MTM MotoCamp 2018 Madikeri

MTM [Motorcycle Travellers Meet] MotoCamp held at Madikeri was all about Hands on Workshop, Expert Sessions and a Fun Weekend. Online pre-booking payments was done on 11 May 2018. On 29 May 2018, received email from Aditya (one of the event coordinators), pertaining to the MTM MotoCamp event schedule and its venue along with a PDF containing a checklist of what to bring along with us. He even created a Whats-app group on 31 May 2018 for this event (quite likely the first Whats-app group from MTM) adding in all confirmed participants. Now it was just a countdown of hours. Packing happened late with about 4 hours of sleep.

MotoCamp Day 01

[ Thu, 07 June 2018 ]
Started out from home at 6am. Was to meet Haroon at the exit of NICE road but he was behind schedule and told me to continue and that he would catch up if possible. It was 8am when I stopped at RightO (restaurant on Bengaluru-Mysore highway) for breakfast. On towards Mysore and a right turn on the highway that leads to Madikeri. Got to Hunsur to stop for a quick refuel. After about 2.5 hours of riding, crossed a lovely green stretch of road that which was within the jurisdiction of Rajiv Gandhi National Park. Had to stop here for a few pictures. Started to drizzle and so had to put on the rain jacket and over-pants. Continued on till I got to the Gonnikoppa, a left to Ponnampet, then Hudikeri and a kilometer or two of mud road to reach the venue. A huge private estate with a clearing of about 2 acres just about in the middle. No mobile connectivity. Wow!!

Met the riders who had reached there earlier on. Was helped to put up the tent I had brought along, a Quechua Arpenaz Fresh & Black 3 from Decathlon. Was given the choice to either place the tent under the large covered open shed or in the open. Chose the open figuring this would be ideal to put the tent to the test, oblivious to the fact of what was in store. My schoolmate Vageesh, who was riding from Davangere on his Aprilia SR150 scooter showed up. This guy despite having the RE Himalalan motorcycle, found the scooter to be more reliable vehicle. He had even done a trip to Sikkim and back on it, with me last year. Many other riders kept riding in. Haroon turned up 2 hours later. By about 2:30pm, we had our lunch that was vegetarian.

An introduction was given by the MTM Grid members on what was in store for us over the next 2 days. By about 5pm, Raj (who had been in Australia for several years) with his extensive travels and experience shared some of his adventures, related his bike setup and why, some very helpful tips with regards to travelling on a motorcycle. Two hour break during which time there was a good downpour of rain which didn’t show any signs of stopping.

We then had Ronald Shalo, popularly known as Scooter Nomad. A guy who traveled a good part of India for over seven months, particularly in the North East of India on his red Chetak scooter starting from Coimbatore shared his travel experiences fresh off the road. Informative with insights to travelling solo within India. Dinner (Non-veg) was provided by done by about 9:30pm and we were back to our respective tents by about 10:30pm. A disturbed sleep through the night with gales of strong wind blowing along with the heavy rains. It would seem like the tent might just collapse under the influence but it held on.

MotoCamp Day 02

[ Fri, 08 June 2018 ]
We were up by about 7am or so. Freshened up and then some breakfast – cornflakes with milk, bread with butter and banana. This was followed by a talk on Food and Nutrition by Huda. She specialises in making edible nutritional bars under the name – Huda Bar. She shared with us information on what foods are good and what to avoid when travelling. Items to carry along, purchase of local produce to prepare own meals that are healthy and cost effective in a big way.

By about 12:30pm, we were split into teams of four to prepare out own lunch. One team started out as a demonstration for the rest to follow. Each team were provided with a stove and cooking pan besides food rations of rice, dal gram, vegetables and spices. And off we started out with cleaning, cutting and cooking out own lunch for the day. The team I was in started out late figuring out what to prepare and in what correct sequence. However, by 2:30pm, we completed the preparation – Salad, Rice, Dal and vegetable side dish. Personally, I was rather surprised and proud that it turned out very well. Cleaned vessels used and cleared the cooking area. Rest till about 4pm. All this while still raining continuously. When stepping out, we were all either wearing raincoats or under umbrellas most of the time.

We then had a talk on Preparation and Packing for travels by Aditya (a motorcycle traveler), one who has had many travels experiences to learn and share with us. The essential stuff to carry along on a motorcycle when on a multi day to several days trip. Good camping, choice of tents and related stuff such as clothing, spares etc. Kuttappa a.k.a Kuts (another high intensity traveler) had much to share from his experiences in travel.

A good source of information and practical hands on know-how to take/learn from. Was very informative session in all. A break until dinner that which was non-vegetarian. Rains showed no signs of stopping. By about 6pm or so, we were all to gather at the Pagoda where Raj was to make for us a dessert over firewood. A very unique recipe that can we learnt how one could prepare a quite healthy dessert. Later, we all got to our respective tents to sleep off the night under the strong winds and heavy rains that didn’t stop.

MotoCamp Day 03

[ Sat, 09 June 2018 ]
Woke up late, relaxed and freshened. Fortunately the rains had stopped. We all undid our tents, folded it up and suited up. We gathered round for a final farewell by MTM Grid – Santosh and team and after a group photo taken, we started out by noon to head back from there back to our respective homes. Haroon and I rode back together to Bengaluru. Stopped at Hunsur for lunch. Stopped at Mysore to refuel. At 5pm, we stopped for a coffee break somewhere along the route as we neared Bengalore. Reached home by 8pm. Much learning this time round at this MTM MotoCamp. Looking forward to the next one that is to happen some time soon.

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