Venturing into Himalayas on Bike? Based on my experience of various stretches on Bike Trips here are some important tips before you get into this adventure.
BIKE – THE MOST IMPORTANT AND ONLY COMPANION
Any bike, in a good condition, but at least of 150 CC and plus would make your trip successful, yes bikes with 350 CC and 500 CC would have an advantage on high altitude and steep roads to make the experience heavenly. Important things to keep in mind:-
- Bike is properly and thoroughly serviced before you start the trip
- Change Engine Oil even if you had done this a month ago
- Many a times we forget to check some critical wires like Clutch wire, make sure all are in good condition
- Mirrors really help a lot, so even if you have removed the mirrors this is the time to put it on (both), you will realise its importance on busy terrains and helps you to keep a track of your fellows (who are following you) when you are busy on curves leaning your bike.
- Make sure to keep Fuel tank always full.
Personally I learnt that no matter how great is your bike and biking skills, if you are not equipped with right and comfortable apparels, you will undergo a hell for sure in Himalayas which is a heaven otherwise.
Here is what you must have:-
- Helmet: Simply to say “IT IS MUST”. But make sure you have branded helmet (WITH VISOR ON IT) which will not only protect you in case of accident but also from extreme weather conditions with low temperature and killer winds on various passes.
- Eyewear: Keep sunglasses, it will help you riding easy in a sunny day somewhere in the middle of Himalayas
- Gloves: Keep two pair of waterproof leather gloves, one pair can be fingerless gloves for riding in planes or hot days and other pair of Gloves for extreme cold conditions and high altitude ride.
- Jacket: You need to have Biking Jacket, which will serve you two critical purpose one protection from injuries in case of accident and second protection from cold weather and unfriendly winds.
- Boots: Many a times people make mistakes of bearing sports shoes, Never ever do that. Most of the sports shoes are meant with a motive to keep your feet fresh with Air. Go for shoes which will keep your feet warm. ALSO KEEP EXTRA PAIR OF SHOE WITH YOU, you will cross countless rivers and waterfalls on the way.
- Body Armour: It is advisable to use armours. If you have typical biking jacket it will have armour for chest, elbows, spine and shoulders so no need in that case else go for at least Elbow armour and Knee armour as well.
MANTRA OF SAFE AND ENJOYABLE RIDING
- Never go over speed in an excitement of thrilling and heavenly terrains.
- Never compete with fellow riders.
- Keep fair distance with each others if you are riding in big group
- Have clear Road map before you start the ride
- Make comprehensive plan for longer rides keeping in mind the stop overs, speed, Petrol Pumps and food.
- Obey all rules and regulations of area where you are riding. In some places you would require permission from Local authorities before you enter into specific areas, make arrangements for such situations accordingly.
- Keep some bike accessories with you, like an air pump, Tyre tube and a standard Tool kit.
- Carry all documents related to bike with you and needless to mention YOUR DRIVING LICENCE.
- Keep Fuel Tank and your stomach always full on the ride
NICE TO HAVE
- Wrist watch to keep a track on time and speed
- A compass and Altimeter. There are wrist watches available which has Temperature, altitude and compass in it. Ranges from 14,000 INR to 20,000 INR.
- A Torch will come handy in interiors and Roadside Tents.
- If you are doubtful about your comfort with Low Oxygen levels at high altitudes such as Leh, Khardoongla Pass (World’s highest motorable pass), Rohtang Pass on Manali Leh Road, keep medicines with you
GUYS IF YOU DO NOT CARRY SUNSCREEN AND LIP GUARD CREAM, YOU WILL CARRY A NICE GIFT FOR RIDING IN HIMALAYAS WHICH IS TANNING AND WILL HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT FOR FEW MONTHS.
All this will make your trip a great success for sure. HAVE A GREAT, SAFE AND HAPPY RIDE. GOOD LUCK !!