Our crew arrived in India excited to take on a two-part ride. We are friends from our work as professional sailors and thanks to this career we’d become constantly hungry to find the next exciting places to visit in our travels. On this trip we wanted to tackle both the highest motorable roads in the world, which happen to be in the Ladakh region of India, and the harsh deserts of Rajasthan.
We’d originally planned to attempt rides to Ladakh and Rajasthan in 2018, but the weather in these unforgiving environments can be fickle. Unsuitable conditions and critical road closures had forced a detour to Nepal as Plan B. On this trip, however, we had no Plan B, leaving us at the mercy of the gods. We knew that the approaching winter brought the risk of heavy snowfall and military-enforced road closures along the higher peak roads, but it was unquestionably worth the risk. After all, they call it “adventure touring” for a reason.
Along the route we needed a rest day upon arrival in Leh (Ladakh’s capital). At 11,500 feet above sea level it’s absolutely essential to acclimatize, or risk altitude sickness. Our bikes were organized prior to arrival and were ready and waiting when we arrived. The two main options were the Royal Enfield Himalaya and Royal Enfield Classic, so our crew opted for the Himalaya due to its greater durability and performance capabilities. Acclimatized, with bikes under us and the road ahead, we were ready to hit the road. As each of us comes from a different part of the globe (Italy, Australia, England and Sweden) we’ve seen a vast array of natural wonders, yet all agreed we’d seen nothing like what we were witnessing here. The geography was immediately something truly special. Landscape, land formations, colors, smells, sounds… an absolute feast for the senses!
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THE YOUNGEST TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD? JACK GROVES
In the age of electronics, hyper-communications, and convenience, it’s untrue that the world’s youth have lost the taste for adventure. There will always be an element within the human spirit that demands and grows from new life experiences—an instinct as old as Mankind. And you don’t have to look far to find it.
Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Drystar
Motocross boots have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, but that hasn’t been the case in the ADV segment, and we often have to sacrifice proper protection for dry feet. Meet the new Alpinestars Tech 7 Drystar enduro boot. We’ve been waiting for a boot like this for quite some time and, to this day, it still boggles my mind that it took so long.
SLIDING FOR ADVENTURE
For the last 25 years I’ve been riding off road on everything from a 450cc lightweight to a heavily laden 1200cc adventure motorcycle. Although I was usually able to handle anything through rough terrain at slower speeds, I struggled at higher speeds on loose surfaces. And the biggest pucker moments occurred while approaching tight turns on gravel roads at high speed—barely navigating them safely.
National Cycle VStream Sport Windscreen for Honda Africa Twin
There are many ways to improve motorcycle rider comfort, covering everything from bar risers to footpegs. Having done almost all of them, I decided to switch out my stock windscreen to see if it made a difference, especially on long trips.
TIN CAN TO TIN CUP A LONG OVERDUE TRIP
Long before the modern U.S. highway system was built, with rest stops, 24-hour fuel, and every imaginable packaged food choice on hand, there were the “Tin Can Tourists,” the original American motorized overlanders. As early as the 1900s, these wanderers faced many of the same challenges we live with today. But life was far simpler for the Tin Can Tourist traveling dusty, rutted tracks in meagerly powered vehicles, camping off roadsides in canvas tents, and eating cans of beans over Sterno stoves. Fifteen months ago, we sold our house to join this rambling lifestyle.
R&R for an RN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
A mid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, I needed to find the quiet serenity that comes on two wheels. As a nurse educator in a trauma-based tertiary hospital, I’m deep in the trenches, responsible for disseminating information and implementing health regulations to frontline workers. Inundated with fear from global news, increasing numbers of the infected, lack of resources, and a palpable universal panic as the world began to shut down, I needed to be away from it all for a while.
RAM Tough-Charge X-Grip Waterproof Wireless Charging Motorcycle Mount
RAM Mounts were first introduced in 1995, and over the last 25 years their ball and socket system has become the most ubiquitous way to mount devices wherever you need them. Recently they increased functionality to include Qi wireless charging with the Tough-Charge line of mounts.
HOW TO SURVIVE an Adventure Ride
I’m no expert endurance rider or a professional fitness instructor, but what I can do is ride my motorcycle continuously for five long days and feel physically content at the end of the trip. Okay, maybe after the celebratory beers, I might not feel as good on the morning of the sixth day, but at least my muscles will be relaxed. So, what can you do to prepare for an upcoming off-road adventure to stay strong, enjoy the ride and be able to dismount at the end of the day without calling friends over to pry you off your bike? Here are a few tips from personal experiences that will help you succeed.
Touratech Aventuro Traveller Carbon Helmet
Touratech has a long history of taking great helmets and adding their own features to make them stand apart. Their newest offering, the Aventuro Traveller Carbon, is no different. It’s built upon the Nexx X.Vilijord, a helmet not sold in North America but one that sits at the pinnacle of the Portuguese brand’s line-up. The Aventuro Traveller becomes its own with a full carbon shell, signature Touratech look, and easy accommodation for just about any communication system available.
2Up and Overloaded
Chicago to Panama
India thought it had the virus beat. The virus had other ideas
Governments around the world keep repeating the same mistakes. In a country of 1.4 billion, the consequences are on a whole new scale
Reincarnation And Realpolitik
China, India, and the U.S. are vying to influence the selection of the next Dalai Lama
An Exclusive Interview With Nandakumar Narasimhan
The Little Red Train
A Room for Dad
Before Mom passed, I made a promise to her
THE DANGAL IN THE JUNGLE, PART 1
YOU KNOW YOU’RE SOMEBODY WHEN YOU’VE APPEARED ON AN INDIAN DANGAL POSTER — IN OTHER WORDS, IN A WRESTLING ADVERTISEMENT.
WOUNDS AND THE WOMB
JULIE PETERS explores how to heal a relationship with the sacred womb, a place of death, life, and possibilities.
Giant squirrels, giant lessons? Animal chaplain SARAH BOWEN explores what squirrels can show us about mindfulness.
E8 Caste and the Indian Tech Ivies
IIT grads are highly sought after in Silicon Valley. Are they bringing deep-rooted prejudices with them?
I was happily married, happily employed, just plain happy. Until the accident
IN SEASON Chickpeas (GARBANZO BEANS)
Chickpeas appear in early recordings in Turkey well over 5000 years ago. India produces the most chickpeas worldwide but they are grown in more than 50 countries. An excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and some minerals, they are a nutritious staple of many diets. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word cancer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. It is also known by its popular Spanish-derived name, the garbanzo bean. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and peanuts are other familiar foods found in this legume family.