“When I ride there is no comfort of the air conditioner,
the condition is the air is the comfort.
When I ride I listen to the gentle walk of waves,
the voices being carried by the wind to a place I can commute within.
When I ride I remember friends, family, foe, forgotten,
friends in the machine and in flesh and blood.
Clear thoughts, clear head,
to come back upright,
to come back right.
A loved one’s wish,
never ride faster than your angels can fly.” : Anonymous, but a true motorcyclist for sure
When was the last time you felt free? Free from the boundaries that surround you, free from the regrets that plague your mind, free from the speculation of the times ahead and most importantly free from the inability to live in the moment? Some of us are free, all the time. Some not. Everyone has his own escape. I found mine pretty early in life.
I was steering an Ambassador and changing its gears when I was 9 years old, blame my height. But after two years I was riding a motorcycle. When most of my friends graduated to their “Big Boy’s” bicycles, I was going to the tuition riding a Splendor.
The bug of machines was always there and I felt sheer joy trying to understand how they work and what makes them work. But the real joy existed in riding them, I realized then. Mind you, I am not talking about driving, cars are boring. You sit on a comfy chair and move your hands, meh.
They say, “Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul”. Talking about personal experiences, I have never found something this surreal, true, exciting, raw, thrilling and involving. Be it a cruiser, adventure bike, Race bike or ever a scooter. When you ride, nothing supports you. You are on your own, battling all the elements, to reach your goal.
The engine is rumbling, the wind is hitting hard on your helmet, as the speed goes up, adrenaline starts filling in your blood and you leave everything behind. Every single thing.
All you have is the road in sight, you and your machine, being one, ripping apart tarmac underneath and worries above. The moment you think of something else, you crash. You got to stay in the moment, take every input in and react to it without even thinking. Exactly.
And now comes the interesting part, goal. For some, the goal is to ride 1000kms. Some want to hit the Leh-Ladakh’s notorious roads. Some simply commute. And some find that line on the road which requires the least amount of braking, brake as late as possible, hit the apex, pin the throttle early and go as fast as possible. That’s me.
To be honest, it’s a shame that India is nowhere when it comes to motor-sports. We can blame the economy, it’s an expensive sport. And all we enthusiasts can do is do highway trips where we can stretch the muscles of the powerful engines of our bikes. I ride a Yamaha YZF R3 and it can do 190 kmph all day long. But I am afraid I might find a bunch of old people playing cards in the middle of the highway, India right.
Italy and Spain are the major suppliers of world-class racers and India are nowhere in the scene. The Budh International Circuit charges a bomb for anyone willing for a track day. All we have are the Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore and Madras Motor Sports Club, Chennai with maintained and operational tracks.
I am itching to hear the Indian national anthem being played on a MotoGP or Isle of Man TT or even Moto2/3 Podium. Maybe the generation we are going to bring up will find its way up there.
- Sawan Parida
Sawan is an MBA first-year student in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a biking enthusiast.