Posted on Nov 20, 2021 7:00:00 AM
A new dirt park outside of Pune offers a taste of the tough enduro world, with plenty of places to get stuck on a motorcycle!
As the off-road driving scene is finally starting to gain momentum in India, it is only a matter of time before more styles of off-road riding become available to enthusiasts. We have experienced flat-tracking at a few sites across the country before and places like CS Santosh’s Big Rock Motopark are great places to hone your off-road skills. The latest is Pune-based Dirtlogue 100 and it’s probably the first site in the country dedicated to giving you a taste of the hard enduro world.
If you’re unfamiliar with what it is, just type ‘hard enduro’ into the YouTube search bar and get ready to get your mind blowing. Obviously, Dirtlogue 100 is not designed to meet the needs of world-class runners, but it is intended to allow people to experience the sport. Dirtlogue is the creation of the Autologue design, in association with clothing brand 100kmph and Castrol Power1. It is installed in the Autologous property in Hinjewadi, outside the city of Pune.
Confronting the intimidating-looking swing was a classic case of mind rather than matter.
The course was designed by off-road rider Suraj Giri, who is also one of the site’s trainers. I clearly remember walking into the room and feeling my stomach knot a bit – this place is not designed to be easy! To be fair, there are two parallel runs planned, one being a lot less intense, but the few of us who rode all jumped in; because why not!
The very first obstacle is straddling a fairly large tree trunk that is lying flat on the ground. This requires a significant commitment to the clutch and throttle, as well as shifting your weight off the handlebars while standing. If you get it wrong, you’ll hit the bike housing guard right on the shaft, which believe me is a sickening feeling.
Fluency, vision and momentum are your best friends in a situation like this.
The route then takes you through all kinds of obstacles, including more tree trunks, big cement pipes, a long bed of car tires, and spooky rocks. There are also some quintessential obstacles like the swing, where you literally get on a giant swing and time it perfectly so that it swings to the other side once you’ve cleared the balance point. This one was the scariest of the lot, but like all the other obstacles, the key is to listen to the coaches, trust the technique and control your pace. The whole route is slow, but very technical and you will never leave first gear.
Dirtlogue 100 is now open to the public and you can visit their website for more details. There are subscription payment models planned, but it will cost you Rs 750 for four hours of practice or Rs 1,250 for four hours of training. You’ll need to book about five days in advance for a practice session, but free practice will be readily available on weekends when coaches are available. The organizers have rightly pointed out that customers can only get there if the coaches are available, and first aid medical assistance will be available on site.
Coach Suraj Giri demonstrates the only obstacle we chose to jump!
You can bring your own bike to Dirtlogue, but make sure it has a bash guard. Dirtlogue currently has two bikes for hire – an Impulse and the Xpulse that you see me driving. They plan to get a few more in the coming weeks and these will cost Rs 2,000 per session – all damage charges will be your responsibility. CE certified off-road equipment is mandatory
Founder Mukul Nanda tells us that Dirtlogue is about to grow, with more obstacles added, including those adapted for ADV. They are also planning to introduce weekend hikes to the area with overnight camping included. This is a good idea because the hard enduro might not be everyone’s cup of tea, as evidenced by the number of automotive journalists who arrived at the inaugural event, but never rode. .
It’s easy to see why and I remember feeling like there was a swarm of butterflies in my stomach as I stood in line as the first stranger to walk the course. But after the tour was over I realized it wasn’t as scary as it looks and you are rewarded with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. With the right guidance there is a lot of potential to improve your riding skills at Dirtlogue 100 and I will definitely be going back to learn more.
Photography: Kaizad Darukhanawala
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