Gurgaon - Faridabad expressway
I have just returned from a 250 km solo Sunday morning ride. Having showered and greeted the misses with an obsequious kiss (very important) and beer in hand I have this urge to pen this down asap before my emotions are usurped by the nothingness of city life.
Why do I ride? The question that I asked my self as I set out this morning was urgent to say the least. More so after the dreary week in the city that left me with my emotions running amok and my self esteem a few psi below par. Even though the weather was perfect and the leather jacket compensated just right, yet the question persisted, pasting it self square inside my helmet, like a heavy metal graphic.
Mid life crises? Nothing better to do on a Sunday morning? Bored with routine? Showing off? Depressed? Is it just another spare time activity? The clichéd responses that came up left me pondering each answer. I thought about each one in turn. Er.. literally.
So as the first corner appears – a 120 kmph left hander on the newly opened expressway connecting my city with a satellite neighbor I ask my self - Mid life crises? Hmm let me see. Isn’t that when you’ve been there done that? Isnt that when life begins to seem like it was delivered from the rectum of a Doordarshan News anchor? My left peg grazes the tarmac on the semi deserted twisty road. I steady her slight weave that has developed because of the touchdown. If I am in a crises, then I want more. More endorphins instead of cortisol. More doing it, instead of dreaming it. More passion less pain. Please.
I crouch down as I open her up, crossing legal speed limits when I ask – don’t I have anything better to do on a Sunday? The growl grows menacing as the revs climb. Tunnel vision vignettes around the edge of my helmet as the wind obliterates all sound around me. It’s a rush of blood to the head - if I were to re-pen the ‘Cold Play’ track. It would go:
“Why do I care about fairways or greens,
Sunday lunches or shopping sprees,
When all I sense is an iron extension of my skeletal being,
A big V twin heart racing like mine,
Toward an apex with a flawless face,
A moment caught forever in the curve ahead,
Ah the glory of a rush of blood to the head.”
And as if on cue, a downhill right-hander looms into my visor. The white markers strobe past in the perfect November morning light, contrasting sharply against the mirror smooth jet-black tarmac, lighting up the apex perfectly. The bike is now humming in synchronicity with the physics of the turn. Bored with routine? Now matter how many times I will come across this moment I will always revere it. Respect it - because there is nothing routing in taking a curve on a motorcycle. Alone. You want to do it again and again.
Am I showing off? Sure, it would be great if I had a stream of spectators, preferably pit girls screaming uncontrollably as I thunder past, just like a MotoGP rider. Or a flunky in a support vehicle taking pictures of me so I can put them on FB. But for now it’s the road and the moment. Spectators be damned. I am making my routine run on a Sunday morning and there is nothing routine about it.
I have been on the road for over an hour. Time for a cuppa, as I pull into a newly opened ‘dhaba’ next to a toll plaza. It’s surprisingly deserted. Mine is the only bike in the vicinity. I order an omelet pao and some chai and the weather is still holding. I smile as my thoughts go out to the hundreds and thousands of riders across the world who have spent this Sunday morning riding their motorcycles for the love of it. Feeling the same feelings as I did. Asking the same questions as I did. I raise my cutting chai glass to each one and think aloud, “Damn – its good to be a rider”
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