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    With inspiring ride stories, mechanical hacks and advice on travel funds, the Motorcycle Travellers Meet begins today.

    An architect in Melbourne who woke up one day and decided to ride his motorcycle home to Balehonnur, India, some 40,000 km away, and an English neuroscientist-academic couple who took off on their bikes because they wanted their lives to slow down. These are just some of the individuals who will detail their touring experiences at the Motorcycle Travellers Meet (MTM) that kick-starts today in Goa. The event, which celebrates its fourth edition this year, is one of the most popular brand-agnostic motorcycle touring gatherings in the country. “MTM is not about motorcycles; it’s about the people and the things that inspired them to ride off to distant lands,” begins Bengaluru-based Santosh K, the chief organiser of the event, who rode through Sri Lanka during the heights of the 2009 civil war.

    Bikers’ Mecca
    Apart from rider tales, there are theoretical and practical workshops on skilful riding and calculative decision making while overtaking. For breakdowns on the road, there is a session led by Bengaluru-based Prashanth Kumar, of indiMotard Adventures, that will discuss mechanical and electrical troubles and ways to fix them. To address those planning international rides, MTM is also bringing Western India Automobile Association representatives, who will brief participants on applying for carnet de passages, a travel document for motorcycles (akin to a passport for riders). “There is widespread fear associated with motorcycle trips, so a majority of the riders tag themselves with riding clubs. We are trying to break this by giving enough information and tools so one can rely on oneself when on the road,” adds Santosh, who advises riders to rent motorcycles when overseas, rather than incur heavy carnet costs by taking their own. MTM will also delve into the chief deterrent when it comes to embarking on road trips, money. To address this, the event will bring in acclaimed long distance riders like Rohith Subramanian (he crowdfunded his 1,00,000 km roadtrip to London via South East Asia) who will also focus on the possibility of earning along the way, getting sponsors for the ride, advantages and limitations and how to manage money en route.

    Curated rides
    Imagine an organisation like Thomas Cook, but for road trips. That is Mumbai-based touring organiser, Roadtripper. It offers customised road trip packages to Myanmar, China, ASEAN and multi-country road trips around the world. Its services include document processing, tour guides, technical support and vehicle logistics. Myanmar road trip from `15,000 per day onwards (approx). Details: roadtripper.in
    Rs 5,500 (accommodation included).
    Till November 13.
    Details: 2016.mtmgrid.in

    — P Peter

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