The School of Dirt

The School Of Dirt

What is it?

It is, simply put, a motorcycle off-road riding school. We use natural terrain and obstacles to train you how to ride your adventure motorcycle through real world situations so that you are well prepared should you decide to go to Ladakh or even around the world. We keep the numbers small for each batch because we like to know everyone by their first names and the helmets they wear. Keeping the number of participants small also ensures that everyone gets the attention they need while learning the nuances of climbing hills and jumping fallen trees. The School is currently based out of one out of the way location in Kerala and expansion plans are frequently discussed between the four who run it. These plans will see the light of day someday but for now, we love where we are and what we are becoming.

Who is it?

The School Of Dirt is run by three bearded and one clean shaven guy, each with a very specific job.

1. Rish John George a.k.a. Plunge because he runs a Stand Up Paddleboard/Kayak/adventure cycling outfit near Kottayam, Kerala called Plunge Adventures. Rish has years of riding over all kinds of terrain (his idea of a honeymoon was a three month trip across India on his Triumph Tiger for god’s sake!) and is the School’s backbone and support system.

2. Ashik Thomas a.k.a. I need a Tiger. Ashik started his trail riding ways the day he bought the Street Scrambler. He finished running it in over two days so that he could get the Vance and Hines exhaust on the bike ASAP. Ashik takes brilliant pictures, hijacks Rish’s Tiger way more than he should and goes into rapture every time someone starts his Scrambler. Oh, and in his free time, he established himself as one of the best wedding photographers this side of Asia. Go check out his instagram page which goes under the very clever @ashikthomas.photography

3. Ouseph Chacko a.k.a. #shortguyproblems is the instructor. No one here knows why he is the instructor other than the fact that Ouseph’s instagram page features many excellent pictures (taken by Ashik no less) of Ouseph riding his Triumph Tiger through impossible looking terrain. We know the real reason he gets his bike through difficult terrain is because he has no option but to make it through – his legs don’t always reach the ground. Nonetheless, he’s ridden over varied terrain, got stranded on a mountain pass in a snowstorm, eaten uncooked goat in Africa and lived to tell the tale and that, we suppose, qualifies him.

4. Govind Nair a.k.a. GoBro. He bought a Diavel Dark instead of a Hero 7 Black and we respect him for it. GoBro saw the other three struggling under the load of starting a school and being the good friend he is, offered to help out. Needless to say, we took full advantage of his kindness. No one actually knows what GoBro does at the School but given that he owns Kottayam’s coolest tyre shop (Club Saturn) and given an off road riding school’s constant need for tyres, conspiracy theories are flying thick and fast. We love you GoBro!

Where is it?

The School is currently located in the back of beyond. We are serious. It is near a colorful village called Kovilloor which is about an hour’s drive past the hill station of Munnar, Kerala. The School itself is situated at 6000ft above mean sea level so, unlike your regular school, you don’t sweat all that much when you’re trying to pass difficult tests. The area in which the school is situated is called Vattawada on the Kerala – Tamil Nadu border. Vattawada is surrounded by Shola forests and commercial Eucalyptus plantations and because it is rather underdeveloped, has stayed out of the ugly grip of makemytrip packages and its kind. Cell phone connectivity is very limited (BSNL is the only reliable source of Instagram) and it still remains one of the largely plastic free places in the Western Ghats.

When is the next one?

The next session is on the 11th and 12th of May 2019. This one is exclusively for Royal Enfield Himalayan owners and we are running it in association with Urban Locomote (Royal Enfield’s authorized dealership in Aluva, Kochi).

Itinerary:

Itinerary for The School of Dirt - Beginner Level for Royal Enfield Himalayan riders

May 11 & 12 at Vattavada

Day 1- 11/05/2019 Day 2- 12/05/2019 Price of entry ticket per person Rs 12,500

* Riders Reach Munnar top station by 3.30 pm and meet the team

* Ride into vattavada and settle at hotel.

* Briefing on the event at 6.30 pm

* Class on off-road riding basics and safety tips

* Bar be que Dinner with bonfire

* Training on bike settings

* Breakfast

* Gear scrutiny

* Stage 1 off-road training

* Lunch

* Stage 2 off-road training

* Event will come to an end by 4pm

* Riders will leave venue

Special price for Urban Locomote Customers- Rs 9,500 per person

Includes-

Off-road Training & class room sessions

Dinner & stay on 11/05/2019

Breakfast & lunch on 12/05/2019

Refreshment in between the training

Excludes-

Bike Rent

Fuel

Mechanical support

Terms & Conditions

1. All riders should wear certified safety full face helmet, high ankle boots, gloves, armored riding jacket and knee guards or armoured riding pants while riding the motorcycle. Gear scrutiny will be done prior to the event. Pillion riding will not be allowed at any circumstances.

