How to Prepare Your Mind & Body
for a Motorcycle Road Trip.
To attempt this one of a kind motorcycle road trip in India and enjoy it while doing it takes some effort, planning and preparation. Any motorcyclist who has ridden outside city limits, on the highways know the challenges elements (like sun, rain), terrain & traffic throws at you. This challenge is compounded when you choose to take on the mighty Himalayan passes of Ladakh. A comprehensive preparation of self, the mind and the body can make this great Himalayan motorcycle road trip safe & enjoyable at the same time. So you would keep coming back to the region of Ladakh every season for more.
- Two weeks before the motorcycle trips begin. It is strongly suggested to start practicing prana-yama and deep breathing exercises to prepare the lungs to hold and extract more oxygen per breath. This is essential because of low vegetation/greens in Ladakh region and also at high altitude, oxygen per breath is lower than what our bodies are generally used too.
- The average altitude of this unmatched road trip post Rohtang Pass is over 3500 metres above sea level. As most of us live at a general asl of average 500 metres, this sharp and sudden increase in altitude is enough to give the motorcyclist symptoms of A.M.S (Acute Mountain Sickness) which can be quite dangerous to handle if you are not well equipped. Acetazolamide also known as Diamox is most commonly used, over the counter available medication to prevent A.M.S. It reduces carbonate content in the body and prepares the body to function properly at low oxygen levels. A typical dosage for motorheads heading towards Ladakh should begin with one tablet each early evening for 3 days before they plan to reach Manali. Once in manali increase the dosage to 2 tablets each day one in morning other in early evening till you reach Leh. It is important that during medication do not drink alcohol or mis
s any dosage, Diamox causes excessive urination which will cause dehydration at these altitudes so drink 10 glasses of water each day and stay hydrated.
- Plan the route before you embark upon this one of a lifetime, motorcycle road trip to Ladakh. Make a .gpx file if you use GPS navigation, if not then keep a print out of the map with names of villages enroute so that even if you plan some detours on the go you could always easily find the way back to the original course. Some common routes to get to Leh from Delhi are as follows, these options are only limited by your imagination. (clicking on each route will redirect to google maps)
- I am being highly suggestive of making a short ride before you start your ride to Ladakh. This is to make sure that your motorcycle, luggage and more importantly your body and mind are in sync.
- Taking up on this challenge to attempt this gem of a motorcycle road trip in India. You have to, have to learn basic motorcycle maintenance for example changing tubes, fixing a puncture, changing clutch and accelerator cables etc etc. I cannot stress enough the need to have these skills. Learning these few tasks will only make the motorcyclist which is you much more confident and equipped for the road ahead.
This article is as useful for the amateur rider as they are for experts. These points will make sure that you would stay calm and be in control of any unexpected situations that may arise along this mighty, majestic and breathtaking motorcycle road trip to Leh, Ladakh.