GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 11

Solo girl on an all India ride mission named ‘Esa Des hai Mera’, Poonam Navale comes as an adventurous person, she calls herself a bike-packer, nature lover, and a travel photographer.

How would you describe yourself?

A Nature Lover, Bike-packer, Adventurer, a travel photographer, and much of an Introvert (The last one Contradicts though).

When and how did you start motorcycling?

I happen to live my mom’s dream of riding a motorbike. And that’s how it all started. I was a daily commuter in the initial years but after shifting to Bangalore the real Lust for Bike riding started and then I never looked back.

How many motorbikes have you owned/ridden and what is your longest ride?

I own three: Splendor, RE Thunderbird 350, and KTM Duke 390. But I have had the chance to ride many more bikes. Bike rides are so tempting for me. Be it a short ride or long. So far I have ridden the Bangalore-Pune route in a day. And have ridden in most of the states on my beloved Duke except the states of North East. 

How do you plan for a ride? What things do you always pack in your luggage?

Planning a Ride is one thing and executing it, in the same way, is another. For me, both things never matched. Although I used to keep myself updated with current affairs of the place I’ll be heading. The final route is mapped on Google map and a Rough route memorized in case of an emergency. Initially, I over packed my luggage but eventually, I learned the minimal way of traveling. Later on, I keep on reducing and finding multipurpose and light stuff as a substitute. In essential luggage, I keep a few bike’s spares, Chain lube and cleaner, a puncture repair kit, pepper spray, hydration bag, a Camera and its charger, power bank, few toiletries, and pairs of clothes (mostly dry fit) depending upon the days of travel, slippers/shoes, torch, tent, sleeping bag, fold-able backpack, Dark Chocolate. 

Riding a motorbike made me calmer and lessened my temper issue though I ride a KTM.

How do you plan the route? What are your criteria for a good stay?

I do plan the Route based on the weather condition and the availability of the route. Also, the scenic and curvy route options are always on my priority. For Stay, I would prefer a tent to stay over any option. But I know that is not possible everywhere and for my Solo rides, I haven’t done camping yet. So in that case Hostels or homestays are on my list. If any of these are not available or in a poor state or out of my budget then I would go for a Hotel room. Wherever I stay my first criteria to finalize it is safe parking for my Bike and then comes a clean toilet and Bathroom followed by a cozy room.

What is so empowering about riding a motorcycle?

When just a little twist of throttle gives you the fresh breeze of air that shrugs off all your worries and makes you feel lighter like floating in the air is the Best Kind of therapy I must say. The uncertainty of the entire journey, repairing your own vehicle in breakdowns, handling your insecurities in case of delay in reaching your destination strengthens your will power. And moreover just thought of proving it’s not Only Masculine.

Any takeaways from your motorbike riding experience?

There are a lot. The biggest one I learned is everyone’s experience is unique depending upon their own taste, interest, comfort, priorities, budget, and expectations. Riding a motorbike made me calmer and lessened my temper issue though I ride a KTM.

Motorbiking is considered a dangerous hobby. What to look out for on the road? How to stay protected?

Wearing full safety gear of riding is the only way to stay protected. On the road, no matter how much you ride sensibly and cautiously, anything can go wrong. So wearing your shields is the wisest way. Motorbiking is indeed a dangerous hobby. You have to be alert every second. And hence it comes with great responsibility. Be responsible for yourself, for your family, and for others as well.

Follow Poonam on her social handle:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/poonam.navale.39

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_gj_girl/

GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 10

Mayank, a mountain lover, and another passionate biker, we know him for a few years now. His ultimate aim, as he says, is to settle somewhere in the Himalayas. Let’s hear his story

When and how did you start motorcycling?

Started motorcycling back in 2014. I went to Hogenakkal falls with my friend on his Yamaha FZ as a pillion and loved the freedom that riding provides, to explore on your own terms. That time I did not know how to ride so learned riding a motorcycle. In the initial days, had an accident and I was on bed rest for more than a month. After recovery, started riding again. Earlier it was more of solo one-day rides and then I moved to group rides with the Bangalore bikers group.

