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SPEAK YOUR MIND

WHY I RIDE?

Its one of those short and simple looking questions, but answering it puts you into a deep introspection.

Biking is not one of the comfortable means of travel. But it reveals a lot more than other modes of transport to people who love to ride and travel. And the insight into this love for bike touring gets deeper and clearer as one spends more time on the road.

Read on, for answers other than, "I ride coz I love it." not that, that isn't a good enough reason. In fact, it's the most valid reason. But it's too personal, too concise and carries the risk of sounding too clichéd.

Pour out your thoughts too, to us on theride@60kph.com. After a few more kilometers you might discover another facet of your love. Don't forget to keep us posted on that too. After all, what's a journey that doesn't teach you something new every time?


RESPONSES TO Y I RIDE? FROM 60KPH MEMBERS..

HISTASP____________________

I for one have begun to introspect so much, and have come up with so many reasons why I ride. However, I did come up with a common factor in every reason, which is that:
"I RIDE FOR SATISFACTION"

Satisfaction of a dream.
Satisfaction of an adventure.
Satisfaction of a desire to explore.
Satisfaction of a desire to control a mechanical object.
Satisfaction of a desire to see a pretty head turn.
Satisfaction of a desire to see a villager in awe.
Satisfaction of a desire to see a little kid wave.
Satisfaction of going into places not accessible by larger/bulkier vehicles.
Satisfaction of romancing the roads with just me & my babes (Naz & Naztu/Enfie)
Satisfaction of seeing the pride on my parents face when I returned from Ladakh.
Satisfaction of being one with nature without the shackles of a car's roof / window, and yet have the ability to travel like one.
Satisfaction of being a part of a great group - 60KPH !!!

AMOL____________________

Well Personally I ride as I Just plainly love riding...
But I love photography, going places, meeting people and know about their culture and give them what I have....
I am hooked to it? Yes I am the Hook myself I believe all guys who reply are hooks themselves:))
Above all my motto: Machine responds favorably When Treated As Human Being. The meaning I take here is, when u are riding alone some where, someplace, its my Himalayan Monk which is with me, nothing else but my bike is my life........

JOY____________________

Why do I ride, and why am I mad obsessive about it ? Well the best thing I realized on my bike is that it gives me a kind of intense meditation, a feeling that takes me out of this world, takes me out of all earthly thoughts, to the true spirit to being one with nature, loving the road, trees, sky and yes, my country. The best feeling riding has given me is the realization that our country is a lovely place to stay and roam about. I felt like a king while thumping alone along a narrow stretch in Goa, with a slow beat at 60kph.
Apart from the three-dimensional pleasure while riding, there is the satisfaction of visiting the remote places, meeting new people and seeing new cultures. There is no end to the pleasure of being on the road. I feel it too strongly now, being out of my country and out of the road.

p.s. joy is presently working in USA, pining to be back in India and back on his bike.

SALMAN____________________

Ride on road of self discovery, for in discovering ourselves do we truly discover the world around us..

VINOD____________________

Riding, traveling, all this - I guess its just a different state of mind that one slips into. It's more about being able to let go of everything else and just enjoy the moment. Rarely does it happen in our everyday lives, but when I'm riding, I'm kinda able to be more relaxed. Being to new places, knowing about the different cultures, their WAY OF LIFE - it's a different experience altogether. It needs to be experienced to really understand it.
Its like a bullet - unless you ride it, you wont know what's so great about it. And the sense of freedom that a bike gives is something that a car can never ever give you - a convertible only comes halfway to it.

The bike allows one to be part of the scenery rather than looking at it through a framed sheet of glass.

AVIRAL____________________

I think that our love for riding is deep-rooted in our genetics that triggers the instinct to be a hunter and/or being a nature lover. We have been riding horses for ages and have become conditioned to the experience. We live in cities today where horses on the road may not be that practical a conveyance. The instinct, however, still demands that experience of riding. The closest (and maybe a better) experience, I think, is provided by riding a bike. I think its just about a sense of pushing yourself and your machine to the limits.... to a place farther, colder, hotter.... than the last one with worst roads (or no roads at all...lol)
Riding in a group is an experience in itself... I think you learn more about management than any MBA institute can teach you in 10 years. It teaches you to co-ordinate with your team. It develops your sense of responsibility. You keep tracking the riders behind you on your rear-view mirror. If you cant see them you wait at a turn for them to catch up. I think this is really what we do in our lives.... at work.
I think everybody needs to give some time to him/herself. Riding alone is all about doing that.

KYLE____________________

Maybe I want to ride because every time I ride I feel I will get to know why I want to ride, but enjoy it so much that reason and logic take a back seat! Till the next ride!

