Riding is not just about passion, but also about commitment and being smart. Especially when it comes to those long touring trips. You won't get too far by just burning gallons of fuel (figuratively speaking!), if you don’t have a few tricks of the trade up your sleeve – something that only experience can get you. Don’t worry! These aren’t some hard-coded rules; rather some hacks that’ll save you trouble while on the road.
Here’s Team HNP’s list of simple hacks to make touring easy and more enjoyable -
1. Order pre-prepared dishes while on the road: Touring involves long hours of riding each day to get to your destination. And while the lunch and chai breaks are all part of the experience, it’s a good idea to order pre-prepared meals during the ride to save time. This might not be an option everywhere you go, but most places have some such staple food items. For example biryani is something most joints prepare together much ahead of mealtime and heat it when ordered. Maggi is another quick option available at most places, especially in the mountains. While riding along the Konkan coast, dishes like Vada Pav and Misal are available everywhere. This however does not take away from the importance of a nice hearty meal everyday while touring. It’s just wiser to maximize your riding hours during daylight, rather than spend them at the roadside dhaba.
Always carry extra bungee cords: Bungee cords may seem like simple cords to just strap your luggage to the bike, but they are really a lot more than that! You can hook multiple bungee cords to make a chain or rope. Tie ends of a bungee cord to two trees, throw a thermal blanket over it and you have a makeshift tent. Take it from us - carrying extra bungee cords is the smart thing to do. Trust us on this one!
Carry a physical map: Although everyone these days has a smartphone with navigation apps, it’s still advisable to carry a physical map on a touring trip. There’s no telling when or where you might lose network coverage and data connectivity– in which case relying just on online maps may not be the best idea. Downloading an offline map is a good idea but wouldn’t you rather save the phone battery for clicking those Instagram stories! So always carry a physical paper, laminated if possible, so as to avoid wear and tear and to make it easy to use while wearing riding gloves. Carrying a compass can certainly be helpful in odd situations too.
Always carry extra fuel: Marking all the petrol pumps along the route, especially ones right before your daily starting point and one close to your reaching point is the smart thing to do. However, you’ve got to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances, hence it’s always advisable to carry extra fuel whether riding alone or in a group.
Maintain hygiene: The whole idea of a long touring trip is to break away from the daily routine of city life. However the one thing you don’t want to break away from is maintaining personal hygiene. This is a very understated yet important part of the ride. Firstly falling sick due to lack of hygiene will only leave you exhausted with not enough energy to enjoy the ride. Secondly riding for long makes you sweat, inspite of well-ventilated gear. Make sure you shower regularly during the ride; stay clean and dry to avoid uncomfortable things like rashes & body odour.
We hope the above hacks help you in your next touring trip. And surely you would’ve gathered your own hacks from various riding experiences. We would love to hear of some, so do share them with us!