For the select few, life has a tendency to cringe at the edges of sanity and luckily the author of the ensuing blog post has been gifted with the same. Though not being able to boast of extravagant excursions to remote locations there is something that binds this biker to his vehicle. From a personal perspective his bike is no less than an extension of the soul. Justification for such a cheesy statement might not be understood by the non-believers but an attempt would be made throughout the write up.
Like all middle class 14 year old boys, a bike was the ultimate dream; it signified rebellion, freedom and the personification of exemplary awesomeness. As time progressed other parameters too gained relevance but restricted themselves to penultimate positions, the ability to commute any distance without being dependent on public transport was superior to other desires. Though the author did not own a two-wheeler until he was 19, he was able to manoeuvre one well before the prescribed minimum age limit.
The story of his attachment to these vehicles initiates on the old scooter of his father, progresses to gearless vehicles of colleagues and abruptly ends at 100cc motorbikes of first cousins. The ladies, the adrenaline rush, innocent crimes of evading police barricades, negotiating for not having a license and the age old, ‘sit student hai’ rhetoric to be let off for not wearing a helmet are still fresh in the conscience. As time progressed the less discovered routes to outmanoeuvre traffic constables were a standard feature and the bike was an indispensible entity in day to day life.
As first year graduation bombarded into life, the author was considered ‘responsible enough’ to ride a bike and hence given the option of purchasing a ‘suitable’ vehicle. There was an abundance of options in the market, weeks of deliberation were put into force, experts from all walks of life were considered in the hunt for the perfect vehicle. Innumerable trial runs, late night discussions, each and every parameter had to be considered before settling on a single choice. The vehicle could not be too fast, too slow, too flashy, too discreet, pink, too popular, completely disregarded, too expensive, too cheap and vague(still not understood what describes a vehicle as such but this too was a parameter).
Apache 180 RTR (Black) – It is impossible to describe what prompted the purchase of the vehicle that was shortlisted, it was quick, responsive, nibble and yet rebellious as if teasing the rider to push the limits. There was a sense of defiance that the vehicle exhibited, the front and rear disk brakes ensured safety but at the same time demanded agility, the 17.3 BHP engine roared when pricked but purred when cruising. If being honest, the escalation from a perky 100cc bike to a magnanimous 180cc powerhouse was no less than murderous for the zealous enthusiast. The first 255 kilometres were covered within 3days mostly travelling across the city intimating relatives and friends.
The first service (600 kilometres) was piloted within a week and then the true power of the reprobate engine was unleashed. The streets were filled with riders who appreciated a casual race; the rules were simple, on any road, anywhere, anytime if you see someone faster than you beat him. The fanaticism for this form was such that often lives were at risk due to the heavy traffic and insane speeds but the adrenaline and pride surpassed all collateral damage. A few regulars were always on the prowl to settle scores, luckily despite not having much experience, this vehicle managed to squiggle out a win from amidst the ostensibly antediluvian four-wheelers.
It is not that the journey has always been a bed of roses, time faster than ever was quick to leave scars irreparable and accidents left stinging memories and horrific flashbacks. Yet the rider refused to die down, life is obsolete if surrendered to failures. The relationship with his bike taught him to never shy away from struggle and to look forward to every new day as another opportunity to surpass fellow commuters in the journey of life.
Due to multitudes of constraints, the author is compelled to conclude his attempt to enunciate the regard for the two wheeler of his life. A friend once paralleled riding a motorcycle to fornicating and said, “Sometimes it is better to go solo as you need not speed up or slow down to suit the passenger(s)”.
An article expressing my regard for my bike had been thronging my conscience since time immemorial but The Castrol Power1 Blogging Contest prompted me to put my thoughts into action. You can get an insight of them at – Castrol Biking or at Indiblogger .