If you are new to bike riding and want know the essential skills needed to make it a memorable trip, you have come to the right place. A ride is more than that – it is full of adventure and challenges that demand certain awareness and expertise from the rider.
Let’s begin with some skills from your scouting days.
Scouting Skills: Learn to pitch a tent and start a fire.
Essential knots: When you are out on a bike trip you must be ready for anything. Sometimes the ability to tie a good knot can help you get out of tricky situations. Practice the listed knots in your spare time or while watching TV.
- Bowline knot
- Figure eight knot
- Clove hitch
- Trucker’s hitch
- Square knot
Basic Self Defense Moves
Bike riding is by and large a safe pastime, but there are stray incidents of hooliganism which we have all heard of. Besides carrying pepper spray, it is good idea to train yourself in some basic self defense techniques. Practice the ones listed below with a partner in a friendly fight.
- Ear slap
- Battle cry
- Eye poke
- Ear yank
- Elbow strike
- Knee strike
- Head butt
Map Reading and Navigation Skills
Okay, so geography was never your favourite subject at school, but the best of networks don’t follow us when we are on a ride so it makes good sense to have old school map reading skills. Remember Latitudes and Longitudes? It is a good idea to be informed about the coordinates of your place of start and your destination, for example Delhi is 28 degree north and 77 degree east approximately, Mumbai 18 degree north and 72 degree east approximately and so on.
There different types of maps – physical, topographic and climate. Every map has a key or an index somewhere near the bottom. Get familiar with it.
Physical Map: A physical map is one that shows the physical landscape features of a place. They generally show things like mountains, rivers and lakes and water is always shown with blue. Mountains and elevation changes are usually shown with different colors and shades to show relief. Normally on physical maps green shows lower elevations while browns show high elevations. Low elevation coastal regions are shown in dark green, while the higher elevations transition from orange to dark brown. Rivers are shown in blue.
Topographic Map: A topographic map is similar to a physical map in that it shows different physical landscape features. They are different however because they use contour lines instead of colors to show changes in the landscape. Contour lines on topographic maps are normally spaced at regular intervals to show elevation changes (e.g. each line represents a 100 foot (30 m) elevation change) and when lines are close together the terrain is steep.
Climate Map: A climate map shows information about the climate of an area. They can show things like the specific climatic zones of an area based on the temperature, the amount of snow an area receives or average number of cloudy days. These maps normally use colors to show different climatic areas.
Road map: Maps that show the road network in a country are especially useful for riders.
Learn to use a compass.
Basic Bike Maintenance Skills: Goes without saying, you need to be familiar with basic breakdown maintenance. Work as an apprentice with your local mechanic over a weekend to pick up essential skills.