If like this scouter you’re an adrenaline junkie, love the outdoors and mad crazy about driving, try your hand at light off-the-road (OTR) action this month. Given the super weather we’re having lately in Delhi, it’s the perfect time to get some slush, break in those new tyres and possibly some bones.
Gypsies and Jeep Knees
The best way to start any OTR journey is connecting with the community on social media like Delhi's Terrain Tigers, Offroad Connections, Mahindra Thar 4x4, and Thar Owners where you'll get all the pertinent deets. But if you’re crunch for time and looking for just a quick easy drive this week to start with, bpb’s latent off-roader lists down her top amateur OTR tracks in and around the city worth riding dirty.
Damdama Lake, Gurgaon: This track, off the golf course extension road, has narrow gorges filled with water, deep ruts, tough serrated and hard mud climbs as well as loose gravel climbs, and plenty of good descents. It’s ideal for amateurs with its stretched out off-road distance of over 12 km. Bonus: an acre water hole with plenty of slush. However, look out for the acacia bushes which will end up scratching most of your paint job.
Tijara, Alwar: A village in Alwar, about an hour and half drive from Delhi, but totally worth the trek. Sand dunes and rut crawling plus, you can get the beau along and make a weekend getaway out of it at the nearby fort turned into a rustic hotel by Neemrana.
Plots off the DND: This is where you’ll find one OTR group or another over the weekend. Plenty of open space but make sure you keep the tricks to a minimum- OTR activities tends to a draw an audience and sometimes stop traffic on the busy road.
Pachgaon, Manesar: Situated around the Amity Indian Military School area after Pachgaon village, it’s one of the best places for an amateur to burn some rubber. Though known more for its dry tracks it’s also super ideal for a family OTR; you can set up camp and have a fun lunch cookout in the forest. Also, don’t forget to trek up Temple Hill.
Like most adventure sports, off-roading will take a toll on your jeep and will cost you a pretty penny after every trail. Pimp out your 4X4 with protection and customized modifications by Made 4X4 Concepts and Bimbra 4X4. They provide snorkels, heavy duty bumpers, wrangler front grills, towing hooks, bad-ass tyres and rims, under-body protection/stone guards, roof light and more.
Getting there: Made 4X4 Concepts, for details call Hitesh Madhok at 9999115051, view their Facebook page here; Bimbra 4X4, call Tarun Bimra at 9810003704, for prices and booking call 9899175936/9312960788, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.bimbra.in for details, view Facebook page here.
Food & Drink
Ditch the boring picnic staples of crisps, candy and colas; pack a fun and wholesome snack basket from Coast Café instead. Try ricotta and tomato pizzette topped with bacon bits; creamy goat cheese, mint & almond pesto, fluffy house- made milk bread cucumber sandwich; sugar and cinnamon dusted churros; and moist chocolate devil’s food cake which comes with a slight crumble to snack on.
Getting there: Coast Café, Second floor, H-2, Above OGAAN, Hauz Khas Village, call 011-41601717, available throughout the day.
bpb OTR Tips
Off-roading is a team sport, so make sure you plan the day with a group of friends (you’ll need a spotter) or join an OTR group. Some organise family OTR day-trips and cookouts plus outdoor camping at Bhangarh.
Remember to fuel up the gas tank or carry a spare Jerry can.
Carry a comprehensive first-aid kit/box plus a basic handy toolkit in case of emergency.
Inform your family/friends about the trail/location.
Always carry a fully juiced up cellphone.
Be sure to lug along essential spare parts and tools like a flashlight/torch, accelerator cables, shovels, high lift jacks, bulbs, fuses, spare tyres, tow ropes, a can of coolant etc.
Carry plenty of drinking water and munchies.
Finally, have fun and get dirty!
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