Royal Enfield Astral Ride: Chasing Starlight

Starring a bike, a photographer and some bends

From the concrete jungles of the city to the blissful yet unforgiving Himalayas of the North. This is an Odyssey you should partake in and allow yourself to ride endlessly towards.

There’s a saying that went around the camp during our trip with Royal Enfield. “If you look at the scenery while riding, you’ll become a part of it” and that resonates to the importance of not just riding as a group but also how important it is to get off the bike and enjoy the vivid display of mother nature. Mountains no longer feel like tiny triangles from the back of your childhood notebook. They’re intimidating mammoths towering over your delicate existence and yet manage to invite your adventurous excitement with vivid scenery and chilly thrills. Astral Ride loves biking and photography in equal measure and if you share the same sentiment, there’s no other Ride quite like it.

Photo credits: Navaneeth Unnikrishnan

FOLLOW THE LEADER

Like the Himalayan Odyssey, Astral Ride is Royal Enfield’s way of organising a riding experience and this time it’s infused with life-changing photography destinations and a classroom full of throttle junkies learning how to capture it.

That’s primarily the focus point of Astral Ride. It’s to collaborate two different sets of situations where you’ll not only enjoy riding from one place to a other, but also learn how to take amazing photos of the places you visit.

We had a seasoned ace photographer, Navaneeth Unnikrishnan, teaching us how to capture the Milky Way and even how to edit the RAW files in post. Have you ever learned how to do astro-photography next to Pangong Tso lake in the middle of the night? Ya, it’s pretty adventurous.

At all times you’ll be riding between the Lead and the Sweeper. As the name suggests, you don’t get ahead of the Lead and the Sweeper will make sure you don’t get left behind. Royal Enfield will take care of fuel and flats and any problems you face, rest assured your only focus will be on enjoying the ride.

Photo credits: Lifeworks Studios

Places to visit

HANLE OBSERVATORY

The reason why Hanle was chosen for observing glowing tiny dots in the sky is because you can see those dots very clearly. Hanle is mostly dry with clear skies throughout the year. It’s sparsely populated and pollution is as alien to this land as the ones they’re searching for. Ok, they’re not looking for aliens here, but Area 51 might be jealous to know that there’s a 2-meter telescope in the world’s 9th highest observatory.

Photo credits: Lifeworks Studios

Equipment

Other RE Rides to look out for

Astral Ride: Fused with photography and a mini Himalayan Odyssey. This is a photographer’s delight.

Himalayan Odyssey: The most famed Royal Enfield Ride filled with throttle junkies and enthusiasts that spend more time on the bike than in office.

Tour of Uttarakhand: Twisty roads coupled with the best vistas of the Himalayas? Look no further.

Coastal Trail: Food, beach and more food. The Coastal Ride, as told by our colleagues, is filled with fun roads and a giant heap of delicious food. It’s a foodie favourite and the writer’s too.