I, The Biker

Riding along on my two wheel machine
The pavement takes from me the painful reprieve

Thoughts and fears leave my "brain cloudy" mind,
But only those that are worried or unkind

The sky expands my horizons, inner peace and compassion's
My soul rides beside me and intercepts all distractions

Reality is around me, but I have a cleansed mind to confront it
Frustration is behind me, the foe that cloaked and compounded it

Please understand that this is my sanction
It’s not the chrome or image or acceleration

It's not an escape or a good place to hide
It's approaching Zen that makes me ride

If this touches close to why you must ride
You are my brother or sister in kind

And I hope to share a few miles or a friendly high sign
As we pass while I'm out "Untangling my mind"
                                                                                ~Anon.

Anonymous! Yes, I don’t know who has written this beautiful piece of poetry. But I’m sure he or she must have known what it feels to ride a bike. Talking to pieces of metal put together, performing a symphony. To steer and move in unison without any differences of opinion, differences of liking, differences of thoughts. The sense of fighting against the elements – the wind, the rain, the sun. Revolting against this whole world in search of peace and tranquility. Reaching… attaining a state where it’s just you and your bike and the roads ahead… nothing else haunts your mind and nothing else matters…

The biking experience is such that after a few lines you fall short of vocabulary, even if you are a seasoned writer and a voracious reader.

Don’t really recollect when it all started? From the earliest of memories, I remember myself playing with toy cars, jeeps, trucks and planes. Typical male species. I had a fascination for automotives from early childhood. I still have some of the toys I used to play with and remember vividly the ones which were not so lucky to survive the test of time.
School and college days were spent collecting magazines and posters. Used to be regular reader of Auto India (one of the 2 or 3 auto magazines that were available). It used to reach news-stands of Solapur (my native) in third week of every month and I used to go to the vendor every day after 15th to check if it had arrived. Now-a-days I browse pages of auto magazines at Crosswords since there are atleast half a dozen of magazines that are published and I can’t be partial and pick only 1-2 of them. Still have collection of some 150 posters and few scaled models from BBurago.


Dhoom might have changed the biking scene in India. But my dreams of monsters on 2 wheels started way back. And my parents were aware of them. Someone’s dreams, other’s nightmares!!! I had to put up with Bajaj M80 during college days. Other guys used to pull up Bullets, RX100s and newly launched Pulsars and I had to be content with M80! Nevertheless, I did manage to get myself bruised couple of times even on my M80

The time came when I graduated and got my first job in MSTRC (State Transport). It was also a time when I fell in love. One ride was all it took for me to go bonkers for a Yezdi. It was a Classic example of love at first sight ‘err first ride. Very soon I got myself a Yezdi Roadking. 1994 make and in good condition. Bought it for Rs 7.5k and spend somewhere close to 10-11k. Not that it was not running well, but I had to make sure that people on the signal don’t recognize it and ask me ‘kitna average’ and ‘kerosene kya?’ It was a complete makeover… very much similar to ‘Pimp my ride’ or ‘Overhaul’ series that come on TV. That shade of blue coupled with silver and a bright orange colored chassis. Chrome-job and buffing. New lights, rims and God-only-knows what all things I did. It was as good as the rise of phoenix, a rebirth. I named it El Diablo, spanish for the Devil. My wicked alter-ego, perhaps waiting for take-off.

I came across a group of online bikers. And very soon I became a member of this Yezdi Club.

My first long distance was from Solapur to Lonavala via Pune. The occasion was Club’s 2nd anniversary ride. 40 yezdis, from Pune and Bombay, right from the 1952-54 models to the latest 1994-96 ones. I did some 800 kms in 3 days. But the experience can’t be described in words. It’s like… discovering that you are not the only one who’s crazy… that there are many more like you… who share similar passions… and are equally passionate about their passions. My firsthand experience of the brotherhood.


Rozi-roti took me to Bombay and then later on to my present home, Pune. Participated in many club rides, even did solos many times, rode with non-biker friends, with bike-hater friends. And mind you, every time it was a totally different bag of feelings that can’t be described in words.

For a brief time I owned a Rajdoot GTS, popularly known as Bobby and popularized by the movie with same name. But could not devote much time and resources (read money) to her.

These days I ride a Unicorn and it’s more of commuting and less of riding for fun. That’s because ‘first love’ has been replaced by ‘love of my life’ and my little baby daughter. Edits: now its another Honda called Twister!! downgraded from 250cc to 150cc and now to 110 cc :(

That does not stop me from dreaming. Dreaming big just as I used to. And the good news is that they are not nightmares for my better half. All India, Konkan strip, Goa are all on the cards. May be it’ll be some time before these materialize. But they’ll happen.

Favorite ride? There are many of them. Each one is all-time favorite at that point of time!
Favorite bike? Has to be my Diablo.
Next one? Perhaps a 400 or 600 import (as and when I save some savings and can afford one) Edits: Guess with rising fuel prices this will remain a distant dream :( 
Dream bike? Want to build one from scratch using an 800 engine. That one will be a real wicked bike!
Dream machine? Strangely happens to be a car… 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’…
Favorite biker quote? “Burn rubber, not your soul”

With this rapid fire round I’ll take your leave! And I hope to share a few miles or a friendly high sign. And make sure you always wear the lid (helmet in biker lingo) and ride safe! 

..........
My entry for the contest at Indiblogger.in
Link to the Bikers' Code FB page

14 comments:

  1. My entry for the contest at Indiblogger.in

    Link to the Bikers' Code FB page

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mmm! Well expressed. May you and your Diablo enjoy many more together moments

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow Abu!
    I guess I have met you somewhere on Mumbai-Pune highway, probably at Panvel. We have certainly noticed your Yezdi someday and have praised its charm :D :)

    Very well written post on Riding, and not just Biking. Too good, and thanks for sharing such a good piece of poetry too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are my brother or sister in kind
      And I hope to share a few miles or a friendly high sign


      Its been some time since I've rode long distance in especially to Bombay. I guess we'll have a common friend - Praveen Sathey currently rides a Bull but I know him from his Yezdi Days :P

      Mabbe some day we'll ride few miles together :)

      Cheers, keep riding...

      Delete
  4. P.S.: I should mention the link to Castrol FB page within your post and not just a comment...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Enjoyed reading your biking experience abu. All the best for the contest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maksood.. glad you liked it...

      Delete
  6. What an amazing journey.
    I still remember one of my Uncle owned M80 when we lived in Betul(M.P.)
    I had forgotten it but through your post I once again heard about Yezdi.
    Thanks for such a post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still have the M80 at my hometown. I use it when I go there :) First bike... how could I get rid of her ;)
      There are quite a few Yezdi enthusiasts. But the number of bikes and (availability of) spares is dwindling fast :(
      Donno what would be my next bike.... so the 'amazing journey' continues :)
      Glad you liked it Abhishek :)

      Delete
  7. Very nice article Abu...
    You seem to have had much fun during Yezdi days ;)
    Congratulations on winning the helmet :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Avinash, nice to see you on my blog :)
      Yezdi days were... unforgettable... that's the reason why I still don't want to sell it off.
      Saw your blog - nice start ;) you should compile more of your bike-trips there :)

      Delete
    2. I hope I'll get the right size helmet :P but winning the contest is nonetheless great feeling... especially after loosing CMC :(

      Delete