Aiming to develop a deeper connection with his bike, your correspondent takes a trip to Goa
All true bikers, when asked by novices on how to increase one’s proficiency on two wheels, will emphatically advise taking the bike on a ‘weekend getaway.’ Now, excuse the double entendre, but I had never really gotten ‘intimate’ with my bike. So when a close friend invited me to a family gathering in Goa, I readily decided to bite the bullet. At the outset, the prospect of a 1,000km round trip seemed daunting!
Preparations included a Fego Float inflatable seat (to alleviate numb bum), Rynox Gripper bungee straps (for securing luggage) and an inexpensive rubber shift sock to keep my left boot scratch-free.
I left home at dawn, guided by my trusty GPS. After covering extensive highway miles via Satara and Kolhapur, I hit the infamous Amboli ghats, coming across every possible road-related problem, including gravel, potholes and loose mud, all of which the Duke took in its stride.
The extended weekend in Goa was a relaxing experience, with visits to beaches and historical places interspersed with munching on every type of seafood possible. The humidity was a blessing in disguise as even the gentlest breeze seemed refreshing, courtesy the mesh jacket I had on.
The return trip was reassuringly relaxing too, as I covered 586km in under nine hours, stopping for tea, soft drinks and at a cosy roadside dhaba serving fried fish.
Overall, I now feel a bit more confident on two wheels and feel qualified to join the “just take a weekend getaway” professing coterie of bikers.