What Makes A Good Riding Road

I clicked this pic while riding through the central part of Sri Lanka.


I kept hopping from one mountain to the next and from one tea estate to the next. This went on for a couple of hours and reminded me of my ride to Ladakh on my Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. But instead of horrible roads, freezing cold weather, migraines caused by lack of oxygen and beautiful snow capped mountains, I rode though smooth tarmac, glorious weather, pure fresh air and breathtaking tea estates. Given the choice again I would definitely pick the latter.

Speaking of Ladakh, I had great expectations of the place. But somehow it was a bit of a let down for me. The main reason being the pathetic roads. The thing is you really can’t enjoy the passing scenery if your eyes are busy looking for potholes in front of you and your brain in continuously strategising how to avoid them. I remember at one point I noticed a beautiful snow capped mountain in my rear view mirror. I stopped to take a picture and then it struck me that I had passed the mountain and hadn’t even noticed it. I was too busy dealing with the road.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to ride on bad roads. I have bought and heavily modified a KTM Duke 390 for that very purpose. But that’s trail riding and I do it quite often. When riding a trail you need to concentrate on the path ahead of you and you really can’t admire the passing scenery. The two are mutually exclusive and maybe you will get to enjoy the scenery at the end of trail.

In my book, beautiful scenery and good roads need to go hand in hand. Sri Lanka has a lot of both.