2. Royal Enfield Himalayan can only be used by riders in this event.

3. Unauthorised photography will not be allowed.

4. Riders should follow all instructions of the Instructor during the event and his decisions regarding the training will be final.

5. Event manager has the right to make any changes in the itinerary without prior notice considering the weather and safety of the riders.

6. Nearest emergency medical facility is in Munnar town which is about 50kms away from the event location.

7. Stay will be on sharing basis. While at the place of stay, riders must follow all rules prescribed by the property management.

8. A mix of veg and non-veg food according to predetermined menu will be served at the place of stay. Since vattavada area is a small remote village area food choices will be limited.

9. Waiver of Liability should be signed by all riders before the start of the event.

10. Maximum 15 riders can be accommodated.

Booking requirements

1. For booking full amount should be paid to the following account-

Bank Details

State Bank of India

SME Kottayam Branch

A/c No. 67365172728

A/c-Plunge Adventures Private Limited

Ifsc code- SBIN0070652

Current Account

2. Last date for booking is 6/5/2019

3. For booking full name, address, a brief on riding experience and self and copy of driving license.( Booking form with feature to scan driving license)

4. Acceptance of Terms of conditions and waiver of liability.

5. Rider number allotment

6. After submitting online application rider needs to make payment to bank account and email bank transfer details.

Declaration & Liability Release

I acknowledge that I have voluntarily chosen to participate in the motorcycle offroad training event offered by Plunge Adventures Private Limited in the name School of Dirt. I acknowledge that the enjoyment and excitement of adventure travel is derived in part from the inherent risks incurred by travel and activity beyond the accepted safety of life at home or at work and that these inherent risks contribute to such enjoyment, being a reason for my participation. I also am aware that medical services may not be readily available or accessible while I am participating in the trip.

Although precautions are taken to provide a safe and enjoyable experience, there can be no guarantee of absolute safety against injury and accident. There are significant elements of risk in any adventure activity associated with the outdoors or wilderness including but not limited to Motorcycle rides and the use of related equipment.

I also recognize that I am undertaking an active holiday that contains an inherent element of personal risk, and that risk does sometime become a reality. I acknowledge the relative remoteness, weather conditions, and the limited and relatively primitive medical and other services available, as well as the greater potential dangers compared with my usual daily life, or conventional holiday travel. Not only do I accept these realities, I have chosen to seek them out. I recognize Plunge Adventures Private Limited responsibility to me and I accept the authority and decisions of Plunge Adventures Private Limited and its representatives in respect to the journey that I have applied to join. I also am in sound medical health of suffer from no cardiac illness or any other medical disorder which will hamper my participation in the activity.

I have also been given the safety briefing upon arrival, which covers all aspects of safety while I am in the care of Plunge Adventures Private Limited I have also been made aware of all risks in all the activities that I undertake with Plunge Adventures Private Limited. I hereby undertake to strictly abide by the safety briefing which I have heard, read and understood all aspects of my undertaking. If I act in contravention of the understanding of the safety briefing, I shall be personally liable, and shall not hold Plunge Adventures Private Limited responsible for any consequences that may follow from my actions in contravention of the safety briefing. I also agree to abide by all rules that the outfit and its guides have instructed me on, keeping in mind the nature of the trip I have chosen, and in the sensitive Reserved Forest Area I am visiting.

In consideration and payment for the right to my being permitted to participate in the trip, I have and do hereby fully assume all risk of illness, injury or death. Furthermore, I hereby release and discharge from liability and indemnify and agree not to sue Plunge Adventures Private Limited, their owners, officers, agents, contracted tour operators and employees, representatives and other persons or entities involved with providing the opportunity to take part in the trip, regardless of the cause of my illness, injury or death from all actions, claims or demands for injury or damage resulting from my participation in the trip.

I hereby give my consent to have me or my child treated by emergency medical personnel, a physician, or surgeon, in case of sudden illness or injury while participating in the above activity. It is understood that Plunge Adventures Private Limited will provide no medical insurance for such treatment, and that the cost thereof will be at my expense.

I authorize Plunge Adventures Private Limited to publish the photographs taken of me and our names, for use in various websites, Brochures, Online Promotions and for display in the facility. I release Plunge Adventures Private Limited from any expectation of confidentiality nor shall I receive financial compensation.

I have carefully read this agreement. I understand that it is a release of liability and contract between me and Plunge Adventures Private Limited and sign it of my free will.

Representatives of Plunge Adventures Private Limited for organizing this event are

a) Ouseph Chacko

b) Ashik Thomas

c) Rish John George

d) Govind Nair

Gallery