How many motorbikes have you owned/ridden and what is your longest ride?

I owned one pulsar 150 and now I have a Duke 200. 

Took my duke to Bhutan-Arunachal(14 days,2000 kms) and Spiti(10 days,1600 kms). So Bhutan-Arunachal was my longest ride to date on Duke. I shipped the bike and did not ride all the way from Bangalore.

How do you plan for a ride? What things do you always pack in your luggage?

For me, planning and anticipating a trip is almost as enjoyable as going on the trip itself. Planning starts with basic Google maps, road conditions and what else can I cover on the way to stay for the day. A week before the trip, assess the condition of the motorcycle and keep it ready in advance. I always carry a puncture repair kit, Vulnerable spare parts, Zipties,m-seal, water bottle, First aid kit, extra specs.

How about the route and the criteria for a good stay?

I plan a route using Google maps, inputs from other riders and I always prefer the scenic route even if it takes more time. 

For me, the criteria for a good stay is safe parking, good view, good food, clean rooms.

What is so empowering about riding a motorcycle?

Riding a motorcycle is like Meditation for me. When you’re on the road, either on the highway or on a curvy mountain road, you’re focused, you’re determined, you don’t regret the past, you don’t worry about future, you’re in the moment. On a lighter note, Research says Riding a motorcycle for at least 20 minutes will increase your heart rate by 11% and adrenaline levels by 27% which is remarkably similar to light exercise, so you know it’s a win-win situation.

Riding a motorcycle in challenging situations and coming out on top of it, surely gives me the mental strength to succeed in other areas of life.

Any takeaways from your motorbike riding experience?

From motorbike riding, I learned how to keep calm in tricky situations. As well as I have become a travel planning expert for family and friends.

Motorbiking is considered a dangerous hobby. What to look out for on the road? How to stay protected?

It is a dangerous hobby to some extent, especially in a country like India. People jumping on the road out of nowhere, If you’re fully geared then cars, squid bikers try to race with you, a pothole on the highway when you’re doing 100+ in the fast lane. While on the road everything can not be in our control so I keep checking my mirrors, give way to others who want to go fast, in ghats I keep left in my lane, on highways I stay in the middle lane to avoid any surprises from animal/human.

I keep myself protected with good quality riding gear. Here I want to emphasize good quality because I have learned it the hard way. In the initial days I was using generic gloves and because of my mistake rammed into a cab. Once I had hit asphalt my gloves were torn properly, I came back and got myself leather gloves with Knox sliders.

Biking culture is quite evolved in India over the years and people are more aware of the importance of riding gears, at least in big cities. But still, riders overlook leg/feet protection, I think buying full length riding boots is a one-time investment with far greater dividends in the future. I use a riding jacket, gloves on a regular basis, and follow ATGATT on trips.

Connect with Mayank here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Alpha1.neo/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tales_from_duke_handle/

GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 9

The Rider Diaries series continues and we have Vijay Sah with us to share his story..

Vijay is open-minded, adventurous, and sometimes becomes a little crazy (Yeah we have seen it) He loves exploring new places, giving his taste buds a treat once a while, experiencing new things, and he is always pushing himself out of his comfort zone. 

Let’s get to know him better.

So Vijay, tell us when and how did you start motorcycling?

I have always been fond of wheels, from my childhood I started riding cycle which was the foundation of my motorcycling. At the age of 16, I got my first 2 wheeler a scooty pep. I used to go to school with this scooter. 

During college, I had a Honda Activa on which I did my first long trip. A trip to Chilika Lake and Gopalpur beach from Bhubaneswar. After that, I never looked back. 

That’s interesting! Tell us about your motorcycles and the longest ride that you did.