MALIK____________________

it gives a sense of continuity from within,
like moving on n moving to places,
all is explored n places named as well,
however it being new for the first time,
gives u a feeling as if u've discovered the place !
riding in packs is a fantastic feeling as well .
no said n no done the rapo is felt in the riding experience shared together .
can't get the words but it's a sheer omen.

GIREESH____________________

So why do we ride .....hummm
Sometimes n mostly to go to a place when it is we r commuting.
But I Ride to pleasure. Whenever i feel too excited or too depressed i ride my enfi.
when i feel delighted i ride ,
when i feel angry i ride,
when i feel depressed i ride,
so the ride on my enfi makes me come back to my normalness.
I also ride to make some accomplishments which a very few can do or no one could do
slowest, fastest, single hand ridden, longest , tuffest .... n so on...

MARTIN____________________

So why do I ride? Riding is special case of traveling and so the question should be why do I travel? I travel just because I feel that persistence in constancy leads to decline. And traveling is a perfect way for new feeling, culture and human interactions. You get many new impulses, which you cannot get in your ordinary life.
I also tried to travel by "standard means of transport" - I traveled from Indonesia to Europe through many countries for more than 6 months using trains, busses, ferries, but when I ride the bike everything is more intensive and I also don't go the ordinary way which ordinary traveler goes: BUS TERMINAL/TRAIN STATION -> HOTEL -> SIGHTSEEING -> BUS TERMINAL -> HOTEL -> etc. When I travel on the bike the journey and all the unpredictable stops and meetings are the EXPERIENCE. How many travelers using busses/trains slept in road side dhaba or were invited to the dinner to Bihar's farmer's family in the middle of nowhere? ;-)
And why I love the Enfield's bike? OK - I had Yamaha bike also, but it's just a product manufactured in hundred thousand's series - good enough to transport you from point A to point B but nothing more. I feel that the Enfield with his classic outlook is something more - something like the piece of art, like the statue if you understand...

p.s. martin from the Czech republic was on a 6 month biking trip to India in June 2003.

GAURAV____________________

Finally could think on why I took up riding and love it so much.

We all have moments in life, moments, which we hope would last for a lifetime, these moments are unforgettable. These moments freeze time, like your first crush, first ride etc etc. When I wander off anywhere and come upon a beautiful landscape, which I never thought would be there in the first place, that's a moment for me.

I guess same goes for other bikers too, an instinctive turn somewhere leading to a valley with a beautiful sunset or a waterfall amongst the trees. You tend to have a feeling that "I have discovered this place", hence a moment.It is these moments that are the `HOOKS" for me. I love riding, and love has no reason but when you love something for a long time, you ought to know the reason, these moments are my reason, it is for these moments that fuel my love for riding.

To start with, urge to ride and explore came to me as a child. Train journeys, taxi or bus travel, I always wanted to be a motorman throwing coal in the steam engine, pressing the pedals of the ambassador car or change the gear of the bus through the huge stick. These guys for me were taking me somewhere, and sometimes I didn't want to go that way. I was not in control of the situation. When in train, I always wished the motorman would stop inside the tunnel for everyone to enjoy the darkness and silence, when on a taxi I wish we could go on the innumerable left's and right's that came our way, rather than follow the straight road. I feel in love with the road and the nature and the surprises strange lands had, but was never in charge, destination always ruled.

Travel was always a suppressed fantasy; it resurfaced when I was given a Tata Sumo and a camera to scout locations for the film Jungle. For three months I lived in the forest with the tribals, slept at dhaba's, Interacted with strangers, learned about the forest and realized again that I know so little about anything else other than my work. There's a whole different world out there to explore.

Immediately after the film got over, I wanted to hit the road and travel to different regions of India. My first choice was a Diesel jeep, but since I didn't know how to drive, I started looking for a bike on which I could travel. Never before I had a fascination for an Enfield, I bought it just for the traveling sake, fell in love with it cos that was my only true possession in life, still is.
Started tripping a lot after that, always avoided staying in hotels and cities. Reason behind that can be, once on a ride I tend to go into a trans, I give up my personality, inhibition and ego which greedy hotel owners and people in the city tend to bring back in me.

Hence a preference for remote locations came instinctively and sub-consciously without me realizing it until now. And now I truly believe that the real character and strength of this country is in the villages, we have lost it all with our compromising lives by saying things we don't mean.
Lot of people use metaphors to relate to life, I used biking. Riding is an ever- evolving process where you as a rider take decisions, decisions on how fast will you ride, decision on where you want to go, decision on whom you will interact with, decisions mostly are instinctive and not calculative. Hence the addiction, cos in one way we sub-consciously learn from these decisions which make us better decision maker in life, hence BIKING- WAY OF LIFE.

