DEATH VAL­LEY, NE­VADA IN­DIA

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Escapes -

You never quite get over just how hot it is rid­ing in Death Val­ley. The heat just seeps into you and gob­bles up your en­ergy re­serves and warps your sense of re­al­ity.

In this dust bowl of Amer­ica you are only a stone’s throw from the casino ta­bles of Las Vegas and yet it can seem the most in­hos­pitable place on earth. And yet again, it can also be the most ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

There are dunes and trails and moun­tains and all sorts of dif­fer­ent ter­rain to test your abil­ity and nerve. But you soon get used to the chal­lenges and push your­self to achieve. Bike hire is no prob­lem out here and you if you like things lit­tle more con­trolled you can join a com­pany tour where there is al­ways help at hand.

The roads in In­dia are treach­er­ous, hair-pinned and pro­tected by shields of harsh weather. But that just makes them even more ad­dic­tive. Strad­dling a com­bus­tion en­gine through their wind­ing passes, brav­ing the ter­rain and bat­tling our way to the peak turns us into con­querors and it’s what makes this such a great place for a mo­tor­cy­cling ad­ven­ture.

Europe’s moun­tains have been beaten many times; strapped down and tamed with well-laid and rid­den tar­mac. But there is one road which tow­ers above oth­ers, still un­tamed and wild – the Khardung La pass. The high­est ride­able road in the world. And it be­longs to the Hi­malayas, home to the high­est peaks on our planet.

Our des­ti­na­tion, New Delhi, is men­tal. The sights, sounds, sweat and smell crawl un­der your skin and turn you in­side out, ex­pos­ing your soul to the vi­brant and manic city. But here, trav­el­ling on the dusty road to Key­long, we couldn’t be fur­ther away. The tracks go on for­ever, taunt­ing you to wind open the throt­tle and lose your­self in the noth­ing­ness, un­til you re­alise your deliri­ous dash has be­come rather lonely.

The moun­tain range spreads out over the planet in ever-chang­ing land­scapes – from rolling green moun­tains to red and pur­ple rock fields. The only thing that stays the same are the crum­bling roads and sheer drops.

Trucks bel­low out nau­se­at­ing plumes of black smoke, mixed with sand, dust and grit, which fill your hel­met if you get too close. We’ve never seen a bus take a blind cor­ner so fast that it kicks its tail end out over a cliff edge be­fore.

Ex­plor­ing the Hi­malayas is one of the best mo­tor­cy­cling ex­pe­ri­ences any­one can have. You should try it.

‘Tracks go on for­ever, taunt­ing you to wind open the throt­tle and lose your­self’

If you can’t stand the heat, get back in the kitchen

Straight back to the wild west

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