I have owned three bikes. I got my first bike in 2015, a Yamaha R15. When I started watching MotoGP I always dreamt of buying a fully faired bike. Eventually, I bought riding gear and started touring on this bike, although it was not so comfortable. I sold this bike after a wonderful 20000 km and upgraded to a KTM duke 390 in 2016. I did many trips on the duke and on one of the trips, I saw a group of Triumph Tigers coming in from the opposite direction. It was love at first sight and became a dream upgrade for me. In 2017 this dream came true and a Tiger 800 came home. 

Over a period of 3 years, I have traveled to almost every state in India (except NE) and ODO reading has happily crossed 70000 km. 

The trip to Uttarakhand in January 2020 was the longest to date for me. I was traveling with my partner for a period of 18 days and covered 10 states and 6000 km. ( Karnataka – Andhra Pradesh – Telangana – Maharashtra – Madhya Pradesh – Uttar Pradesh – Delhi – Uttarakhand – Rajasthan – Gujarat ).

That sure looks like a lot of fun! So how do you pack your luggage for such rides and most importantly, how do you plan?

India, a land of diversity. Diversity in culture, food, and most importantly geography. I always divide my rides according to the season I am traveling. I always keep buffer days when planning for multi-day rides. 

Luggage packing is the key to a happy ride. I divide my luggage into categories like tools, wearables, electronics, rain gear, first aid. In wearables, I try to minimize the quantity to as low as needed and try to wash them during a multi-day stop in a city. In tools, I carry an Allen key set, screwdrivers, puncture kit, inflator, torch, multimeter, extra wires. Rain gears are kept in my top box for quick access in case of sudden rain. For first aid, I carry general medicines with pain sprays, band-aids, etc. Another thing which I carry is an extra waterproof phone mount just in case if it rains.

How do you plan the route? What are your criteria for a good stay?

Google maps and friends. These are the two most important sources of information for any route planning. For longer journeys, I prefer sticking to the NH as long as possible. Also, I keep a tab of the weather to places that I am covering. 

A good stay according to me is a place where there is safe parking and the hotel is located on the main road. I also like Zostel and other backpacking chains that offer good socializing exposure.

Ah, now the question a non-motorcyclist always asks! What is so empowering about riding motorcycles? Would you not prefer a car instead?

Sitting astride an engine with wheels, sharing space with juggernauts, battling the elements and voices telling us no. We do it for the freedom, for the exhilaration, for the ride, for the adventure, for the individuality and belongings. Something that you might not feel inside a car.

That’s an interesting take! Any takeaways from your motorbike riding experience?

Chasing adventures, creating unforgettable memories, seeing new places, meeting new people. Whatever it is, if it makes your heart race you go after it. It’s hard to explain, unbelievable feelings, and rush of excitement. It is when we start bonding with the machine. 

Lastly, Motorbiking is considered a dangerous hobby. What to look out for on the road? How to stay protected?

Motorcycling is indeed a dangerous hobby. For safety, the rider and pillion should invest in good riding gear. But a riding gear does not guarantee a safe trip, even though it may be one of the best in the market. The rider should always ride in his/her comfort zone and never be under peer pressure like riding fast, cutting fast corners, going fast on bad roads. Things to look out on the road are intersections, animals, people driving on the wrong side, potholes. 

The art of motorcycling demands so much. It seeks attention from the rider, quick judgment, and reflexes. The mind should always be fresh, a cup of tea/coffee always helps. 

Connect with Vijay here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vjaysah
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vjaysah/

GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 8

In this edition of Rider Diaries, we have Sonali Mukherji whose love for motorcycles is on another level. Adventurous heart and a fearless attitude have brought her to where she is today. She shares her journey and what it means for her to keep this passion going.

How would you describe yourself?

Always looking for adventure but also making sure to keep safety in mind

When and how did you start motorcycling?

The passion for two wheels was ignited when I was a toddler. Right from the first year. I actively started riding motorcycles from 2013 onwards. 

I always wanted to ride a bike since high school but was held down by society norms of what a girl should do and should not do. I was anchored by ‘log kya kahenge’ attitude. However,  after a few years of staying alone, realized they are anyway gonna talk so let me give them a good reason. Even today I ensure to do what I feel is right but I excuse myself from convincing people about the same.

