Monday, October 29, 2012

Luggage Fastening

Few tips to know how to load a bike with luggage. Might sound simple, but its not as much as it sounds.

Touring involves luggage to be carried, a lot for many and a little for few.

Luggage may include: 
Tank Bags
Saddle bags
Top cases etc etc

It is a very important aspect to have a look at your luggage before you start a ride. Any loose straps or bungee chords may prove fatal to the rider(and pillion , if present). Also it has to be kept in mind that the handling of the bike should not be compromised while loading the bike. Modern day saddle bags/tank bags and panniers are very helpful in increasing the overall luggage carrying capacity on the bikes. At the same time , it relieves the rider from carrying it on his back. Packing your luggage into inside those panniers/bags is a different art altogether.

Key aspects to be looked into while loading the saddle: 
*Load should be equally distributed in case of saddle bags or side panniers for better handling.
*If using a top case make sure the cantilever is not so long that  the case hangs out of the bike.
*If using a backpack for travel, tie it to the back of the bike using bungee chords. Carrying a backpack on you for a long time is stressful and not recommended. At the same time carry spare spare bungee chords , just in case the one in use snaps.
*Make sure that the top case and panniers are properly fastened/locked.
*Keep in mind the ability/Power of your vehicle to carry the laden luggage.
*It is recommended to carry luggage which have a good number of outer pockets, it provide easy access to stuff like Phone/Maps/Water bottle etc etc, so that  you dont have to open the complete baggage to find the necessary stuff
*Make sure that your luggage doesnt come in contact with the rotating wheel/ Silencer at any instant. This is more common in bikes with mono-shocks or swept silencers
*Travelling light is always recommended. touring is no fun if your bikes are loaded like this

General touring Checklist

Tool Kit essentials
1.A Standard tool kit that comes with the bike. If any tool is missing , then get it stocked. A Monkey spanner/Adjustable spanner would be a value addition.
2.If the standard kit doesn’t come with a reversible screw driver(star and flat) would be helpful
3.Collapsable cutting and Nose pliers.
4.Spare Fuses,Spark plugs,clutchand acc cables respective to your bike.
5.Corresponding sizes of allen keys.
6.A small can of WD-40/ Zorrick Spray. These are water repellents and anti corrosion and lubrication spray.
7.Insulation and Scorch tape rolls.
8.Chain lubes/oil.
9.Clutch and Brake levers. More importantly clutch lever.
10.Valve tubes for tyres.
11.Chain Master link.
12.Insulated electrical wire of a mtr length.
13.Engine oil Drain nut, in case of long rides, where there would be necessity of oil change.
14.O-Rings for various applications. 
15.Fork Oil seal.
16.Spare Wires.
17.Puncture repair kit along with hand/Electric pump.
18.Accelerator and Clutch Cables
19.Spare nuts/Bolts/Clips.
20.Multi tool. 

Medical kit essentials:
1.Antiseptic like Dettol/Savlon.
2.Steralized Cotton Roll.
3.Gauze Bandages.
4.Plasters -5 Nos.
5.Anti – Allergens if you are allergic to certain environmental conditions like dust etc.
6.For people suffering from asthma, your  inhalers and medicines should be on your priority list.

Medicines This list includes tablets, capsules and chewable tablets that can be consumed and external application products like skin creams, ointments and spray. 
Common Name
Medical Composition
Activated Dimethicone, Magnesium Hydroxide, Dried Aluminium Hyrdoxise Gel
Acidity, Heartburn, Gas
Pudin Hara
Herbal compoisiton
Stomach Ache, Indigestion
Loperamide Hydrochrolide
Loose Motion (Weak Stools)
Vicks Vaporub
Cold, Cough, Blocked Nose
Acute Mountain Sickness (to help lungs adjust to low oxygen levels; has side effects that vary from person to person)
Ranitidine Hydrochrolide
Stomach Ulcers and heartburn – to be had before food while on an antibiotic course
Penicillin, Erythromycin, Amoxycillin or any antibiotic that works for you
To prevent infection from spreading before you reach a hospital
Prevents vomiting. Especially handy for those who are prone to motion sickness either on land or on sea
Fever, high body temperature
Pyrimethamine and Suplhadoxine
Anti-malarial tablet (double check this with your doctor and the country you are visiting as the mosquitoes there might be immune to this drug)
New Probisa
Aids in improving digestion and in regenerating digestive enzymes
Aceclofenac or Diclofenac or Ibubrufen
Reduces pain. Use in moderation
Odomos Mosquito repellant spray
N,N- Diethyl benzamide and Isopropyl alcohol
Prevents mosquito and other insect bites
Refresh Tears
Carboxy-Methylcellulose Sodium Lubricant
Eye drops to help in eye dryness and irritation
Soframycin Skin Cream
Burns, Scalds, Wounds, Cuts, Ulcers, Boils, Impetigo, Furunculosis, Sycosis Barbae, Otitis Externa, Paronychia and secondary infections in Scabies and Lice
Tiger Balm
Muscular Aches, Pains and Sprains
Miconazole Nitrate, Neomycin Sulphate
Ringworm and skin infections
Providone Iodine
Germicide Gargle to protect from throat infection
Herbal products
Joint pain, sprain, backache, muscle pain or bodyache
Cough Syrup such as Benadryl/DUCOF, etc. (Check with your doctor for what works for you)
Cough, Dry throat
Candid Powder
Prevention or treatment of fungal infections such as ringworm, dhobie itch, athlete’s foot and infections resulting from excessive sweating
Betadine Microbicidal solution
Povidone – Iodine Solution
To clean wounds
Dettol/Savlon Antiseptic Liquid
Chlorhexidine Gluconate, Strong Cetrimide
To clean wounds
Himalaya Lip Balm
Herbal composition
Prevents drying and chapping of lips
Herbal composition
Mouth Ulcers

Table Source: Be on the road

These are recommended medicals, kindly consult your physician for any allergies for self before consuming them.

