“When in India, unusual is the norm, the unexpected happens with monotonous regularity, and everyday you will experience something you previously thought impossible”.
Doctor Arun Kolhatkar aka Doc
As the resident adventure medic, Doc succinctly describes a lesson I learnt the hard way. In fact, my education earned me the reputation of “the fastest man between crashes” amongst my fellow team members.
In 2011, I found myself in the sweltering heat of the Karnataka plains on my way to Mysore. I was rushing to relieve a team member at the junction ahead, overtaking bikes, cars, oxcarts and the like – the usual cast of characters on India’s roads. I tore along the dusty, yellow village fields seeking the obscene gesture I’d come to expect from meeting a fellow team member. Standing on the footpegs to soften the bumps in the road, I was focusing on the horizon as I felt my front wheel going down a hole – deeper and deeper. I quickly shifted my gaze and noticed that I was descending a massive pothole.
I barely had time to unleash the obligatory stream of profanities before my front wheel hit the far edge of the pothole. Instead of bending out of shape, the front wheel hit the edge with an almighty bang and the front of the bike jumped in the air. Unfortunately, the jolt also lifted my feet off the footpegs; for a split second my weight was not on the bike. That split second was the exact moment the rear wheel hit the edge of the pothole. You can imagine what happened next, the bike flipped – a spectacular 360 – and threw me in the air performing my best superman impression. I landed on my shoulder on the side of the road. The distance I covered in the air increases by a few feet at each re-telling of the story. I still cannot believe I escaped unscathed, other than my rather bruised pride.
STEFANO’S ADVENTURE TIP
Expect the unexpected, your riding skills will be challenged like never before. Recognise your limits, then back it off by twenty percent: allow ten percent for your imaginary riding skills (like me) and another ten percent to deal with emergencies. India is an incredible, beautiful, complex, and at times infuriating place – take your time to admire it, don’t waste it racing.
ABOUT ‘ADVENTURER’S TALES’
A compilation of recollections in celebration of 10 years of Adventure Ashram, ‘Adventurer’s Tales’ is a true celebration of a decade of purposeful adventure by our charity partner Adventure Ashram, a small but mighty charity.
Complete with some great adventure tips, it not only provides handy pointers for when out ‘on the road’, but also some thought-provoking insights into the heart and spirit of adventure. Written with humour, passion and integrity, this wonderful book is a fine tribute to 10 years of Adventure Ashram. Click here to buy a copy.
If you are planning an adventure with Nomadic Knights, please consider raising funds for one of Adventure Ashram’s projects and help to make a difference to the people and places you explore. Anyone planning an adventure can choose to support Adventure Ashram.