How many motorbikes have you owned/ridden and what is your longest ride?

I own 2 motorcycles. R15v2 which I call Dhruv and R3 named Adhara. I had also named the bike I rented for a week in North Sikkim – Iskara.

The longest ride was on my R15v2 from Bangalore to Daman. I stopped at many places including Nashik, Lavasa on the way back. This was a 3000 km ride which I completed in a week.

However, the toughest one was North Sikkim for 8 days. It was a mixture of tough offroads, freezing weather, no cellphone reception, and I did not see many people around most of the time. 

How do you plan for a ride? What things do you always pack in your luggage?

I pack my things depending on the season and terrain of the ride. I also take into account the time of sunset and sunrise and other weather conditions.

I always carry cards, cash, a charger, basic medical kit, and essential toiletries. Mosquito repellant spray is a must. A hydration kit and few packets of electral during the ride. Few extra bungee cords for those unexpected moments. Chain cleaner and lube is a must. I also carry extra balaclavas and rain gear.

How do you plan the route? What are your criteria for a good stay?

I have a rough idea of the terrain and weather. The rest is on the go. But I ensure to reach the destination before Sundown especially when Solo. I choose a homestay with good parking for overnight. They are usually managed by the family, so as a female I feel safer and I get to experience the local cuisine and life and learn about the place. For a change, I sometimes stay at Zostels (Relive the college days with music, board games, conversations, books)

What is so empowering about riding a motorcycle?

You got to feel it. If you don’t own it, well you won’t get it.  The satisfaction that you get after a difficult and challenging route is so worth to look back on… In fact, I have passed my lockdown times looking at old ride pictures.

Any takeaways from your motorbike riding experience?

Life is short to brood over mistakes. Take it as a learning and carry on. The world is so vast and so many things to look forward to and enjoy and experience…This realization came in the Ladakh hospital when I was admitted for the day due to low oxygen levels.

Motorbiking is considered a dangerous hobby. What to look out for on the road? How to stay protected?

Look out for median on roads, wrong side folks, drivers going zigzag, stray animals, people behaving like animals… In short, be attentive and keep a margin for other’s mistakes too. Invest in good riding gear to stay protected. Better to buy good gear before than to pay the doctor later. The right safety gears always give you the confidence to give that 100 % and push yourself.

Connect with Sonali here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sonali.mukherji
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ridewithsonali/

GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 7

In this edition of Rider diaries, let’s welcome Sonia Adhikary, a traveler, motorcycle lover, a newbie offroad rider, a firm believer in endless learning, and someone who is not beaten by ‘cant’s’ and instead turns them into ‘cans’.

Motorcycle, as they say, is love at first sight. For Sonia, it happened 4 years ago. She used to borrow motorcycles from friends and ride them over the weekends.

Until she purchased her first motorcycle, Sonia knew the basics of riding but she practically learned the art of motorcycling on this fiery black beauty, her first Classic 350. She was her companion on most of her short rides and several long hauls. As Sonia states, the most memorable rides are Ladakh and Bhutan. Sonia currently owns RE Interceptor, a beautiful twin that she mostly uses for long rides.

Before going for a ride, planning for the same is the most crucial thing to do. When we asked Sonia about how her plan for the ride goes, she said ‘Time’ is a deciding factor. She plans her getaways according to the time she has and the time which is required to cover the distance. Her philosophy is, Never push your limits and enjoy the journey rather than pushing for the destination in haste. She believes in traveling light and carrying things with you that you actually need rather than things that you want. Apart from the essentials things, a bottle of water, some snacks, tissue papers, a power bank, a GoPro, and of course, a sanitizer are her constant companions.

Route planning is one of the most important things before we actually start our journey. Sonia plans her route after calculating the conditions like weather along the route, the condition of the roads, and also if the roads have twisties. We all know highways are boring 😉

The next crucial part is hunting for places to stay in. Sonia is very minimalist when it comes to criteria for stay. A safe place for parking, vicinity to nearby towns/markets, and a cozy place filled with basic amenities is all she needs to wind down after a full day of riding.