And difference between a good ride and great ride is when you pushed yourself for that extra Kilometer and experienced or saw something that took away all your fatigue, same goes for LIFE, best results are when we give that extra push. And I firmly believe that " You can never come back from a ride" that's why to experience similar moments you did on your last ride you plan another ride and another and another one. For example before a 7,000 kms., 32day ride to ladakh : One tends to think about the cold, the altitude sickness, breakdowns and worst accidents, you psyche yourself before the ride. But what happens when you hit the road? All you do is concentrate on the next kilometer, forget about the next 31 days but enjoy the next minute, forget about the high altitude passes and enjoy the next turn.

And after coming back from the ride, in just one thought or a moment you can see the whole trip before you in a flash. Whatever the duration of the ride, 2 days, 15 days or 30 days, you know for the fact that you are going to come back from it and start living a normal life, so you automatically put yourself in a high state of alert, absorbing all the sights and sounds. That's why some bikers say; I get a high while riding without realizing that they themselves bring it on to themselves.

Maybe these are the reasons why true bikers want to hit the road more often than others. And apart from riding, there is photography, interacting with locals, waving at kids, drinking at dhaba's, watching the petrol pump guy staring at you and thinking where has this guy come from? Where is he going? Experiences are in thousands; I try and absorb them all, so bike for me now is just a mode, I love the medium it takes me to. That's my reason to ride.

ANAND (AKA NEEDAWRITER)____________________

Driving long distances in a car is mechanical, claustrophobic, luxury-oriented, etc., etc. Motorcycling on the other hand is evocative, adventurous, liberating and if one has been bitten hard enough, a call tantamount to that of religion.

I ride a Royal Enfield 350cc motorcycle. One that the manufacturers have (in an era where throwback brand names are suddenly very glamorous) grandiosely named "Machismo". A slightly refined version of the venerable, very Indian "British Bike" the Bullet. A motorcycle that's equally respected and admired by Truckwallah and college student alike. Because of its sheer power, solid thump and clean-cut looks.

And well, if you are already assuming me to be some diehard biker, Hell's Angels kinda junkie or a speed-addict you will be surprised to know that I do not own either a leather jacket or even a passably noticeable moustache. And yet, I ride whenever I can. Why? Because, on moonlit nights it is the only escape from sleep which for some reason plays truant. And all I need to do is just hit the road to glorify in the steady drone from my motorcycle's engine. Celebrating a mental elevation from being groggily awake to concentrating to live; dodging trucks and buses inbound or outbound. Till dawn finds me some 200 odd kms. out of Hyderabad, contemplating something quaint - a bridge, a canal or an old building; at a time when otherwise I would be deep in slumber.

Because, on weekends and all conceivable holidays it is the easiest way of escaping from boring social commitments, drab parties, drinking sessions and so on. And all I need to do is search for a road that leads to some place that's worth a planned escape. A wildlife sanctuary, a temple town, a remote fort, whatever. Because, on extended weeklong periods it is worth running the gamut of suspicious bosses and questioning friends. And lets me set on a search for some "never, never land" which are deeply nostalgic, places I have heard of, read of, or lived in somewhere in the past. And truly worth all the Kharcha, all the planning, all the risks. I ride and I somehow survive to ride again.

Why? I've shamelessly played tourist and posed for photographs clicked by"suddenly-very-Raghu Rai"sh locals. With my motorcycle prominent in the frame. I've sparred with Forest Department Officers, PWD Babus and even Policemen for permission to camp in their buildings. I've slept in Dhabas and motels attached to fuel depots when no other accommodation has been forthcoming. And yes, I've loved it too.

Why? Well, tell me of one way that allows you to relate to, feel and discover a country that's as intense as motorcycling. Or, tell me of one way that gives you the flexibility, the freedom and the simplicity of vacationing that's as basic (and cheap) as motorcycling. And yes, if what I am saying seems like just so many words, just add some spice. Like the dangers of being on roads far in the interior of the country. Roads which immaterial of their status as State or National Highways are mostly loose Gravel or potholed stretches. And usually wide enough to let only a single truck (or hay-piled tractor) to pass. Roads which are unlit, dark and lack even the most basic of traffic signs. Where, if you suffer one small lapse in concentration, you have had it. One flat tyre and you have had it.

And while you are at it, try to imagine the thousand and one smells, sights and sounds that you touch, feel and live when you motorcycle. The countless adventures you can partake in; purchasing local artifacts, eating local fare, literally discovering countless roads less traveled by.
And lastly, also imagine the sheer abandon, the surge of power that pulses through you when you are on an open, clear proper road. And no speed limit but the one you impose on yourself.
Still asking "why"?

NICOLITTA____________________

I ride for purely selfish reasons. For me riding is all about me. It's about how I feel when I'm living on the road, when I see and experience new places and people, when I meet and interact with interesting people, when I'm close to nature, when I'm mothering the rest of the team members, when the rest of the team is looking after me, when I ride in different weather conditions and on different terrains, when I've convinced my family to let me go on a ride, when....