General Touring Essentials:
1.Socks(preferably cotton)
2.Thermal wear(which looks like a t-shirt and tight fit pants) from Jockey/Amul. This consumes less space in your luggage also keeps you very warm, instead of carrying those heavy space consuming sweat shirts and sweaters.
3.Balaclava(preferably cotton)
4.Rain gear.
5.Towel (1 big, 1 small)
6.Clothes and Toileteries (personal Preference)
7.Polythene bags to segregate used and unused clothes. Also to collect the thrash of your journey to dispose it at a proper place.
8.Toilet paper( a Small roll)
9.Glass cleaners like Colin/Mr.Muscle(small bottle) along with a micro fibre/soft cotton  cloth to wipe your Helmet visors when required.
10.Wet tissues.
11.Few Newspapers if you are touring in the rains. Dumping news papers into those wet shoes and left overnight can dry your shoes to a good extent.
12.Preferably carry convertible pants.
13.Have your contact details and emergency contacts  on a visible area(inside of a saddle bag/tank bag)
14.Wrap your electronics in a ziplock cover to avoid moisture.
15. A pair of sandals/Chappals, to be used when you are not riding. 
16.Spare Bungee Chords.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Temple Tour 2012

Route: Bangalore-Kunigal-Hassan-Sakleshpur-Nelyady-Dharmasthala-Ujire-Guruvayanakere-Bajegoli-S.K.Border-Kudremukh-Kalasa-Horanadu-Menasinahyadi-Kukre-Basadi-Sringeri-Jayapura-Balehonnur-Vastare-Muthodi-Chikmagalur-Ayyanakere-Belur-Hassan-Kunigal-Bangalore

Not often your parents would be a part of your ride planning. Here is one example of a mother who tells her son , "why dont you go and have a ride, but I will choose the destination this time" . With a smile i reply : "Your wish is my command". Last year she was instrumental in planning(rather initiating the ride itself) to Sirsi and beyond. Then came the list of all the "Theertha Yatra" places: Dharmasthala,Sringeri, Horanadu etc etc. I was like wokey and thus started the plan for the low cost budget ride. Budget ride because most of your food cost will be covered by the temples you ride to. Left on the friday morning(5/10/12) with Darshan's R1 for the company till Bellur cross. Post that it was solo'ism all the way.

Reached Dharmasthala before lunch. To my surprise, there were hardly any vehicles in the parking lot. All thanks to the Bangalore Bandh or the Karnataka bandh that was declared the next day. Quickly freshned up and head to the temple through the main entrance. For people who have been here on a weekend will know what significance this sort of VIP treatment holds. It takes me 10 min flat to have darshan, collect prasad and head to the huge dining hall the temple has. A powernap to compensate the trecherous Shiradi ghats(though its not as worse as it used to bed) rejuvenates the complete self.

Day 2:
Begins with an early morning Darshan and head straight towards Kudremukh, one of my favorite places in KAR. Stop at the check post after seeing a familiar face, the guard who thought Gautham and myself were there to race and also giving some gyan. He also ordered a tea from the nearby shack for me, So kind these guards have become off late. He also went ahead to suggest a nice route from Horanadu to Sringeri. Little did i realize then that the route suggested by him was passing through Balige and Menasinahyadi was core naxal area(infact realised it after the temple guard mentioned about it). It was also in the news for Naxal encounters few weeks back. then the dilemma to take it or not. Finally convinced myself to take the other "unconventional" route. It was truly a bliss to take this route. It completely by-passes Jayapura and Balehonnur compared to the Conventional Horanadu-Sringeri route.

Few Pics from Kudremukh:

And Balige-Menasinahyadi-Kukre-basadi-Sringeri stretch 

P.S: for those willing to take this route, get your bike in a really good condition. Any breakdown here is all because of your fault. the nearest help may be atleast 20-25kms away and very minimal number of vehicles crossing this area. So don't expect anybody to come to your rescue. 

Reach Sringeri for lunch time. Sadly the temple was closed by then, but the lunch was being served. after having the tummy full , spend some time by the river. Feeding the fishes till the doors open by 4 or so. Leave for Aagumbe after the first Darshan for the evening for witnessing the sunset.

Sringeri Temple

The dining hall

One of the stone Shackles of the temple

Pics from Aagumbe:Different moods at the view point 

A freezer cold water to bathe, a foggy cold morning, had all the ingredients to make me suffer from cold. Start for Bangalore via Chikmagalur. The roads from Sringeri to Balehonnur are freshly laid and is a bliss to ride on.

One of the thousands of streams that irrigate this region

The newly laid roads 

The mandatory coffee break spot near Balehonnur

The Biker breakfast

Few Macros at the Coffee Stop

Few pics from Ayyanakere: 

My Humble Performer

Total money Spent on food+Coffee/tea: 5+21+12+5+20+40=Rs.103/- For all three days
Total money spent on Accommodation: 100+100=Rs.200 for 2 days
Total money spent on Fuel: Rs. 2000/-

Beat this budget for a 1000 kms ride :D

P.S: except for the fuel part :p

Everything said and done, it was yet another wonderful ride though the western ghats.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

BB Anniversary ride

Few pics from Bangalore Bikers third Anniversary ride to Chikmagalur. text to follow soon.

Thanks to : Bharath,Sandy,Sudeep,John,Abhishek,Canute,Deejay,Charan,Jai for sharing the pics