I was simply Bullish:
Whoever said it; I can only give kudos to him or may be a facebook like. But yeah I did feel that day : Head steady, clear vision, the winds pass you by, with calmness in your mind and aggression in your heart , you muscle the palms – the kick of joy is felt when the realization comes that you still have a gear left
It gets that kiddo out of you in true senses!!!
The above paragraph very much describes 90% of the time what I did on my first ever long tour on a bike. It was planned to be a 600km round trip ecstasy covering the well planned roads and the green carpeted mountains between Bangalore to Coorg. All is well and all was well till I reached the apex of my overconfidence. Incidentally it became the USP of the tour. I will come to that in a moment.
Right from the start, everything was just perfect and simply bookish as per the standards of a 21st century bachelor – a delayed start of 6 hours, miss of luggage, remnants of a hangover, skipped breakfast and what not. But hey, know what?? We still had our basics right. Yessss . Five of us had very well serviced bikes by the previous night itself with enough of fuel to burn. What else is required for a bike trip ? J
To cut it short, the onward journey was a dream come true. Butter-smooth straights, speedy turns, hilly curves, breathtaking overtakes, relaxing breaks, naughty gear shifts and the silently understood racing with unknown bikers – all under a soothing weather.
While returning, we visited the Tibetan temple near Coorg and started off. Among my fellow mates , I was always being appreciated for my sound biking skills. I too was confident but then I guess I reduced my factor of safety a bit too less. This is what happened. After a small break we decided to stop only after covering around 100 km so that we reach Bangalore in the daytime itself. It was 3pm that time and we had 2.5 hours in hand to cover 200+ km before its dark. So I was all pumped up. Within seconds we were touching the red marks on the speedometer. And then...
My friend was alone on his biking riding in front of me and there was another friend of mine as my pillion rider literally dozing off. The distance between the two bikes would have been around 30 meters. And 100 meters ahead of that, I saw a bull on the side of the road walking slowly. There was no hint of danger at all. But suddenly the bull started running and I was like “ok what’s the big deal?”. It then suddenly took a turn towards the traffic as if it wanted to intercept us. My friend on the first bike, surpassed the bull by millimeters from the tail lamp. I was still cool and all in control. The problem arose when in the next few microseconds the bull stopped on the mid of the road and I am 20 meters away from it @80kmph. I remember vividly what I thought then after: 0th-1st second
The bull has stopped on mid of the road. So I will cross by taking a small left. Easy.
1. Wait!!! Why the bull is turning to its right now (that is my left)?? I mean it came from left to right stopped for a moment and now taking a left back. It is a bull or a deer? So swift? What the hell!!!
2. So now I have to take a right and hence I first checked what is coming from the front as it was a 2-lane highway.
3. I checked the right hand side rear view mirror if it is clear. Okay. All set to take a right. 1st-2nd second
4. Phewwwww. Now why the bull is coming to my right again??? Opinion changed: Not a deer but a snake it is!!!
5. Dude are you gonna hit it? You are gonna spoil your career record of zero accidents!!!
6. Okokok, concentrate Man!! May be there still is a way.
7. Hmmmmmm. No!!! You have to apply the brakes now. No other way out.
8. Ok I have my foot on the brakes now. 2nd-3rd second
10. I have hit the BULLL. Oh shuxxxxxx!!!!! Am I gonna topple or gonna have a somersault.
11. My friend is now awake and we had that humpty-dumpty kind of fall. 3rd-5th second
12. Wowwwww!!! We dint topple at that speed?
13. Ooops! The bull had flying jump in the air.
14. It fell and immediately got up and ran to the other side of the road. So agile again? Nooooo. Not a snake but a mongoose. Confirmed!!!
So here I was. 5 seconds ago, I was happy and satisfied with my life and about everything around me. And now I am sitting on the mid of the road with people running towards me. I was shattered not coz I had an accident and that my record no longer exist but coz the dearest of my life, my bike, my karizma was split into two!!! . The hood/front cowl was completely ripped off from the rest. It was exactly like the scene in a mythological serial where a monster chops the head from the body of its opponent and the body parts are lying down on the ground. I was petrified in all senses.
Regained my conscience not physically but theoretically.
We got up. The villagers around came to our rescue. Indeed they were extremely helpful.
We all gathered and had a small break again. Mean while few of guys around tied the front cowl of the bike to its body with an aluminum thread. Indicators were broken, the foot rest was gone, the gear lever had a bent and lot fiber parts on the road. I waited.
By now, my friends had asked me a ton of times whether am fine or not. I was fine. Thank GOD.
We had some snacks and sipped some water. I waited.
Now I could not resist despite my friends resistance. I crossed the road to reach my bike.
With a very sad mood I touched my bike. Saw it from all the directions. And then I tried my chance on the kick.
It started in the first kick itself!!!! BINGOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
Now all I wanted was – Lets GO guys! Literally my friends were taken aback. Fortunately, I just had a sore back, few minor scratches on my knees, elbow and palm and that is it.
After constant urging and requests, they let me ride again. We decided to go slowly and let it be dark if needed but we will not ride fast. I was all green to it. We resumed our riding spree and soon we were in 100 + speed dimensions. I was back again!!!
Again, whoever said it; I can only give him kudos or a facebook like : It is never about the trip or about the target place we want to reach or about the highest speed we acquire, it is always about those moments, those mysterious moments of rendezvous with your soul, that time around you, you always enjoy the journey and not the destination. Lessons learnt:
1. Never be overconfident about the trip.
2. If possible get a bit of safety gear.
3. Its not the speed but the control over the bike that gives the rider a satisfactory thumbs up. Yeah I meant control on all sorts of terrain.
4. Irrespective of what happens, enjoy and cherish your riding