The second day of the event began by driving to the scenic location where the off-roading trophy was held, but this time, we were here not only to witness off-roading but also experience it ourselves. Mahindra Adventure had arranged a training camp for customers who wanted to learn the basics of off-roading. The basic requirement was the will to learn, as the brand provided almost everything else, including the vehicles to be used during the training.
The first task
Using the 4x4 capability of the Thar, the first task was to climb down a slope, wade through some shallow waters and come up another gradient. Our trainers here, including one sitting in the passenger seat as well as one trainer doing the spotting for our car, told us to leave the accelerator pedal before going down the slope. There were strict instructions not to use the brake or clutch and let the car take its own pace. Now usually, in such cases, any other non-4x4 car will hurtle down the decline but not these. Our Thar in question gently made its way down the slope without any drama, thus boosting the driver’s confidence in the next challenge. The trick for taking the vehicle up the slope was simple but not commonly thought of. The vehicle would have to be backed up for a small distance and bring the car a little before the start of the slope before pressing the pedal to the metal in order to get going past the incline. After a short few celebratory moments upon successfully completing the task, we headed towards our second and final obstacle for the day.
The second task
The second task was similar to the first task, the significant change being that the slopes were angled at about 60 degrees. While all the participants were able to drive the Thar down the slope without breaking a sweat, it was the complete opposite situation when on the incline. A majority of the participants, including yours faithfully, were unable to complete the ‘up-hill’ task. Nonetheless, we (all the participants) enjoyed not only the obstacles, but also the enthusiasm and energy with which all the trainers and marshals put up with, including splashing a little muck on them every now and then, unintentional, of course.
Did I mention that every participant was given three chances each to attempt all the obstacles before a DNF was declared? Maybe it was in all the excitement of telling, err, penning down this experience that it must have slipped my mind. That said, I will not forget to plan and take some time out and attend the complete training at the academy in Nashik.