Its been a few years since i took the motorcycle on a long ride. The last one must have been when Cathy and I went to Kerala about 3 years ago. Since i prefer to ride bicycles instead the shift has slowly happened. I rarely ride the motorcycle in the city and usually just to drop something off or when i have a meeting outside office. Those days are few and far between. I remember a time when i used to ride without a helmet or a safety jacket. Rain or shine it was me and a old jacket i had and would ride through all terrain possible. When i went to Leh on the motorcycle a few years ago i managed to buy supplies only in Delhi. This was after a friend insisted that i buy an additional tube and a pump. I had no idea that there wouldn’t be any puncher shops on the way. These were good times, no responsibility just do whatever pleased you.It dint matter how dangerous the roads were since those thoughts did not even occur. Over the last few years i discovered that i enjoyed riding my bicycle over long distances and slowly started to use the bicycle on tours. Those were fun too.
A few months ago i wanted to ride my motorcycle down to Kerala to meet my soon to be in-laws for Christmas. On the day i was supposed to leave we weren’t able to find a dog sitter so i stayed back at home. So that ride got cancelled. A few weeks later i was supposed to ride down to my wedding but my Mum wouldn’t let me do that. She insisted i come with her. After all of this i kinda forgot about the ride. We travelled for a bit and most on it in trains.
A couple of days ago i had to go to Mysore on work and decided i would ride down. I wanted to ride the bicycle since i it was time to kick start my training for the trans am bike race next year. When i woke up in the morning i got kinda lazy. I had a little work to do and kept putting off my departure time. Finally decided i would leave at 1 am in the morning. Unfortunately for me it poured like crazy the previous night. Bangalore when it pours turns to a large swimming pool. Since i cant cycle / walk on water had to find another way. I finally decided to ride down on the motorcycle. The motorcycle isn’t in the best condition and takes a while to start.
Woke up at 5 am and got dressed. Wore my really kickass safety jacket that has been gathering dust for a while. Spent about 20 mins stating the motorcycle and finally it worked. In the first 5 mins of the ride i discovered that the brakes didn’t work too well. Anyways once you start you have to keep going. Got on the highway and wanted to buy a cigarette. Bought a smoke and started the motorcycle. In a couple of minutes i see a car spinning in the middle of the highway. A truck had come out of a side road and the car was unable to stop on time and slammed into it. Thankfully the people were ok, well all except the driver. Called an Ambulance and he seemed fine after a few minutes. Th part that got to me was I was that i was a minute behind, just enough time i had taken to stop and buy a smoke. After 3 years of not riding a motorcycle this is the first thing that happens. Earlier i would see these kinds of things happen and it didn’t affect me, turns out after a while it does. Anyways after a few minutes later i notice a bunch of cops on the street pulling a car into an empty space. The car was totalled. The car was coming down the other side when the driver lost control and flipped over to this side. I did not stay to find out what happened to the people, kept riding on. Anyways as i slowly got towards Mysore it started to rain. I ride at about 80 on the highway (which is slow by any standards) but now with the rain i was slower. I don’t understand how people drive at 140 km/h when it rains.
Got to Mysore without incident. The next day i had to go back and that went well too. I think the only time i had a problem was starting the motorcycle when it had rained the previous night. Now coming to will i ride again, ofcourse. I have ridden motorcycles plenty of times long distances and most likely will continue to do so. To me buses and trains just doesn’t cut it. The freedom to stop anywhere and go anywhere that ay not be according to plan is appealing. The only thing i can do is to hope and stay safe.
A prayer before a ride helps putting my mind at ease. Cheers