Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Sugary Life So Far

For those of you who don't know, here's a picture of Sugar-

It's almost been 2 months since I own this lovely sand-colored beast. The kilometer count is around 3k, and I've been on one 1k ride on this darling. I got it from my hometown Salem and I ride this to office everyday.

What really matters is what follows. And I can't even tell where I stand.

How it all started? 

An old colleague taught me how to ride when I used to work in Pune. It was on his twister that I learnt how and when to change the gears, how to balance the bike, how to not let the bike switch off and how to ride/balance with a pillion.

September 2015 I got to know that I can rent bikes.  And that I could rent a GT. And boy, does that bike look bright and sexy... and small. I thought it was small. Small enough to just take a ride and get used to biking. Neither did I know that it was a cafe racer nor did I realize the concept of it.

Some Saturday while calling a few places to rent a GT, I found out that a bullet was available. I was too thirsty to ride a bike now. I used to think it will look cool if I can go around on a geared bike to see new places around Bangalore, which I was already doing on my Pleasure. I was scared but I told him I'll take it. I had a little practice with colleagues' SlingShot, Unicorn and Avenger.

I took the bullet and there it begun; the love for the bullet. I'd say the upright seating position and its comfort, got to me first.

Rode here there everywhere and got used to motorcycling during the weekends. In December I wanted to buy a bullet for myself. I went to the showrooms and inquired about it. Got to know the rates were lesser in my hometown in TN. Broke quite a few FDs and got one in January!

And a new chapter in my life begun.

Passionate riding

I had got a GT between the bullet weekends and I before I gave it back feeling uncomfortable, I met someone who owns a GT. We rode together and I got to know loads about the cafe racer that day. End of the day I ended up hitting a 140 kmph on it and feeling comfortable on its wasp seat. Now that one teeny thing I'll always be proud of. Then I rode to Chennai solo, to attend a wedding. To Hassan-Belur-Halebeedu alone. To my hometown, Salem, alone. Knowing absolutely nothing about riding or touring, or the bike. And I thought all this was passion. 

I rode with experienced company to Gokarna. That was after I got Sugar's first service done at 700 Kms. Now this ride changed everything. 

Passion is tasting the ride, listening to the thump and feeling the vibrations. It's swaying along with the bike, syncing your heartbeat with it's thump, more like the connection in Avatar.

Passionate riders live to ride another day. They preach safe riding and build brotherhood among them men.

It's not just with power, but also with passion, that there is a great responsibility attached. 

To me, riding with the helmet on always, is a respectable decision the riders take. I will always respect that. I also promised myself I will not break any rule once I set foot on the Sugar's foot peg. You always keep a promise you made to yourself, don't you?

Practicing passionate riding

Riding or rather, touring. Passionate or rather, safe.

Shifting from a gear-less to a geared motorcycle feels like I'm learning to dance after learning to walk. I'm having to use all 4 limbs now.

Additionally, being in constant check of the rear-view mirrors is a habit I am still practicing. Braking using the right leg and halting with the left leg is also something I'm getting used to. Releasing the clutch and raising accelerating in sync, shifting the gears at the perfect time, balancing the bike without using the leg often in traffic and smooth braking are only a few things I'm at these days.

I used to think there are roads, curves and speed-breakers, with the gear-less moped. Now there are different types of roads, curves and speed-breakers I've rode on. Different acceleration mechanisms on different roads, different speeds on different curves and a different gear for different speed-breakers.

Life after Sugar

I used to think riding without the rear-view mirror was cool. Now after knowing how important they are, I can't respect the bikers that ride without the mirrors.  

I assumed riding was all about the "wind in the hair". Now after a minor fall I know how important the helmet and the riding gear are. 

I was thinking that I'll learn riding all by myself and that I do not need inspiration. But when passion meets passion things change for good. 

I thought riding was just waking up, taking a bike and leaving. Now I know I have a few things to check; like the chain lube, the air and the fuel tank, before riding. 

I felt the default seat and handle-bar are the most comfortable the bullet can get. But hey,.. Customizations!

The eyeballs and craning necks make no sense anymore. Salsa-ing with Sugar everyday and taking him out on weekends and to far off places in the future are all that I think of. 

With loads more to learn, signing this journal off with a pic of Sugar.