• Vriti Jain

Your first solo bike ride guide!

Aren’t you just tired of hearing men talk about their solo travels, sharing their experiences and telling us that for women doing a solo trip can be quite difficult? Road trips, especially for females, can be quite a challenge with lack of proper hygienic places to freshen up along the way. Don’t let those words stop you or create a doubt even for a second because there is no experience as daunting as this one. It’ll leave you craving for more. Women bikers are recommended to be extra cautious, especially if it's their first trip. But putting all difficulties aside its one hell of an experience you will never forget. And the cherry on top ‘it’s not a man’s world anymore’. And woman, if you're mapping out your trip, here are some 12 useful tips: Choose a comfortable bike: Long journeys can be taxing so you need to have a bike that you can ride comfortably. We know you love your bike but riding solo on a long journey make sure you are riding on comfortable wheels. Sometimes just changing the seat, handlebars etc. can help enhance your comfort while riding. Also, it's very important to have proper headlight and safety gears to cross those lonely roads with confidence. Get your bike serviced before the trip, ALWAYS! A lot of preparations and safety measures are required before you head out. Getting your bike serviced from an authorised mechanic/centre is very important. All lights and tyres should be checked and changed if required. Select your tyres according to the terrain you are planning to ride on. Electronic bike covers are important to cover your bikes vitals organs during off-roading. Equip your bike as per the requirements of your trip. Put on those necessary bike Accessories: Having useful bike accessories can save you from the unknown troubles on the road. There are tons of protective gear easily available in the market these days. Protection gears like frame sliders, bar ends, fork sliders, swingarm spools etc are quite essential for the safeguarding of your bike even from minor crashes. Also, if you think having radiator guards is not important, well you are wrong, they might be expensive but worth your safety. If you are heading for an off-road trip make sure your bike has a good skid plate.

Pack Light, Pack Smart! I know it’s hard to pack light but stick to it. ;) Pack smartly because your luggage should be the last thing you need to worry about. You don't require much clothing while riding, you will only be using your riding gear. Try and pack biodegradable disposable stuff like eco-friendly sanitary pads. Always choose a sturdy backpack or luggage sack, as it will be more comfortable & easy to carry your stuff.

How to Stay Hygienic: There will be days when you won't be able to find proper toilets or a place to shower, therefore it's important to keep certain areas clean. 1. Keep and use wet wipes generously. 2. It's also important to carry enough pairs of underwear. Wash them as routinely to avoid unwanted smell or infections. If I plan a trip longer than 4 days I usually keep 8 pairs of lingerie so I never run out and I have some extras in case of emergencies till the end of the trip. 3. Always change before going to bed into something comfortable/ breathable for your skin. Let it breathe. 4. The market is getting swamped with good travel products for women which will help you maintain hygiene; Pantyliners, Toilet seat sanitizers, Sweat pads, Intimate wash and Pee Buddy all of these are definitely going to make your trip easier. Yes, Pee Buddy, this little buddy is a saviour form those unhygienic toilets on the road. Now you can stand and pee! It's a portable and disposable female urination device that makes urinating at public places easier for girls. So you don't have to stress about wiping those dirty toilet seats or catching an infection.

Be wise, start early! Start as early as possible, and finish the day when you see the sun hitting the horizon. Every place is not safe to wander around in the night as some terrains can be difficult to ride on in the dark especially hilly areas where landslides are a common thing. By starting early one can also beat the morning rush and with extra time in hand, one can effectively handle unexpected situations in the daylight. Plan your route properly - You should be clear which route to follow before taking your wheels into unknown territory. Plan your route a day in advance, asking locals for road conditions and about the route can be helpful. Mark those fuel stations, and carry spare fuel can for emergencies. Fuel stations can also help you take a quick break or a power nap if required. Pro Tip - Keep a paper map handy to save yourself from getting yourself stuck in situations where GPS don’t work that well. Take regular breaks and stay hydrated: Keep yourself hydrated and take regular breaks to relax your back, have a small snack or stretch your legs. Dehydration will make you tired and can even cause loss of concentration. You will take more breaks than you planned, yes! even if you are saying no right now trust me on this. Pro-Tip: It's not a marathon so take breaks whenever your body or bike indicates you to take one. Examine your bike regularly: It's very crucial to keep a regular check when on the ride even if you got it serviced before you began your journey. Make it a habit to check your bike every day before you hit the road.

Safety First, Mind it! Do whatever it takes to STAY SAFE. 'Not travelling after dark' is not the only safety measure, what I mean is: 1. Equip your bike with safety gears and tools. 2. Learn basic bike maintenance stuff, like changing a tyre. 3. Make sure you carry enough high protein snacks and water. 4. Write your name and blood group on your helmet. In case of emergencies, this might come in handy. 5. Always wear a full-coverage helmet. 6. Definitely stay sober. Only drink when you feel it’s totally safe. 7. Don't try any stunts. You are smarter than that girl. There is a thin line between being stupid and an adventure, DON'T CROSS IT! 8. Stay in touch with your loved ones, though this one is not just for girls. Discuss when and where you will reach by the end of the day. It's good to have someone as a backup just in case you aren't able to check-in at your scheduled time. That’s not all, the most important is Trust Your Gut! Practice and listen to your intuition everybody has it. Trust it when it feels like something is not right, walk out of that place or situation. Learn to say a FIRM NO even if you think it might hurt someone's sentiments. Believe in your gut because it's usually right. Feeling ready to fly Solo? Let’s get packing NOW! Still have doubts about how to plan your solo trip? Just drop in your queries and I will get back to you in a jiffy.

Follow Vriti Jain on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/gob.girlonbullet/

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