A cross-country biking trip or a bike trip to Leh is on every adventure lover’s bucket list. While we are ecstatic to see the number of riders increasing by the year, it is almost disappointing to see them voyaging without preparation. If you are planning a cross-state biking trip, there is no running away from biking gears and equipment that you will have to carry. Riding is very different from backpacking; despite from the basic mode of transit, riding in itself, is a different ball game altogether. There are a number of things that could go wrong during a bike journey and depending on whether you had prepared or not, it can be a series of wonderful memories of distasteful events. Now, while some riders like to carry backups of backups, some riders like to carry just an additional pair of clothes; both the situations serve as perfect examples of how not to prepare for your legen-wait for it-dary bike trip (we learned that the hard way).
The worst thing that can happen in the remote hilly terrains, sans an accident obviously, is a punctured tyre or a dead battery. You don’t want to be stuck without help, but, believe us, it is bound to happen. Especially on rocky terrains, where the sharp stones are bound to give you a flat tyre and a flatter state of mind. So be prepared, and practice at least twice if it is your first time on the road.
Zanskar Valley, Ladakh, Kashmir
TYRE REPAIRS AND BATTERY DIFFICULTIES
Things that you will require to fix a puncture or battery related issues:
1. Basic Toolkit
2. Air Compressor or a foot pump: It is one of the most basic and the most important equipment you have to carry. Make it a point not to carry plastic inflators as they can melt due to overuse. Carry heavy duty, metal-based air compressor.
3. Puncture kits for both tubeless tyres and tube (do not forget the valve key) including tube patches. It acts like lifesavers complied with the air inflator.
4. Puncture Sealant: It is the full stop for your puncture issues if the puncture is beyond repair and no help is available close by. During our bike trip to Ladakh, such an incident happened with us and the sealant acted like a miracle. It bought us some time until we found a mechanic.
5. Spare Tyre (check for punctures before leaving)
6. Spare tubes (in case of spoke tyres)
7. Tyre removing lever
8. Spare tyre valves
9. Valve tube removing key
The next big thing or the equally important thing that comes to your mind while planning a riding trip to any remote area is chocking on fuel with no petrol pump nearby. In all the hilly terrains and even in remote plain areas, there are times when you don’t find a petrol pump for miles and miles. For those scenarios, it is important that you must carry spare fuel if you get short on the route.
Breakdown can happen anytime. We got an unlimited number of punctures in Rajasthan.
Things that you will require:
10. Disposable bottles to carry extra fuel
11. 2-3 feet of pipe that will help you transfer fuel from one bike to another
12. Funnel for transferring fuel
13. A thin cloth which is extremely important to filter out the impurities especially when you buy fuel from villages or small shops
At times, you find people to help you with your broken down bike but unfortunately, you don’t have the spare parts or tools they would require to help you. So, we strongly advise you to carry these spares.
MINOR SPARE BIKE PARTS
14. Spare Fuse (Amp rating depends on your bike. If you can, carry fuses of different varieties so you could help someone else too)
15. Spare Accelerator Cable
16. 2 Spare Clutch Cable
17. 2 Chain links
18. Spare coolant and Engine Oil
19. Spare headlight bulbs
20. Spare air filter (optional if you have a new one or you regularly clean it)
You can never be 100% prepared for any situation because every trip has a unique thing you never thought would happen. So, while the things mentioned above shall cover any blooper, a few miscellaneous items listed below just gives you a further sense of safety for the oops moments.
OTHER MULTI-PURPOSE STUFF
21. Swiss Knife
22. Screwdriver set
23. Spare assorted nuts and bolts
24. Rope or cable
25. Small Hammer
27. Brake shoe
28. Extra wire for any minor electrical issue
29. Spare key (or learn how to bypass ignition in emergencies)
30. Spark plugs (optional)
Do you think we missed something? If yes, or if you have any query regarding anything mentioned above, just drop a comment below.