- Day 1 – From Limelight into the Woods
- Day 2 – Hustle in the drizzle
- Day 3 - One part brave, three parts fool
- Day 4 - Relaxed, Recharged
- Day 5 – Vagabond in transit
- Day 6 – To the lost Fortress
- Day 7 – French connections
- Road to ST7 – Did I make it?
Here I am, sitting in front of my laptop starring at emails from the Wrangler team and attending to phone calls from my friends. The last couple of evenings have been crazy preparing for the big ride. I have no idea where I am heading to, in the next one week. Ten riders, from all over the country have qualified as the finalists for Wrangler’s True Wanderer contest. The blogs of hundreds of contestants were put up online for public voting for a few weeks, from which the top 10 were selected. With quite a lot of support from all my friends, I’ve qualified to the finals.
Although its just me who will be riding, a bunch of friends have been helping me pull stuff together for the ride. Its now down to the checklist mode and I’m ticking off one by one, starting from imaging equipment and riding gear to bike spares and toilet paper.
My name is Praveen Selvam. I’m a rider from the South and I hand craft web based software for a living. What started as a personal diary of memorable travels, became a public blog and eventually encouraged me to ride all over India. Visit my website for more info. I’ve also completed a Saddle Sore 1600K on my Ninja, but haven’t registered it with the IBA.
There is no such thing.
How I got a lot of attention
When I first read about the contest, I was excited that someone actually likes the fact that we ride bikes and blog our experiences. I’ve been living a life like this for a few years now and found this a great opportunity to participate and read what other bloggers have written. I picked one of our best rides and posted it as an entry to the contest. It was a ride to the Himalayas that was about two weeks long. We had quite a lot of adventure during the ride and people who read the blog walked up and appreciated the content. I used Facebook to call out to people I knew and tell them that I needed their support. I initially tried sending out messages on Facebook, but after a point the system blocked me thinking I was a robot. I was forced to write out notes and tag friends to grab their attention. Although at the back of my mind I didn’t like being so intrusive, I had very few options with the time running out. Finally, things fell in place and I got a call telling me that I’d qualified.
It took me a few days to get done with the formalities and understanding the procedure for the ride. When done with all that, I had to now think of a much more sensible way that would be sustainable throughout the ride. I decided to create an online campaign where I could keep users informed of the ride. I provided an option for people to leave their email IDs so that I could keep them informed of the updates. For people on Facebook, I made it easier. I created a Facebook page for the ride and provided a Like button on the campaign page. With one click, I could save the interest of people who wanted to know more.
On the other side, I called my friends and we did a photo shoot to create an image of a biker with multiple hands holding a lot of gadgets, which we treated as a theme. We created posters and all of us stuck it in as many places as we could; from entrances to offices to places you will have to visit now and then.
Poster at the cafe