From England To Wales, On Motorcycle

Join Rohith Ashok in his expedition, as he begins a 30-day solo motorcycle trip across England, Scotland and Wales
Roads in Great Britain sport many traffic signs. Credit Shutterstock
Roads in Great Britain sport many traffic signs. Credit Shutterstock

They say, &ldquoif you can ride in India, you can ride anywhere in the world&rdquo There is some truth to this, but I have also recently learnt that it should come with a crucial caveat one that excludes parts of the world where road rules are made and&mdashyou won&rsquot believe it&mdashactually followed

I flew to London a few weeks ago to begin a 30-day solo motorcycle trip across England, Scotland and Wales. I&rsquom tempted to rant about all the hoops I had to jump through before I could travel and get onto a motorcycle here, but there will be another time and place for that. Simply put, after a very long, drawn-out period of uncertainty and anticipation, I travelled halfway across the world (nearly) and swung my leg over a beautiful motorcycle&mdasha Honda CRF 300 Rally that I borrowed from my kind friend, Nicholas.

I rolled out of the parking lot for my &ldquofirst ride&rdquo with much gusto and excitement. A few hundred metres in, I noticed more &ldquomarkings&rdquo on the road than I had ever seen before. A few kilometres in, I encountered an eclectic mix of signage and boards that I simply could not understand. Could this all be for people using the road If there is so much to look at, how on earth do you focus on where you&rsquore going Most importantly, what does any of this mean

I was back where I started a lot sooner than intended. Although I have several hundred thousand kilometres under my belt, I felt like a complete novice all over again. This land of mystical, squiggly lines and signboards had me befuddled. I had to take a step back. I rode pillion around London with Nicholas, learning about the signs and the many different types of lines on the roads. I asked hundreds of questions and managed to grasp some of the information that came my way. We then did another trial run where I followed him on the motorcycle to understand rights of way, road manners&mdashyes, manners&mdashand, guess what, more sign boards. They really do have way too many.

The good news is that it only took some time and patience to find the confidence to hit the road again. But the learning process is continuous, and this has truly felt like learning to ride all over again. I&rsquom certain that I&rsquove annoyed or offended some fellow motorists along the way, but no one has complained too vigorously so, I&rsquoll take the win.

I did consider showcasing more bravado while letting you in on the details of my latest adventure. But, I made the executive&mdashand self-deprecating&mdashdecision that the truth is more valuable in this case. I am here to see and experience the wonders of Great Britain, but my real goal is to get through the 3,000-plus miles that lie ahead without unintentionally leaving behind polaroids on any of the thousands of speed cameras dotted around this country.

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