Although motorcycling is considered as a dangerous hobby, it’s our job to be cautious and responsible on the road. Sonia follows #ATGATT. For those of you who don’t know what it means, it’s ‘All The Gear All The Time’. No matter if its a short breakfast spin or a long ride, always ride in full riding gear. Sonia gives special emphasis on having rearview mirrors and working indicators.

You can connect with Sonia here:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/her_enfield_story/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sonia.adhikary

GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 6

An easy-going, travel-loving guy who is always looking out for new destinations to explore and head over heels for tech stuff especially GoPro action cameras!! Let us introduce to you, Nishanth in this edition of Rider Diaries.

Nishanth’s confrontation with two wheels happened when he was in 11th standard when he started riding his brother’s Hero Passion. Later he purchased his first motorcycle, a humble Honda Ambition 135, mostly used for his college commutes and sporadic rides. After 6+ years of ownership, the next upgrade was Apache 180. In those times, Apache 180 was a well-balanced performance motorcycle. No wonder the biking bug bit Nishanth during this time. He did extensive touring on Apache and upgraded to CBR 250R, another perfect machine. After putting on some exhaustive miles on CBR he later upgraded to Versys 650, which he owns currently and surely is a reason for a smile on his face.

Nishanth has a ‘To-Go’ wish list where he saves the destination he wants to ride to. Once that is settled, he plans the route with the help of Google maps or asks friends for suggestions. He calls himself an ‘over-packer’ however, a first aid kit and a puncture kit are a no-brainer for him. Nishanth is not a picky person when it comes to finding stays on his journey. Anything which is surrounded by nature, something which is clean and bright makes his day. He avoids crowded places or places to stay in the center of the city or towns.

Nishanth is equally enthusiastic about cars, however, he feels that riding motorcycles is empowering as the rider is always in contact of the surroundings and natural elements. Be it sun, moon, wind, or rain, a rider instantly feels it and becomes one with the element. That is something special.

A dangerous hobby like Motorcycling comes at an expense and we are not talking about fuel! A crash can turn your world upside down if you are not prepared or ready for the outcome. That’s why Nishanth gives emphasis on proper riding gear. Also, according to him, ‘Always ready’ mentality helps while tackling any unexpected situations on the road. He says, and we quote “the biggest protection is the way you ride, and the ability of pre-emptive thinking and having a quick maneuver thought of mentally which goes a long way in keeping you safe on the road.”

Nishanth stands by the fact that motorcycling is like a therapy. It brings out the best person in you. It helps you find the best friendships for life and open yourself to a whole new world.

You can connect with Nishanth here:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nish.nth/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nishanth.n

GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 5

When asked to tell something about himself, he begins with the following lines

“Leave it to me as I find a way to be
consider me a satellite forever orbiting
I know all the rules but the rules did not know me
Guaranteed…”

Well, it might take us some time to decipher what the lines mean..or maybe not, when we finally get to know the guy in his own words.

A traveler, enthusiastic for whatever that moves on two wheels, a foodie, a photographer, and best of all, he works with us at Gear n Ride. You must have met him already if you have visited our stores, but if you haven’t, here’s your chance to get a sneak peek

How would you describe yourself?

A simple guy finding happiness around every corner, every stretch of the road and motorcycles.

When and how did you start motorcycling? 

I used to ride with my father on his motorcycle by sitting on the fuel tank. i really loved the feeling of wind blowing on my face and through my hair. He used to let me hold the handlebar, and although the motorcycle was under his control, just holding the throttle was an exhilarating experience for me. Then I started riding his motorcycle in my late teenage years. I purchased my first motorcycle after I started working in corporate.

How many motorbikes have you owned/ridden and what is your longest ride? 

My first motorcycle was Apache 180. I practically learned to ride on it. Did all kind of short and long rides. After I moved to Bangalore, I purchased Duke 390, my second motorcycle. I mostly use it for long rides and avoid using it in city.
My longest ride was Bangalore – Mumbai. After purchasing Duke, I took Apache to Mumbai, where it sits with my brother.

