Bhopal: Riding motorcycles can be one of life’s greatest adventures. It’s about personal freedom, exploring new places and having fun. Any excuse is good enough for a ride-whether it’s with the pillion-in-a-million, a couple of friends, a dozen club members, a hundred shop riders, or a thousand toy runners- yet solo riding is our favourite, says the lone wolf riders of capital city.
While interacting with Free Press riders of capital city revealed some interestingly ridiculous problems that they have to face. Talking to Free Press Avinash said, “India is home to one of the largest bike populations in the world. While bikers in most countries whine about speed limits and how they can’t ride during the snow-filled winters, Indian bikers face a very unique set of problems that are so ridiculous that we can only laugh at out misfortune.”
Pointing towards one such problem, Yasir said, “Imagine riding you bike as wind rushes by and suddenly a putrid red liquid comes out of nowhere and hits you square on your helmet and clothes. Countless bikers face this fate everyday and the main culprits are usually truck and bus drivers and you can’t even do anything about it because most of them take a savage pleasure in running down other motorists as a pass time.”
“I recently rode 1710 km and tried to explore the whole Bundelkhand region alone,” said Yasir. My ride started from Bhopal and then to Sagar-Mahoba-Kannauj-Jhansi-Orchha-Jhansi and back to Bhopal. “Rather than just riding, I like to explore the places I travel to,” he added. Yasir is also a V-logger and uploads his v-logs on his Youtube channel Motozoomer. “I was very fond of biking since my childhood and used to watch Moto GP.
The first bike I bought was Discover and after then I made new friends, the culture of biking was evolving in Bhopal, so I also switched to Apache- a more powerful bike and never looked back,” he added. On being asked his dream circuit on which he wants to ride, Yasir replied, “I am planning to go to Nepal but the real fun lies in the route from Pokhara to Kathmandu and riding on that circuit is more than dream to me.”
“The biggest reason I go on solo rides is that one can interact more with other people, ,” said Avinash. Avinash has been riding for more than 16 years. Avinash also owns a touring company named Meanders and as a travel guide Avinash does two trips to Ladakh every year. During solo rides, there is no one to look after you. So for such cases I wear a doc tag, on which my name, blood group, address and emergency mobile number is printed. To ride alone a basic knowledge of your motorcycle is required lest you might get into trouble. People often say ‘Duniya kharab ho gayi hai,’ but I haven’t met any such person while travelling, everyone is willing to help you while you are travelling. The solo rides I’ve done are Lonar (650km), Burhanpur (325 km), Orchha (300km) and many others. I don’t make plans; I think the unplanned journeys are the best.
“You are on your own while on a solo ride,” says one of the most experienced riders of Bhopal who’s Pulsar 220 has covered more than 3 lakh km. His last solo trip was from Bangalore to Bhopal (1700km) in single stretch. He also owns a store named ‘The riders inn’. Abhishek’s fellow riders tell that he has rode to Ladakh so many times that even the shopkeepers of Ladakh now know him. Counting from Konkan to Ladakh to Rajasthan, he has innumerous solo rides, covering almost every part of India.“I like to explore the food of any place I visit to, ask me of any place and I’ll suggest you the best restaurant,” he added.
“I was in Mumbai and I had to come back to Bhopal and there were no reservations left. So I took my bike and rode all the way back to Bhopal from Mumbai (870km). And that’s how I did my first solo ride,” said RJ Arshad while to talking to Free Press. Then I became daring enough to go on a solo ride, since then I have not stopped.
Then I rode to Rajasthan (1200km), Delhi (803 km), Konkan (1400km) among others. I want to explore North East which is indeed a beautiful place. Riders commit to Ladakh and Kashmir but I think seven sisters (seven states) are worth exploring. Solo rides are like meditation, I always go on a solo ride whenever I want to leave the chaos of the life and want to calm my mind.
My first ride solo was from Bhuj to Bhopal (1300km) in 2006 on my RX-100. Then in 2009 I went to Raipur (600km) and my longest run is from Bhopal to Ladakh (2200 km). And in 2017 in a single stretch, I rode from Bhopal to Roorkee (950 km) in 17 hours. The most important thing about riding is safety. I have been using a helmet since I started riding in year 2000 and my friends used to laught at me saying “Kya matka pehen rakha hai!” Today the very same friends of mine appreciate my riding. My dream circuit is to ride to Russia from India and then to China.
Cons of a solo ride
- It is more expensive to ride alone, primarily because of the cost of accommodations.
- No one to talk.
- There is no one to look after you in case of an emergency.
- Family reaction is another big problem that is faced.
- The riding gears are very expensive and they are at a risk when you ride alone.
- Safety-wise there is a risk of getting targeted by miscreants.
- It becomes difficult to carry too much while on a solo ride.
Pros of a solo ride
- It’s a good way to seek peace, by moving away from the mindless chatter and banter of friends.
- One can ride at ease, there is also no pressure to stay together in a pack which can make you commit silly errors while trying to keep up with the speed of the others.
- You can actually stop to take a photo, absorb a view, freshen up or grab another cup of tea without being berated by the friend for slowing down the herd.
- You probably don’t ride with idiots, but usually a group can have one person who isn’t as talented as others or make rash decisions. Riding solo removes this dangerous element from your ride.
- There is no set agenda. You are free to change your destination and route as often as you want without causing any grief or upset.
- Groups have a rigid route and arrival time, but riding solo allows you to explore side roads, choose a different route to normal or even head up a dead-end just to see what’s there.