Preparations for a ride to Spiti valley
The views of Spiti valley are mesmerizing and the views on the way to it are equally beautiful. In order to enjoy the natural beauty of the region completely, bike ride is the best option. The temperature of the valley remains low and cold winds make it colder. The altitude of this region is high enough to cause altitude sickness. The route is lengthy, the roads are zig-zag, narrow, located at a higher altitude, surrounded by large mountains and accompanied by a river flowing next to the road make this ride challenging and difficult. It doesn’t mean we should avoid it, in fact it means we should make some special preparations for the ride.
Plan Your ride
The roads are narrow and the route is rough and hazardous due to landslides so, the first step for you prepration is spare some time from your busy schedule, visit some popular travel websites and explore the region online, read blogs and see vlogs of travellers who have visited Spiti recently. Prepare a list of major town/cities you pass by, prepare route maps for your ride, the average speed ahead Rampur will be 30-35 Kms/ Hr. Do planning like wise, calculate the minimum number of days required for the ride also evaluate distace to be covered in a day and time period for which you can ride comfortabely in a day. Later find the places where you are going to hault for night.
Wear Safty Gadgets
Safety comes first, always wear your safety gadgets. The gadgets include a helmet or turban, safety jacket, safety pants, gloves. The set of safety jacket and pants are expensive one can wear a set of elbow and knee guards or a safety jacket along with knee guards.
Maintenance of Bike
During the ride, your bike will be your most reliable patner. If the preventive maintaince is done properly, the probability of occuring fault or breakdown reduces.So, before the ride starts visit your regular service station and check whether engine oil, various filters require replacement, whether clutch wire or break leather replacement or any other minor problem.
The baggage during the ride should be minimum. Less baggage means a more comfortable ride. One can carry luggage in a backpack or duffle bag and strap it properly. The most important point is the luggage should be restrained properly. For long adventurous rides or off-roading Ladakh carrier is used, it gets fixed next to the rear seat of the bike and helps in keeping the luggage balanced and strapped properly. Normal backpacks and duffle bags can easily be used with this carrier.
Some professional bike riders use saddlebags, magnetic tank bags, tail bags and boxes to carry their stuff. These are more balanced and stable and make ride easy. These special biker bags are quite expensive and are not required. Instead of that Ladakh carrirer is an economical option. Another option is to reduce your luggage and carry a single large 45 L backpack and tie it on the rear seat properly.
Things to Carry
The to ride to Kaza is long Once we cross Rekong Peo the resources are limited. The villages are located far from each other. In case of any fault or breakdown of bike, one must carry a tool kit, a pucher kit, a tyre inflator. These days tyers are tubeless and in the case of puncher, one can ride to some distance just by inflating the tyre. Electric tyre inflator are also available in the market, one can connect them with the battery of the bike in case of emergency.
Carry extra fuel
While travelling from Shimla. The last fuel station is located a kilometer before Rekong Peo. Peo is about 200 kms away from Kaza. So, while passing through Rekong Peo refill the fuel tank of the bike and carry some extra fuel with you. The next fuel station is located in Kaza itself. If you are not carrying a can with you, you can buy a plastic can in Peo market. In case of emergency fuel is available in Nako and Tabo but the quality is questionable and it is better to carry some extra fuel.
Drive slow and safe
The roads are curvy and narrow. Some sections of the road are extremely dangerous. So it is strongly recommended not to travel fast. In fact remain calm, drive slowly and enjoy the views. Stop for a while whenever required click some pictures, enjoy a cup of tea and relax for a while. This will reduce stress and let you enjoy the ride.
Don’t Push Yourself
The road are not only difficult to ride but are extremely dangerous, due to which the average speed falls to 30-35 Kms/hr. With this rider gets annoyed due to slow speed and lengthy route. One should have be patient and keep on riding slowly and smoothly.
Don’t ride during the night
The region is located at a high altitude due to which temperature falls after sunset and the cold winds make it colder. The villages are located too far from each other and there is no traffic on these roads at night. One can also encounter some wild animals on road during the night. Hence, it is recommended to avoid riding after sunset. Ride until you find it comfortable and when the sun goes down end the ride in the nearest town or village where hotels, guest houses or homestays are available.