Some people make travel plans weeks and months before their trip, and some, well some don’t believe in plans and thrive on spontaneity. There is a comfort in pre-planning your adventures, you are accounting for all mishaps, divergence from plans, geographical troubles and everything that could ruin your trip. Spontaneous plans though, on the other hand, have a lot of risks involved. Waking up one day and deciding that you want to skinny dip in a remote lake with a scenic backdrop sounds fun, doesn’t it? But getting attacked by certain reptiles and animals is something to consider. Excessive planners will go to great lengths to locate a perfect place of that description, find out its weather conditions, places to stay, the locals, the food, the threats and the opportunities and basically a complete SWOT analysis. An extremely exhausting process.
If there is any such community indulging in spontaneous, random trips, it has to be the biker’s community. Wandering around the state borders and finding a trail through dense forests and riding along the rivers. Bikers rarely have an itinerary. They just finalize the destination (or not) and get started on their journey.
One such biker shared his startling experiences with us. Rahul Chandran a traveller, photographer, biker and vintage automobile collector took a walk down memory lane and spoke about the many adventures he took.
When asked Rahul about his take on bike riding, he listed a few essentials every biker should be aware of. “First-time bikers should keep one thing in their mind: Safety. In addition to that, go on small biking adventures of more than 100km or so. Experience matters. Riding in your town or city is one thing but riding all over India is quite different. You have to take into account the weather conditions, state of the roads and carry a comprehensive guide to the region you would be visiting.” Checking up on the bike’s engine and a thorough maintenance check is also crucial “The engine temperature and vibrations between the seat can make a big difference. The position of handle and seat should be set according to the individual’s needs and body frame. The suspension of the vehicle should also be adjusted according to the rider’s comfort. With the right settings will you won’t get tired of riding the bike for long hours.”
He also spoke about the importance of travel gear and luggage. “Travellers and bikers should avoid overpacking. One can always take halts for a few hours and wash off the dirt from any clothes. Protective gear like helmets, gloves, riding boots, elbow and knee pads along with other accessories are important gear every biker should invest in. I have had many accidents and protective gear has made it seem like gentle falls, so gear is an indispensable part. Dehydration could also lead to serious problems so carry your liquids and energy drinks or make sure you buy supplies whenever available.”
He too is a spontaneous traveller. In a frank conversation, he told us about his unplanned trips to Gujarat and Rajasthan and how the journey unfolded. “It was a weekend and I had recently got my bike serviced. I decided to go on a biking adventure from Kerala. Although exhausting, I finished a 1000km stretch from Bangalore to Mumbai in a day. That was amazing. I later continued the journey up north”.
A spontaneous journey sure sounds fun but is only recommended to experienced travellers as it puts one in a difficult situation. It’s a whole lot of ‘Showing courage’ and knowing that there will be a way out. Instead of moping over the bad timing, search for alternate places to visit if the path to your desired location is blocked. Above all, embrace the randomness. You do not have to constantly worry about what lies ahead and whether or not the journey is going the way you thought it would. This is the advantage of spontaneity.
No matter how you take a trip- plan it beforehand or just pack your bags and leave without any preparation, enjoying the journey is important. Travels have changed people’s outlook on life, relationships and work. Live it. Travel to live.
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