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TRAVEL TIPS

Riding in India can be fun and at times frustrating, here are some tips, which we use to make our rides more enjoyable.


No matter how detailed your map on India is, there will always be roads that you won't find on your map. A prominent red line on your map indicating the road to be a national highway can be 10 feet wide and so on.

Mostly all parts of India have Dhaba's (Road side food joints), it is here that all truck drivers eat. These Dhaba's are where you will get the best information on new roads, best road to take to reach a particular place and information on road conditions. Waiters or the truck drivers gladly help you on all your queries, but before that be prepared to answer questions like " Where are you coming from and where are you going? :o)

India being a diverse country, food, language and customs change every 200 kms. Make sure you have basic knowledge of the region you are traveling to. Most of the regions in India are safe to travel but some regions are in turmoil; hence avoid night riding to these regions. Make a tentative note of the place you would stay in the evening before you start a day's ride. Information on towns with guesthouses or hotels can be gathered from Dhaba's.

Travel light, since spares, tools take up lot of space and weight, carry minimal amount of clothes. Buy use and throw clothes, they are cheap anywhere in India, but make sure you have gloves, jacket and boots of your choice, which you have tested and are suitable to the climate conditions of your intended region of travel.

Avoid staying in big cities, not only are they expensive but you miss out on the fun of interacting with locals. If on your route you find a dam, an ancient temple or a fort on a hilltop, make sure you ride to these places. Most of the times these places will be remote with a great landscape with a superb ride or a tough trek.

Distribute your money in different bags rather than just one bag. If one bag is stolen or lost at least you will have enough money to reach someplace where you can withdraw more money. Always carry extra cash with you, for example, if the ride is going cost you 15,000, carry 20,000. The extra money is useful towards the end of the trip and also during emergency. Store some money in the toolbox of the bike. There are so many instances when a rider rides out for an errand with little or no money and a breakdown happens. The extra money in the toolbox is a lifesaver. You save time and energy to run back to the hotel and bring in more money. Keep Rs.500 -1,000 in the toolbox, believe me it comes handy in unforeseen situations. Withdrawing money is a big hassle; ATM's are a better option over traveler's cheques, If you are traveling remote than ATM card from State Bank of India is the best bet. The bank has more branches with ATM than any other bank in remote states.

Carry atleast two torches/flashlights with you. First one should be small enough for you to hold and work on your bike in case of a breakdown, small enough to come in your waist pouch or pocket. Second one should be a two battery/four battery flashlight which will be useful for nights without electricity which is common in remote parts of India. Carrying candles and matchsticks is also helpful.

Carry essence sticks with you; not only they help in keeping mosquitoes away but is a lifesaver when you are forced to stay in a filthy hotel or guesthouse.

Camping is not only a cheaper way to travel but also gives you the freedom to stay wherever you wish to. Avoid carrying too much weight in terms of utensils and supplies, stick to soups or noodles. Make sure you select a location where your head position is higher or at the same level as your foot level while sleeping.

In case of a breakdown on strange places. Nearest police station is the best place to park your bike and search for a mechanic. Both your bike and luggage will be safe. If the nearest town is far off, then you can ask the passing trucks for a lift. If the truck is not fully loaded, truck driver can load your bike and luggage inside the truck.

BUDGET:
If on an average you cover 200 kms. per day, than your fuel cost will be around Rs.230-250, that is if your bike gives a milage of 27-30 Kilometers per litre.
expense for food and stay per day will not exceed Rs.300 that is if you are budget traveling.

Rs. 100 for stay and Rs. 200 for food.

Stay: everywhere in India one can get decent accommodation by paying Rs.100, exceptions are big cities.

Food: Rs. 200 covers all your three meals, mineral water and even fruits.

So going by this calculation you can budget a month's ride to 15,000 to 17,000 Rs.

But if you are short of money and since you cannot cut on fuel and basic food cost, target the areas you can save money. For example : camp or sleep on dhaba's for free.
Avoid spending on Mineral water, instead buy a shaving water heater, it's four to five inches in length and heats up water fast.

Carry your own booze bottle from a wine shop rather than buying it from restaurant where it is served expensive.

A common mistake most riders do is spend more money at the beginning of the ride, spend moderately from day one. Avoid spend too much on long distance phone calls. All the extra money can be saved for developing the film rolls you exposed and servicing the bike, two most basic things which a lot of bikers forget to budget.

Key to long distance travel is to spend less and travel more.


HAPPY TRAILS
Gaurav

If you wish to add more tips which are not mentioned above, kindly e-mail them at theride@60kph.com.
We will gladly add them to the list.





   
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