Four Wheels Move a Body, Two Wheels Move the Soul

So, why do some people get up at unearthly hours on a weekend, sneak around the house quietly so as to not disturb anybody else, wear uncomfortable gear and quietly steal out of the house. All this to then sit in a fairly uncomfortable position for a few hours, straining various muscles in the body and burn some fossil fuel. On top of all that, these people endure bad traffic, unfriendly vehicles, bad drivers and a lot more.

Seriously, why would anyone do that. Once, I had described how I woke at 4:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning for a 200 kms ride, the person I was talking to gave me an incredulous look and said, “you do this for fun?”
Which brings us back to the question ‘why on Earth would some people do this to themselves”. It is of course very easy to quote the Bollywood ghazal and say
hosh walon ko khabar kya, bekhudi kya cheez hai”, 
thus implying you would know it if you did it. 
But really it’s not that simple to get away from it. (bad translation – “what will the sober ones ever know about getting a high”)
Do all runners, cyclists and bikers have a masochistic streak in them which makes them torture themselves for fun. I think not!
I asked a few of my biker friends what makes them tick, hoping to understand my own affliction. The responses I got were interlaced with words like ‘meditation’, ‘love’, ‘freedom’, ‘exploring’, ‘camaraderie’ and others of a similar ilk.




I think all of these are part of why we ride.

In my own case I feel a surge of joy and freedom when I rip the throttle. Wind in the face, an engine between your legs, gently leaning in to corners and turns and in general being one with the machine. All of these things happen to me every time I ride. When you ride the mind clears up and you get a feeling of liberation where your mind is de-cluttered, all you have is the road in front and the machine below. I think the only thing that would come close, though I have not personally experienced it, is flying. I don’t mean flying an aircraft I mean actually flying like a bird, or maybe sky diving might give a similar surge; need to try that one day.
Even as short a trip as the neighbourhood store to get groceries is made joyous by the bike. Probably sounds silly to those who do not share a similar passion. For them of course I would point to the above quote.

Riding makes you feel like one with a machine. It is a strange bonding. You need to manage the beast with your whole body, not just the hands and feet but almost every part of you. When you turn, that is when you feel it the most. When a car turns it is trying to stay on course and is pushed outwards off the curve and the driver controls it to keep it in line. When a biker turns, the bike leans in to the curve and becomes one with the road. You really need to be a rider to fully appreciate this I guess.

Besides all the above things which are kind of solo, there is the camaraderie that you get. When you are riding with 10 other people, in formation the sheer joy of being part of a group of like-minded people and the wall of sound that you create which drowns out the world around is something to cherish.
Bikers are a homogenous group, while every biker is a complete individual, there are cruisers, dirt bikers, street bikers, but one thing that binds them all is that they are bikers. The moment you know the other person is a biker there is an automatic connection established between the two of you. This connection stays and binds you together like a family. The camaraderie is there for as long as you wish it to be.

The best part of riding a bike is the sensation it leaves behind long after, somewhat like Wordsworth’s Daffodils. I take the liberty of mis-quoting him here.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And roars on the road of thrills.

You could be behind your desk immersed in work and suddenly take a few moments off and be back in the saddle to burn the moment’s stress away and get away from it all. Of course just looking forward to a weekend ride is also a great way to get through the week.

There are many latent riders around. I often find people coming up to me saying “I have been thinking of getting a bike as well”. I sincerely urge them to just go ahead and do it. There is no joy compared to the release of riding, don’t hold yourself back at all just go for it. You don’t need to spend money upfront, you can hire bikes or even borrow them. Get in to the saddle and you will release the rider inside. 

Thunder down the road and leave all the worries behind in the exhaust fumes !!
Some fun quotes to do with bikes and biking ! 

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