Bharath recently undertook his first long solo ride around South India and was kind enough to share his experience with us. The 1900 kms round trip, which started at Bangalore had stopovers at many picturesque spots including Madurai, Kanyakumari, Kovalam and Kochi to name a few. The solo trip gave him, the opportunity to exercise two of his passions – Riding and Photography.
Bharath a.k.a. Riderboy currently rides the new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 and has also owned the earlier version of the Royal Enfield Thunderbird. He finds it difficult to stick to one motorcycle and buys at least one motorcycle in 2 years. The present RE Thunderbird is his eight motorcycle.
He learned riding while he was in school on a gearless scooter. Riding is a passion that runs in his family. Bharath’s father used to ride out with his friends to far off places on just about any bike that he got his hands onto. Riding was in the genes of the family, and becoming “Riderboy” was only a matter of time. He follows his father’s footsteps and used to ride out solo to Tirumala to pay homage to the Lord Balaji.
His colleague introduced him to the group Royal Knights Motorcycle Club which is a Royal Enfield Riding Group based out of Bangalore. Bharath joined them on their ride to Goa and became a member. This is when he got into hardcore motorcycling.
Bharath says that riding is his key to escape from the chaos of city life. When he starts his motorcycle, he forgets the worries of daily life and finds himself at peace. He says that riding has taught him a lot. He has learnt to be patient, be more open to feedback and keep calm even in the most difficult situations. Riding is a way of life and Riderboy cannot imagine life without it. He rides to work on weekdays and rides around with groups on weekends. He also takes long riding trips with riding groups. He usually just starts his engine and takes off. Planning is an activity that he does not believe in.
The Solo Trip however, was different and required planning. This was the first time that he was away from everything for a week. Just Riderboy and his Bada Don on a trip to conquer South India. At first, he was skeptical since he was not sure if he would get lonely on this trip. Before the trip could begin, he had the daunting task of convincing his mother. Once this was complete, he had to convince himself that he can take this ride. He had the jitters even on the day he had to ride out.
Conquering his fears Riderboy rode out to Rameshwaram on 18th July 2015 at 9:40 AM. He halted briefly to take pictures and reached Madurai in the afternoon, where he took blessings from the famous Meenakshi Temple. Since, it was getting dark, he was advised not to ride further as road conditions were not favorable for night riding. However, he chose otherwise and checked into a hotel at Rameshwaram 12 hours after he left his home.
Even after the long ride, Bharath was up at 7 AM and took to sightseeing in Rameshwaram. He left for Kanyakumari (the southern most point of mainland India) at 3:30 in the afternoon. He took the East Coast Road that had mesmerizing scenery. There was a little scare when the bike hit reserve fuel and the next fuel station was 30 Kms away. He reached Kanyakumari at 7:45 in the evening and checked into the TamilNadu Hotel that was right by the beach.
The next day, he roamed around the beautiful town of Kanyakumari and headed towards Kovalam where he was supposed to meet a friend. He met him at 6 PM and they checked into a hotel.
On Day 4, Riderboy bid goodbye to his friend and headed towards Kochi. He was stopped by the Highway Patrol for overspeeding and had to pay a fine. He reached Kochi at 5 PM and rested at the Park Avenue Hotel. After 4 days of hopping towns, he decided to take some rest at Kochi and
The next day was spent just roaming around town.
Day 6 was about wrapping up the ride. Riderboy left Kochi at 5 in the morning and headed home with the help of the GPS on his phone. He reached Bangalore in the afternoon where his friend greeted him.
Bharath says that he will definitely do the solo ride again since it gives the comfort of exploring himself to his passion of riding and photography and exploring new places.
Riding solo is different than when you ride with friends. He advises that if one is planning to undertake a solo ride, one should be mindful that they are alone and they alone have to take care of everything. Safety is very important and one should avoided stopping at abandoned places. Though you can ride at your own pace, you should stick to your broad itinerary. You should also not carry too much cash on you as it is unsafe.
As a Parting Thought, Riderboy says "You should never have negative feelings in you. You should always have positive feelings and a positive frame of mind. You are here for a reason. Please explore yourself and undertake a solo ride or a solo trip, it helps you to understand the reality of life".
We wish Bharath many more trips with long unwinding roads and great memories.
Check out more about this solo trip on Riderboy's Blog
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