Motorcycle Travellers Meet 2015

Motorcycle Travelers Meet is a get together of like-minded serious motorcycle travelers and adventure motorcyclists. MTM 2015 was held on 24th to 27th of September at Camp Shristi, Tumkur road, Bengaluru/Bangalore.

Two weeks or so before the event, registrations were ongoing and registered (for a fee) just in time before the seats were full. Also there was the option to choose the type of stay – cottage to tent. Tent was just fine. Ah! the simple pleasures. A few days prior to the event, got an email that had basic information with route map to the venue, two PDF documents of ‘MTM-Personal Information’ and ‘MTM Indemnity of Risks’, both of which had to be printed out, filled in and handed over at the venue entrance with 8:30 am being the reporting time.

Thursday, 24th September
This day was a pre-event that had on schedule full day workshops with limited seats with only one of the topics to choose from – ‘Riding essential skills’ or ‘Cross Border travel for Indians’. This day I chose to skip due to work as well as the extra cost that I didn’t not want to spend.

Packed the previous night, took a printout of the route map (which came in handy) and managed to get 4.5 hours of sleep. Following morning started from home at 7:10am and reached the venue at 8:35am.

Friday, 25th September
On schedule workshops was ‘Ride Skills Essentials’ and ‘Myanmar Cross Border Travel 101’ that was held after a tasty south Indian vegetarian breakfast.

10am – Riding Skill Essentials by Shumi & Anand
Shumi from the motoring magazine Overdrive and Anand from IndiMotard gave an important and informative talk on the skills of riding, motorbike basics and safety of rider. In short, presence of mind, eye-hand co-ordination and common sense should keep a rider safe. Besides their passion in riding, they also conduct workshops on correct motorcycle riding for beginners and amateurs alike.

11:30am – Myanmar Cross Border Travel by Tin Maung
Mr. Tin provided information that pertained to cross border travel documentation (Karnet pronounced car-ney) and permits for vehicular entry and exit between India and Burma. He provides reliable quality assistance, guides and needed documentation for travellers for a fee (not cheap). Larger the group lesser the cost per person. After his talk was a tasty south Indian vegetarian lunch.

2pm – 10 years on the road by Hubert Kriegel
Hubert Kriegel – the legendary sidecar adventurer. A french-man having stayed in NY, decided to travel. Chose to get himself a white sidecar and traveled for 10 long years alone across various countries and continents. Currently in Bengaluru, an eighty plus year ‘young’ gentleman (wearing conspicuously round red framed glasses) with much travelling experience up his sleeve. He shared with us pictures and few video clips apart from narrating some incidents and moments during his travels. His favourite continent of visit being South America and favorite country being Mongolia. To read/view more on his travels, do check out his website

3pm – Trans-Himalayan adventure by Inderjit Singh
Mr. Inderjit shared his experience of his travels. Perhaps it was both his narration style and the tasty filling lunch that started to take its effect soon enough and had my senses turn inattentive for the most part of his talk. In the end, couldn’t retain anything of what he spoke that which I can recall from memory. Sorry! After his talk, we had a much needed tea break with biscuits and cakes.

4:30pm – Nutrition on the go by Huda Masood
Huda has her own recipe of making energy bars that are good for travelers, bikers, hikers and for people who are into just about any sports activity. She gave a quick rundown on the needed energy requirements that one would need on any given day. Personally, being a cyclist for a few years now, I knew and could relate to what she spoke of. At the end of her talk, she distributed some samples of the energy bars that she makes – The Huda Bar.

5pm – Sahara on a Kinetic Honda by Dilip Bam
Last talk for the day was by Mr. Dilip Bam. Another elderly gentleman with much experiences to share of his travels from hardships faced to some humorous incidents and anecdotes. Evidently, from his accounts its understandable that the current generation are very fortunate now, be it freedom, money earned, spending power, fast modern motorbikes and electronic gadgets to aid in travel and otherwise. Life as such back in those days for an average wage earning individual was much more harder and difficult. Much respect for the man. Check his website

8:30pm – Starters veg and non-veg to go with some juice/beer prior to vegetarian dinner. Followed by heavy downpour of rain throughout the night. Got good sleep in the tent nevertheless.

Saturday, 26th September
9am – Travel First Aid by WMI-NOLS US
A tasty south Indian vegetarian breakfast followed soon after by a session on First Aid that could accommodate only 30 people. Hands-on session conducted with do’s and don’t’s in first-aid apart from how to treat wounds and injuries when encountered with in any travel or otherwise. This session overlapped with the next one that started about an hour and a half later.

10:30am – GPS 101 by Karthik Vugane
Karthik gave a good presentation of the various GPS hardware and software now available that can be useful for avid travellers on 4/2 wheelers alike. The popular ones are from Garmin (Zumo, Montana or Navigator), Tom Tom – Rider, MapmyIndia – Trailblazer amongst many others. Also available are GPS trackers from Zaicus, Vizio and KTrack.

11:45am – Motorcycle Electricals by Sudhir
A talk (with an accent) by him on the product that he represented for at MTM. A waterproof charger for devices that can be installed and used on motorcycles. A must add-on device when travelling.

12:15pm – 6 Continents by Haroon Rafiq
Haroon convinced his wife Farzana to join him travel on a motorcycle across continents. They hold a national record in the Limca Book of Records for being the first Indian couple to ride over six continents on different BMW motorcycles, doing a 7-9 day ride across 2-4 countries in each continent having covered a total of 10,434kms. From the Alps to South Indian peninsula, from southern tip of Africa – Cape Agulhas to New Zealand. He shared with us many memorable moments from his travels, some thought provoking and some funny. Was a very engaging presentation followed by lunch.

2pm – 47 days around the world by Deepak Kamath
Deepak Kamath and his companion G.H Basavaraj created history in 1994/95 by becoming the first Indians to circumnavigate the globe in record time. They covered 42,038 km over six continents on their Yezdi Roadking in an expedition called ‘The Yezdi Castrol Continental Raid’ with a total of 119 days with the actual riding time of 47 days. They have been honoured in the Limca Book of Records. Read more on his journey here.

3pm – Mumbai to London by Sanjay Dani
An adventurous journey set forth by Police Sub Inspector Bhaskar Dhangle, Police Sub Inspector Sanjay Dani and 6 other members of the Bombay Police Force. They took up a challenge to ride four Royal Enfield motorbikes from Mumbai to London through Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia & Slovenia (former Yugoslavia), Italy and France. He had many memorable accounts from their travels.

Sunday, 27th September had on schedule for the morning with a trek to the hill top, birdwatching, or just explore the lake bed and try your skills on the dirt. But was a lazy Sunday morning. So got up leisurely, had breakfast that was set earlier than the previous two days. Bid farewell to whom I got acquainted with and headed back for home getting a mileage of 30km/ltr which was good for this bike.

For more information on MTM, check Motorcycle Travellers Meet India or MTM Grid India.

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