This is an Interview with Mr.Vinu who has completed the BunBurner challenge. This is a challenge created by the IronButt association. You can find more details about it here. Previously we have talked about Melroy Alphonso who had completed the SaddleSore Challenge which requires one to cover 1600 KMs in 24 hours. Now let us see what a BunBurner has to say…
Naren: Hi Vinu, firstly, how did this whole idea of completing this BunBurner challenge come into your point? What is the point of origin for this?
Vinu: It has to be my Saddle Sore ride (1600+kms within 24 hours). I was able to finish the SS ride in around 22 hours and while I was getting close to the finish point I started thinking of the BB. After riding for 22 hours I felt I had lot of steam left in me and BB could be my next challenge.
Naren: Can you share your personal identity with us – What you are apart from a Biker?
Vinu: I am 26, born and brought up in a small town named Kollam in Kerala. Settled in Hyderabad with my parents since 14 years and hence that pretty much makes me a Hyderabadi 🙂 Minus the biking bit, I am pretty much an average Joe who likes to hang out with loved ones and close friends and do the normal things just like everyone else. Come to think of it adventures, anything that involves an element of risk etc. kind of fascinates me 🙂
Naren: What kind of planning are required before anybody plans to attempt this challenge?
Vinu: Planning is extremely important and to be honest it’s half the battle won if you are pretty much aware of what you getting into. Mentally and physically you have to be in shape and of course you need to pick the right route, set up the bike to meet the demands of the ride etc. I was aware of the road condition for the whole stretch of BB as I have ridden through the entire route previously during my touring adventures. I even knew exactly which fuel stations I will be tanking up. And if there is any town or city that you cannot by pass and might face heavy traffic jam then you have to plan the ride in a way that you cross that stretch either late midnight or early morning. And more than anything, with all the planning in place one has to be prepared for the surprise elements 🙂
Naren: How did you prepare yourself to complete this challenge – both mentally and physically?
Vinu: After the saddle sore ride, I was not in the greatest of physical shape. I had some issues with my cervical spine and some other back related trouble. Regular medication, physio therapy, ample amount of rest kind of got me back on track. Regular cycling, jogging and other endurance building exercise definitely helped. In terms of mental preparation – honestly I do not have an answer to that. I guess, end of the day it depends on how badly one wants to do it. I needed this real bad and that kept me going I believe.
Naren: What were the hurdles you faced en route which you can still remember?
Vinu: Apart from the usual fatigue and worn out feeling, there were few issues especially on the return leg of the ride. I had slight bleeding from my left ear for a while and my left eye was badly bruised – thanks to the army of bugs on the highway. (I do not feel comfortable riding with a closed visor in the night time)
Naren: When did your association with bikes start and what was your first bike?
Vinu: I have been riding around for close to 9 years now. I started riding only because of my late brother, Dhruv. He taught me how to ride, took me to the highway for the first time, taught all the tricks in the book. He was very fast, in fact really fast, yet safe. One of the best I have seen around. RIP. Hero Honda Passion, that’s where it all started.
Naren: Which is your favorite Indian bike and also tell us which is your dream bike – The one you would die to own?
Vinu: Currently I ride a Yamaha R15. It has pretty much done everything I could have asked for. Plenty of interstate rides, Stunting, been on the race track, been on the Ghats and has been part of two mammoth record rides. So no surprises, it’s definitely my favourite. Yamaha R6 is one of my dream bikes mainly due to its high revving nature. On a lighter note: — is bike advice going to gift me one? : P
Naren: Now that you’ve become a BunBurner, what are you planning to do next?
Vinu: I do have some plans for the future but my main focus right now is to get back to full fitness and I will need a bigger bike (at least a 250cc) to pursue the upcoming challenges. I cannot afford one myself and it’s almost impossible to head further without any kind of sponsorship coming my way for these kinds of rides. So you can pretty much say, I am back in the drawing room and things are in the planning stage.
Naren: What advice would you give to the readers of BikeAdvice who are planning to attempt this challenge in the near future?
Vinu: Plan every tiny detail as much as possible in terms of route, fuel stations, and every other little thing possible. Make sure you are in great physical and mental state. Make sure the bike is ready to face the demands of such a gruelling ride and have all the right set up for it. Try and gather as much information as you can from people who have done or attempted the ride etc. Make sure you understand your own physical capabilities as to where to draw the line in terms of how long you can ride at one stretch without a break, how long you can manage to stay up without sleep, without food etc. Once you know your own limits, try and work alongside them to achieve the goal. Keep yourself hydrated with water, carry plenty of Red Bull. And always wear safety gear regardless of; it’s a ride of this magnitude or a small one. Be positive and ride safe.
Naren: What do you think about BikeAdvice?
Vinu: BikeAdvice is easily one of the most respected and popular biking portals in the country as of today. I have been a frequent visitor to the site right back from the early days of 2008-2009. Knowledge base section is an all-time favourite of mine. Deepak and the whole team has been doing a really commendable job, way to go guys 🙂
Naren: Finally, who are all the key reasons behind you becoming a BunBurner?
Vinu: More than anything I had to do this for myself. Different things make different people happy and I believe in keeping my motivations real simple. I just wanted to be happy I guess:-) . And it goes without saying I owe so much to my loved ones especially for putting them through those agonising 35 odd hours during the ride.
Hope this post inspired you. Looking forward to your comments.