Friday, May 4, 2012

Personal Geography and the Tour of Bhutan

It's been a scant five years since I have known Vir Nakai, the other half of Helmet Stories. We felt an instant kinship, perhaps kindled initially by our inordinate love for red meat and dark rum that was further cemented as we rode countless miles over hills and down valleys, on roads smooth as a baby's butt to tracks blasted out of living mountains that took us on some excellent adventures to new and wondrous places. We have stolen precious time away from our families (thank you Amrit and Amrita) to expand the envelope of our personal geographies.  Meanwhile we are also trying to turn this passion for riding motorcycles into a business. Thus the adventure motorcycling travel company helmetstories.com was born.  We have also tried to share our rides through professional grade photography and writing through this blog. Over the last couple of years the blog has become du jour reading for adventure travel aficionados. We have also caught the eye of some of Indias best magazines and have done our thing with pen and light for magazines like Outlook Traveller and Autocar and their ilk. In fact Vir's story for Autocar on the Tour of Rajasthan was the most read story on Royal Enfields Facebook page.  However, despite common sense and the temptation to do so, we have not promoted our travel company on our blog. Instead we wanted the blog to be an ever growing repository of compelling stories on life on the road riding motorcycles--the simple joy of wind-in-your-face motorcycling.  For us, the touring company and the blog are two different animals serving different purposes. However, for some the perception is that we are tour operators (which we are) who do the blog to promote the business (which we don't).  So this raises a issue. If I'm on a media junket in my professional capacity as a journalist on the Royal Enfield's Tour of Bhutan, is it ethical to post on our blog since Royal Enfield is arguably also the biggest tour operator in the country?  So, to preempt any silly questions I'm going to post updates whenever I can on my personal blog at harshmanrai.tumblr.com So see you there and cogito ergo zoom!