Monsoon road trip is one of the most beautiful thing to look forward to, if you are a traveller. After a light drizzle, when the dust settles down, the temperature drops and the road is looking clear, pitch black tarmac, isn’t that perfect conditions for riding? Everything just looks better under a cloudy sky.
We all will agree, past few months have been terrible, even more so for travel enthusiasts. Imagine people who love staying on the road, love visiting breathtaking places and experiencing the calm, cool countryside, were forced to stay within the comfort, or rather discomfort of their own homes. This social distancing has taken a toll on all of us.
But worry no more. With restrictions being lifted gradually, and with the arrival of a very normal monsoon season, its time to pack your bags and load up on your bike. Yes, we are going on a road trip!
But what are the things you should remember before monsoon riding this season? What are the places you could visit in this monsoon?
How to be safe in a road trip in monsoon?
The times we are living aren’t usual. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, where we are seeing record number of cases per day, being on the safer side is the better option. That does not mean you can not travel. In fact a road trip is much safer than taking a flight or a train.
Check out our ‘guest post’ on Bikesquadron, for 5 Tips on riding a motorcycle in rain and 1 thing you must avoid!
1. Get your passes ready
State governments may have travel restrictions in place, or necessary quarantine upon arrival. You must have your passes ready, if it is required to enter specific states or areas. As of now, most of the state governments have allowed inter-state travel. But you should check with the authorities again to be doubly sure.
2. Have important items with you
If something breaks down on your trip, you might not find a open garage in a lockdown. Hence, check your motorcycle thoroughly before you embark on a journey. Here are a few points in your checklist. Check your motorcycle’s tyre pressure, lubricate your chain, check engine and brake oil. Pack some masks, hand sanitiser bottles, energy bars, medicines, disinfectant spray in your bag. Visit our post on ‘Motorcycle Oil Basics‘.
3. Don’t take unnecessary breaks
If you are in a containment zone, try not to stop if not urgent. Keep your mask and sanitizers handy. Sanitize your hands after touching any foreign object. Often inquisitive onlookers come too close and even touch you bike, if you are riding a superbike. So, keep a disinfectant spray at your disposal.
4. Try to go as cashless as possible.
Credit or debit cards also defeats the purpose. Most of the petrol pumps on the highway nowadays use UPI transactions. Try not to buy anything else from roadside shops if it isn’t urgent. Having energy bars with you is absolutely vital, if you might need an energy top-up.
5. Be cautious about where you are staying
If you are staying in a budget hotel, chances are that they might not be following proper protocol. Check with the manager, when was the room sanitized. If possible ask them to sanitise the room in front of you. You deserve that for the money you are paying. Check whether the staff is wearing proper mask and gloves or not. You can ask the manager about the steps they are taking to keep themselves and their customers safe.
If and only if you have read the above suggestions carefully, move on to our next section on, places you can visit while on a road trip!
Places to Visit
Puri-Konark Marine drive
Since most of our readers are from Odisha, we will start with Puri-Konark Marine drive. If you happen to live near Bhubaneswar or Cuttack, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word night out. Puri, right?
Home to Lord of the Universe, Sri Jagannath’s Temple, which is one of the most sacred pilgrim centres for Hindus, Puri is one of the most popular destinations of eastern India. SItuated on the shores of Bay of Bengal, Puri is known for its pleasurable climate.
You can take the Puri-Konark marine drive, which stretches for 35 Kms, with a breathtaking view of mighty Bay of Bengal on one side and lush green forest on other side of the road. Don’t be surprised if you spot a blackbuck or two in the grooves. Because, Balukhand Konark Wildlife Sanctuary is spread in between of Konark and Puri. Konark is home to the Sun temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yes, Odisha is indeed India’s best kept secret.
Although you can visit Coorg all year round. Monsoon in a hill station is a sight to behold. When the mountains are engulfed by mist, the place offers a perfect background for your cover photos. Even better when your motorcycle is in the frame too.
A very popular destination for people living in Bangalore. You will find number of waterfalls in these areas. Whilst you are here, visit the coffee plantations, spend a bit of time at the Elephant camp, watching the mighty mammoth’s descendants and then visit the Namdroling Monastery for a spiritual experience. If you want more adventure, go for a little trek. Before that, have a waterproof riding gear with you.
Due the unprecedented and unwanted provocation by Chinese Army near LAC, near Pangong, there is tension between India and Chinese troops. Ladakh trips are not advisable and not possible.
A road trip to Ladakh is the ultimate dream for every youngsters. If you are in college and you if ride, chances are that you and your friends have already planned a Ladakh trip. Here is your chance. Mid September to October is the best time to visit Ladakh. With the temperature starting to drop, the sky becomes more bluer, the water of the Pangong lake becomes crystal blue, and you might even encounter snowfall if you reach there end of October.
This is the perfect weather to explore Ladakh, camp near the Pangong lake, with your own little camp, light up a fire, cook a delicious dinner for yourself and sit under the stars, marvelling about how big the universe is. Think about what you accomplished through the journey, what you gained and what part of you, you lost.
It has been a tough four months, but now its time to get back on the road, for some fresh air. But, stay safe and take precautions.