The Journey: Mohali – Mandi – Manali – Hemis – Shey – Leh
Ideal Time to Visit: The best time to ride on this route is from the mid of June until August.
Entourage Strength: This year there are 50 of us who plan to travel to Ladakh. I have also travelled the route all by myself. So, if you ask me, an ideal entourage can vary in size.
Preps: What I do before starting on a journey is – get the bike checked thoroughly, take all the necessary spares, tools and kiss her (my motorbike) before riding out. It also advisable to be in complete riding gear for your own safety and carry with you medicines, tents and eats for the way.
Assistive Gizmos: It is my personal opinion that gadgets are unnecessary. They make the trip less memorable. Concentrating on the journey and absorbing every experience is far more pleasing.
Road & Traffic Conditions: You will only encounter traffic till Srinagar and along the stretch after Manali.
Best & Worst Stretches: There are many scenic spots along the road to Leh but the Mori Plains, flanked by mountain ranges on both sides feature some stunning sand and natural rock formations. My favourite part of the route is while crossing remote areas of Ladakh around noon, when kids are returning from school. They appear thrilled to see motorbikers and queue up with their hands in the air to give us a high five!
Weather Encountered: Drastic changes in weather might catch you unawares when you’re riding to Leh. You have to be well equipped to deal with the sun beating down or sudden rain and chilly winds.
Food Joints & Stopovers: Our first stop was at a small dhaba near Ropar where you get some amazing home cooked food. I recommend it highly.
Bike Care: I know my bike in and out, so I service it on my own regularly.
Locals: The locals of Ladakh are lovable people. They are helpful, down to earth, honest and simple people.