Touring Tips: How To Tune Your Senses For Touring Again Post Lockdown
Modified On Jul 25, 2020 03:56 PM By Jehan Adil Darukhanawala
You gotta walk before you can run! Same goes for touring
As chiselled as Cristiano Ronaldo is, if he gave up training and thinking about football for over four months, he would have, well, have got a paunch and not been able to shoot a ball into the net from 40 yards away. Similarly, most of us have been stuck inside the confines of our homes and will not be the sharpest when jumping back on the saddle. I know I wasn’t.
It is not that you forget how to ride a motorcycle but your reactions will not be the sharpest. While Cristiano can get away from missing a shot or two on target, failing to have your riding skills on point might end up costing you dearly. So before you plan your #PostLockdownGettingLehd adventure, it might serve you best if you do a couple of 100km short trips to get your senses back up to speed. So here are a few tips for your short trips.
Pick a known route
Start with something simple. Getting out of a city could be a task in itself but don’t let it bother you too much. For example, those living in our HQ city of Pune, short trips to Lonavala or Panchgani should serve you well rather than just saddling up for Delhi. You might be knowing these routes by the back of your hand but these familiar settings would help you get comfortable on the saddle quicker.
Fuel up in advance
Okay, this goes without saying but as a practice, fuelling up in advance will just help you spend more time on the saddle. If you are riding with a couple of buddies, it is a bit irksome to stop for someone right at the start of the ride just because they forgot to fuel up the night before. Check tyre pressures then itself. Usually fuel pumps don’t have a tyre filling attendant in the early hours of the day or even have an active pump at that moment.
Start Training Yourself To Look Farther
As you set off on your trip, start looking for the horizon or into the distance. Staying at home for over three months and staring into a small 13-inch laptop screen must have skewed your perceptions. Start working your brain to pick up bits from your peripheral vision. You aren’t looking for danger only, you are training your brain to once again look for signs that could be hazardous.
Shake Off That Stiffness
You know the chicken dance. That one whose tune goes “tada tada tada tan, tada tada tada tan, tada tada ta da tan. *clap clap clap*” Or basically what the lady is doing in the video below:
Just focus on the arm flapping bit. That’s exactly what you’ve got to do on the bike. Not that enthusiastically or with that much tenacity but gently. What this small routine will do is loosen your muscles lightly, shake off the stiffness in the upper half of your torso. Think of it as a bit of stretching before your actual workout. It will even stop you from making any rash steering inputs that might be induced due to road imperfections. Plus, it will help you get comfy and not jittery on the saddle. Repeat this small routine at moderate speeds in case you start feeling that you are once again getting stiff.
Choose a comfortable speed
No matter if you have a crotch rocket or a laidback chopper, choosing a comfortable speed that your post-lockdown brain can keep up with is very important. If it means trailing your group at 60kmph, it is fine. Even if you were able to hold speeds upto 100kmph easily, don’t speed up to get back up to speed. You will end up braking and accelerating more than usual, upsetting your rhythm and enjoying the ride. After all, that is the main reason you stepped out on two wheels and not four.