What is so empowering about riding a motorcycle?

Just the thought of wind blowing in your face is enough, in my opinion, to let go of everything and grab the handlebar every time. While on a motorcycle you are in contact with nature. Put your arms up and you can feel the wind, open your helmet shield and the wind cools you down instantly. Grab the handlebars and you can feel the vibrations of the heart of motorcycle. You become a part of it, and it becomes a part of you. All of this you will never find in a confinement and luxury of a car. I would always prefer a motorcycle over a car.

Any takeaways from your motorbike riding experience?

Motorcycling is a dangerous art/hobby/sports whatever you want to call it. It is said that its even dangerous than flying in an airplane. Which is true. In my 5 + years of riding, one thing that I have learned is how to watch your back. Accidents can happen any time and it’s the mindset that we carry that matters in such situations. You always have to be prepared for an impending strike. No matter how safe of a rider you are, some other guy might not. So be prepared for the worst when you hit that road.

Motorbiking is considered a dangerous hobby. What to look out for on the road? How to stay protected?

I emphasize on wearing all riding gear whenever you let your wheels rolling. A good quality full face helmet, an armored riding jacket and pants, gloves and protective boots are a must. A key mantra here is to cover every part of your body with high resistant fabric clothing. Another key point is to have a calm, composed and alert mind. Always have your rear view mirrors on and set just right to see whats happening behind your back. It doesn’t matter how powerful motorcycle you ride, always learn to ride withing your limits

Connect with Aditya:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adityadusange/

GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 4

Rider Diaries 4 Disha Savali

If there’s a list of adventurous women then Disha will definitely make it to the list. Her affinity for motorcycling started when she rode as a pillion with her father and then gradually graduated to taking the front seat, and then there was no looking back. What she also understood well is the importance of keeping safety in a biker’s life, if one wishes to continue riding throughout their lifetime. Being careless was never an option for Disha. So she geared up all the time and let her passion for motorcycling do the talking.

Gear N Ride respects such responsible riders and so we got her to answer some questions for Rider Diaries Part 4.

disha-savali_1

How would you describe yourself?

A fat Bengaluru girl gone fit with an immense love for bikes, speed, adventure and chicken! I work in an MNC on weekdays and ride during weekends/holidays. Fitness is another interest of mine.

When and how did you start motorcycling?

I started riding after my 12th grade exams in 2012. Initially, I used to ride pillion on my dad’s motorcycle, going to the park for jogging. I started with pushing and parking the bike to handle the weight and move it more confidently. There were times when I panicked and got off the bike when met with chaos on the streets.

How many motorbikes have you owned/ridden and what is your longest ride?

I learnt to ride on Pulsar 150 cc, got my license on RX 100 and got Bullet 500 as a gift for my birthday. I have ridden the longest, Delhi to Ladakh, on my Royal Enfield in 2017. The Ladakh Expedition was for about 11 days.

What is so empowering about riding a motorcycle?

While any other mode of traveling gives the comfort of resting over the recliners, having food on board and all these as you chill with the breeze of AC (most of them), what makes motorcycling empowering and fun filled is the wind in the hair and view of the big screen ahead while chasing the Sun as the rider races against time and the fact that, it takes us riders to the last mile of exploration.

A46I6893-1

Any takeaways from your motorbike riding experience?

I have learnt a lot by riding a motorcycle. Foremost, I find myself bold, strong and confident. Just like every problem has a solution and every road leads to a new road, I have learnt to fix minor issues on my bike and do not panic in any case. This has made me independent in life.

Motorcycling is considered a dangerous hobby. What to look out for on the road? How to stay protected?

One must use the accurate sized gear for themselves and be comfortable in it. Knowing the terrain is an advantage and also learn DIY for minor fixes in the bike during emergency. The key is patience. A rider must not panic during a crisis. Everyone should ride in their pace and not race during touring. Always know your bike and the maintenance. It is must to carry some spares and tools, always.

