.staticflickr.com/

The Non-motorcycle Gear involves, as the name suggests, Gear or apparel that are non-Motorcycle. Casual clothes, shoes, Tshirts, pants etc. These would of course include our Travel clothes as well as casuals we would need for the daily overnight stops we’ll be making. For the times to chill after a good ride or just amble and walkaround the little towns we will be stopping at. Motorcycle Pants, Jackets and Boots are perfect for while on the Motorcycle. The gear most certainly is not made for walkabouts or strolling about. The weight, the bulk of the armor protection just makes for us looking like stuffed up Robots.

I will elaborate on each item listed above in future posts. Till then, excuse me while I day dream of the ride into and up one of the most picturesque areas of India.

[This post was created entirely on the iOS platform via the iPad. Road Warriors indeed]

Is there an average male Indian biker?

I had originally intended to write about my dilemma with camera equipment, however an unexpected experience prompted a change of topic.

Unlike the other two ‘goondas’, I do not own or ride a motorbike currently (I wonder if this makes them two more ‘posh’ and me more of a ‘goonda’) which means I have to acquire all the motorbike gear and paraphernalia that goes with it.  Having lived and travelled in various inhospitable areas around the world, I do appreciate the need for proper preparation before embarking on the trip, and so I began my quest for getting the right motorbike gear.

I was not going to make any compromise on my safety and so purchased the Helmet and Boots from here in UK.  However, after some online research and advice from Vir Nakai, I decided to buy the jacket and riding pant from India.  I thought it would enable me to get something that was more suited to the local climatic conditions and avoid having to worry about exceeding the weight allowance for my flight.  Managing the weight allowance is generally a big issue for me considering I think I should carry a whole photographic studio with me πŸ˜€

So I start trawling through a number of Indian websites looking for something with adequate protection, suitable for different climate, and even a bit of style (after all I need to ensure I look like a posh Goonda) πŸ˜€ Pretty soon I realise that this is not going to be as simple as walking into any mens clothing shop and buying a pair of trousers or shirts.  Firstly, you need to find ones with reliable armour to protect the joints, then you got to find something that is suitable for the extreme climatic conditions, and finally find the right size to fit you.  For some funny reason, motorbike clothing sizes are different from the normal clothing sizes, so instead of a waist size in inches you are now looking at X and 2XL and so forth.  πŸ™  If this is not confusing enough there’s an added issue – the size needs to be measured as if you are sitting on a motorbike, i.e. a ‘fat’ bloke becomes extra fat.  πŸ˜€

Finally having established the suitable size I then find that none of the Indian sites or manufacturers can provide my size.  Apparently there is no provision for people with shorter legs.    So the question that comes in the mind is do only tall men ride bikes in India or is that Indian men are all tall?  All this while seeing the likes of Tendulkars and Gavaskars, I imagined myself as average sized for someone of Indian origin.  So I wonder if I should start shrinking my imagination like my size. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

In terms of the riding pants, I should be thankful that there are lot more shorter people like me in UK πŸ˜‰ so at least I could find something that fit me.  May be I should have my eyesight tested instead so that I can see that people of Indian origin are really tall. πŸ˜€

This was a light-hearted observation. tumblr_notamu8htc1ro2bqto1_500 No tall people were hurt in the writing of this blog and they should not feel victimised by the author’s comments. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Anticipation

It’s going to be a busy month before we leave for the Ladakh Ride in less than a month.  Feel like I’m unprepared since the longest bike ride I’ve done ever in my life is a 3 hr ride I did more than 30 years back.  Have started taking some rides over the last month as warm weather arrived so hopefully will not feel out of place when we start in Chandigarh.  Like Rakesh & Nimish, it’s been hard to not to think about the trip everyday and while not totally prepared, reading the chats between Rakesh & Nimish is kinda getting me ready.  Three things that make this a much anticipated trip; India, motor-bike & the anticipation of breathtaking views.  The icing on the cake will be the excellent company on the trip.

Never too old to Ride

Completely relate to Nimish’s thoughts on the Preparation & Impatience. It is a special effort to focus on the day to day mundanes now. Less than a month before we fly out.

Nimish associated, in all humor, our ride to the recent Bollywood film titled ‘3 idiots’. More than most of the people, we mentioned our plans to Ride to Ladakh to were appreciative of our spirit of adventure and our enthusiasm. There were those few who questioned our actions. “Why?” I would be asked. Isn’t it a bit ‘late’ to ‘do all this’? Often to my frustration.