Connect with Disha

Instagram handle – miss.jagermeister

Facebook profile – Disha Savali

GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 3

Screenshot 2020-04-25 at 6.41.56 PM

For a biker, nothing compares to the sound of a bike’s engine purring

Have you been to all the states of your country and the neighbouring nations? Have you tasted diverse delicacies or befriended strangers and shared a meal with them? Our rider Manju Sagar has done all that and more.

He has traveled all 28 states of India and the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bhutan. His first long expedition was when he rode 18,000 kilometres across 20 mainland states of India. A ride he called “Long Way Round”, inspired by the series of the same name by Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor, set him on a road and journey that was endless.

To continue with his fervour for explorations, his next ride “Overlanding in the Himalayas”, October 2019–March 2020, was set in the laps of nature and Asia’s very own Himalayas – the natural barrier separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan plateau. A 5-month long ride of 21,000 kilometres covered all the states bordered with the Himalayan range. Now many more such rides to come, Manju aka mentlmanja shares his piece of mind with Gear N Ride. 

Manju 2

How would you describe yourself?

Biker, traveller, adventurer, explorer

When and how did you start motorcycling? 

Started motorcycling in 2013, with my Biker boys – Battalion Bikers

How many motorbikes have you owned/ridden and what is your longest ride? 

I’ve owned one and ridden many. My longest ride is “Overlanding in the Himalayas”. It was for 5 months and I rode 24,000 kms.

What is so empowering about riding a motorcycle?

Handling breakdowns, setbacks and delays

Manju 3

Any takeaways from your motorbike riding experience?

Be patient, calm and learn as much as you can from the world

Motorbiking is considered a dangerous hobby. What to look out for on the road? How to stay protected?

Road conditions, animal and people crossing over, road signs, be intuitive about oncoming traffic behaviour, be prepared to fall and needless to say – ATGATT

Connect with Manju:

Instagram handle – mentlmanja

YouTube channel – MentlManja

GNR presents Rider Diaries Part 2

TRD2

As the quote goes,”When a road throws you a curve, lean into it.”

Here we have 2 more awesome riders who shared their passion and experience for bikes and biking with us.

Atul Kumar

A brief introduction

My name is Atul, hailing from a small town in Bihar, called Begusarai. I have always been passionate about automobiles, though a bit more towards bikes. Have ridden all across India on my motorcycles, including some overland rides as well. I always travel with my better half. We have dreams of doing a world ride someday, hope that dream comes true.

How did you get into motorcycling and how long have you been riding for?

Got my first motorcycle in college by saving up my pocket money for months. Started off in 2007 and never looked back ever since.

How many different bikes have you ridden/owned and what is the longest ride you have done?

Don’t really have a count of the no. of bikes I have ridden. But owned, yes it’s 5. Started off with the legendary Yamaha RX100 in college days. Traded that with a LML Adreno after an year. Rode that for few years and then sold it. Took a break for an year from riding and then bought a KTM Duke 200. Rode it for close to 25,000 kms before upgrading to KTM Duke 390. Did a lot of my touring on that, the 390 served me for 92,000 kms.

As I said earlier that I always travel along with my wife, so was on a lookout for a much more comfortable and luggage friendly machine, typically an adventure tourer in the 600 cc+ category. Had always dreamt of owning an ADV machine and finally that dream was realized in 2017 when we bought the Kawasaki Versys 650. Have done more than 45,000 kms already on this brilliant machine and we are just getting started! Longest ride ever done was from Bangalore to North East India and back. It was a ride for 26 days and 10,000 kms.

What is so empowering about riding a motorcycle?
I think it’s the freedom that a motorcyclist feels when they are on their machines. You kind of develop a strong bond with your motorcycle, it takes you places where you have never been, connects you to people from diverse cultures and regions. Also, you start following the rules of the road more seriously thus respecting fellow road users and also makes you ready and capable to lend a hand in case someone needs any help. You feel everything when on a motorcycle, the wind, the sun, the rain, everything. You feel connected with everything around you.
How does riding a motorcycle transform other areas of one’s life?
Riding a motorcycle or just in general travelling, seeing new places and most importantly meeting new people, for me that is the biggest takeaway. Your perception of life changes, you transform into a person who is willing to adjust to any situation. When on a ride we can’t always expect luxurious stays or perfect weather or nice food. You have to adjust with what you’ve got. Also since I don’t ride in groups, in situations, good or bad, the decisions have to be made all by yourself. You learn how to remain calm and not panic even in the worst of situations.
In general the problem solving and the alertness in any situation increases by leaps and bounds. Along with fitness, it also improves your cognitive capabilities. I generally plan my rides very meticulously so it has certainly transformed me into a better planner in every aspect of my life. Overall it makes you a better and a stronger person.
Riding a motorcycle is perceived as risky and dangerous. Some words / advice on safe riding?
Absolutely, riding a motorcycle is as dangerous as it gets, no two ways about it. Riding requires 100% concentration 100% time. We cannot take our eyes off the road even for a split second. And in some cases, we might end up getting into an accident for no fault of ours. So the only thing in our control is to remain focused and not make any ego driven decisions on the road. People may cut you off, bully you, instigate you to race, we just gotta remain calm and not get carried away.
Coming to safety, of course wearing proper riding gear is a no brainer. But then no matter how expensive your gear is, or how much ever you are skilled, if you ride like maniac, you are bound to get into trouble someday. Everyone likes to go fast, but be within your limits and ride depending on the type of road (express-highways/village roads/ghat roads).
If you want to ride fast, go to a race track. Slow down on intersections, watch out for animals and people crossing the roads, happens a lot in our country. Wear good riding gear, especially get the best quality helmet you can buy within your budget. And the most important thing, enjoy the ride, keep a free mind. Remember, if you are safe today, only then you can ride again tomorrow!
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Chandrakanth N

A brief introduction 
A passionate rider, for me biking is just not a hobby – it’s my stress buster and a boost which keeps me going! Being an IT professional, when life seems to doze off, the throttle of my CBR 250 gives me all the energy. I ride with my wife, who is my pillion most of the times – and we successfully rode in both Indian and international roads.
How did you get into motorcycling and how long have you been riding for? 
I am into riding for almost 7 years now. Getting into a motorcycling was never a overnight magic that happened. During my college days, I used to ride to near by destinations in Chennai but I was never aware about riding gears and safety since motorcycling was not so much into India that time. After I moved to Bangalore, I enrolled myself with Bangalore Bikers and learnt many vital things about bikes and biking. Now I am confident enough that I can guide people who are interested to pursue their passion in biking.
How many different bikes have you ridden / owned and what is the longest ride you have done?
Being crazy about bikes, I am always excited about riding a new machine. Having said that, I ride a HONDA CBR 250R and I have ridden HONDA CB500X(during my Thailand road trip), YAMAHA R3, TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE RS, HONDA CBR 650R and the list goes on. I own a HONDA CBR 250R, HONDA CB UNICORN and a HONDA AVIATOR.
What is so empowering about riding a motorcycle?
“Wind on my face, pushing through the air as I shift the gear and disappear gives me intense spirit of life!”
How does riding a motorcycle transform other areas of one’s life?
A motorcycle is a machine of joy! To riding in hot summers, just plain roads or dense forest ghats, breezy early mornings or during heavy downpour, every moment is an adventure on this awesome machine. Every ride marks a new beginning and an experience, it’s a conduit of grace, bonding and an amazing feeling..!
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Riding a motorcycle is perceived as risky and dangerous. Some words / advice on safe riding?
There is a risk involved in every activity you carry out beyond your limits and without proper safety measures. Keep the perception of the society on riding aside, follow ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) and have trust in you. Never take things easy on roads, look for cattle crossing, pedestrians, barricades etc, wear all safety gears, though your bike can reach the speed of 180+kmph, its you who had to control the bike, so be on your limits, follow lane discipline and traffic rules and finally be SENSIBLE on roads and lets not learn things in a harder way.
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