And this image always comes to mind. Absolutely apt. Almost made to answer those few people.

So, with that, the Forever Young, the Sprited, the Posh Goondas will Ride!

Preparations and Impatience

It’s still 20 days before I leave for India, and a month before we mount the bikes for a ride  of a life time to Ladakh, yet it feels like we are starting the ride at this very moment. The eagerness and 02hogs600impatience when you start preparing for something that has been one of the key item your bucket list puts everything else happening around you into insignificance.  Just starting to plan what gear to carry, what I need to purchase, etc. has meant all the other routine jobs being overlooked.   

Anyway, its time to start the ball rolling and decide if I should get the riding apparel from here in UK or get it in India, what kind of clothing to carry, p7951929_d_v7_aahow much clothing to carry, etc. etc. This may seem like silly issues, and they probably are, but considering that we travel from a 40Β°C+ temperature to probably less than 10ΒΊC within a day or two of riding.  Add to this the prospect of riding during what could potentially be a monsoon season makes all these silly questions very relevant for a ride to ensure that irrelevant issues do not take precedence over enjoying the environment and that adventure.

For those who may be familiar, I feel our journey could be a combination of the two movies – Wild Hogs and 3 Idiots.  Talking about movies raises a question…should I get a movie camera? 

Of course, for me the priority gear would be my camera kit which is going to be a different challenge this time round as compared to my other adventures.  But that’s something to talk about in the next blog.

The Ride Guides | Helmet Stories

I got acquainted with Vir and Helmet Stories via twitter a few years ago, when I jumped on the Adventure band wagon with a Rickshaw Run through India and getting back into a Motorcycle’s saddle after a long hiatus. Vir and Harsh Man Rai make up Helmet Stories – An Adventure/Motorcycle Touring Company based in Mumbai, India. Both of them are considered amongst India’s ‘known’ Motorcycle Riders and can be found at the forefront of many Motorcycle related events.

Helmet Stories is an adventure travel company founded by motorcycle enthusiasts. They are vastly experienced travelers and motorcyclists who met while being filmed in Ladakh for “The Road Trip” a 10-part television serial on what compels different people to get on a motorcycle and ride off into the blue yonder. After spending many miles on the road together, they decided to focus their attention on motorcycle touring and adventure travel and thus Helmet Stories was born.

Helmet Stories provides premium guided motorcycle adventure tours in India characterized by premium-level accommodations and meals, impeccable Royal Enfield motorcycles-the bike de jour – for adventure riding in India, a superior support team, and exciting “off-bike” activities designed to maximize riders’ appreciation and enjoyment of the unique local culture in the areas in which they travel. These backroads have been their personal playground for years, and they’ve plotted out the best riding in India, especially the Northern Mountains leading up to Ladakh. They promise toΒ  show you places and roads easily missed and passed over by the crowd and during our ride together. Their tours focus on the Riders being able to enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded enthusiasts, seeing, tasting and feeling India-s diverse culture and geography that is best experienced from the seat of a motorcycle.

Maybe a guided motorcycle trip isn’t for you. But then again, maybe it is… Here are a few reasons many Riders want to consider a Helmet Stories-guided motorcycle trip vs. going it on your own:

  • All the guides are local; they live and play and work in the areas where Helmet Stories run their tours; they know the best trails; the best adventure spots; the best restaurants; watering holes and all the things that make up an amazing adventure.
  • On their Tours, Riders get the opportunity to meet amazing people from all over the world who share your passion for the amazing sport of mountain biking, with an adventurous and fun spirit to boot!
  • They take all the hassle out of planning a Tour on your own. No need to book hotels, arrange transportation, pick restaurants, buy ride maps, etc… Just show up at the airport and they’ll take it from there. You can devote 100 per cent of your energy to riding amazing trails and having the adventure of your life. A Life time worth of Memories and experience to brag about.

Here’s a clip of the show where Vir and Harsh Man Rai’s paths crossed and Helmet Stories was born to the good fortune of many a Rider. Glimpses of both in the clip as well as a taste of a Ride to Ladakh.

Helmet Stories:
url: http://helmetstories.com/
twitter: https://twitter.com/helmetstories
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helmetstories
Instagram: http://instagram.cmo/helmetstories.com
Blog:Β http://helmetstories.blogspot.com/