It's about how I feel with the sun or chilly winds on my face
It's about how I feel to be part of this group.
And how do I feel? Ecstatic, happy, at peace with myself (I'm always restless otherwise), satisfied. Those words don't sum it up, I can't quite put down how I feel when I'm riding and traveling but the way I feel scores above anything else I've ever done or experienced. So, for me, riding is all about me, only me. As a woman, I think I have a small advantage over the guys. Because of family restrictions I cannot ride whenever I want to, so when I do get a chance ride, I cherish and love every moment of it. I make sure I enjoy every second because

I don't know when I will be able to ride again. I've had to deal with comments about me not behaving like a woman (whatever that means), about looking cheap on a bike (women are supposed to cook, clean and run the house and should not be seen on a bike), etc, Someone even told me my chances of having a baby will be reduced if I ride! It's sad that I get comments like this from so called 'educated' men and women in this century.

I will ride and I really don't care about what society thinks. I live and ride for myself and not for society. Society continues to ridicule me and that makes me more determined to do what I do.

KANNAN____________________

I ride bcoz, I like travel, (visiting remote places, being with nature, and interacting with different kind of people) and I love to push myself to the limits. Before I brought my bullet, I used to travel a lot. I liked traveling in train, its a different environment and world. The rhythmic sound, the crowd, different kind of people, the stations in different states etc...etc...

SARATH____________________

Riding my bike for a reason??? What the heck!! Let's ride.

SMIT____________________

Its a desire is to be alone, free, independent, unconnected. Ido not ride to travel, i do not have the desire to meet people, i do not hit the road to seek adventure or pleasure, but i do travel and meet people and places and a lot of other things do happen when i ride, and its nice when that happens. But they come to me when they do, I do not ride for them. There was in the past, a love for the bike that propelled me to ride. Today its just another tool for me, like my hand or my brain or my ability, something I USE, something i care for only so that it lasts me for my purpose, alone, free, independent, unconnected... it hasn't drawn me into a shell. I feel it has exploded me into tiny fragments stripped of any personality.

Feel equally at home anywhere, with anyone, no attraction, no repulsion, just vibrate in unison for a while and then move on. My memory fades quickly, my eyes cant see too far, its only the here and now that i can sense, and in riding i only have the here and now, (concentrating on 'this' kilometer, as gaurav puts it.) the use of language to describe your passion or experiences, in itself has a limitation and no words can truly portray what you feel or have felt. The beauty of it, though, lies in the reading of it. The partial truth is always more fluid and subject to interpretations and interpretations sometimes can be deeper and more profound than the original idea.

The question, 'why i ride', is bound to have a few answers common to most of us - your love for your bike, for travel, for meeting new people, etc. there also are answers which might have triggered you to think and further or question or plainly become more aware of your own emotions. It has for me reading you all... everybody loves. Most of the time its hard for us to figure out why we do. But sometimes, in a flash, in the height of our sensation, u suddenly discover the germ of our passion. Discover the innumerable more avenues and depths we haven't been aware of. Discover a lot of other things i cant imagine or name coz of the limitation of my own experiences, its a continuous process. You can always know your love better when you are with it completely or missing it badly. its not about rationalizing your emotions, its just about a higher state of awareness of your self. can one ride to self discovery? a buddha on two wheels? ride on, boys......

VIVEK____________________

Riding is the only thing I do with my 'Heart & Soul"......

PARAJ SHUKLA____________________

All guys & gals who ride a mobike love adventure for sure. Once we settle for this conclusion, the
immediate consequent question flashes in mind - why bike riding is adventurous? Some may say travelling by jeep deep in the jungle is also adventurous or for that matter driving a Swaraj Mazda to Zanskar valley. Therefore, the question needs a modification. Why bike riding is adventurous TOO? Lets put some topping over it! Is riding the bike to the office in the morning and back home in the evening adventurous too or is it so that riding a bike OUT is adventurous and not the ride done to fetch the vegetables for your mom!? Situation worsens if a few argue that riding a Yamaha 350 to Kinnaur is a total waste while riding Bullet 350/500 is not. The last point is the debate on the type of bike and the subsequent pleasures derived out of the rides on them.

I and most of other riders ride for the sheer pleasure of riding. Now what is that pleasure? What is that which moots our spirits once we are astride and away?

I think the inception occurs with the feeling of travelling by an unconventional means. But then even if I am just sitting on my bike and watching the sun go down behind the building or far at the horizon I am equally elated. With due respect to other bike’s riders, the genre of bullet riders knows what it is like owning and riding it. As my bullet fetches me for 500 kms and in the evening when I put it on stand it starts beeping, “What man! Tired? Look at me! Lets go! I will think,” What the heck! Can’t she see the reading on the meter? What metal is she made of? Oh yeah! That is BULLET. A sculpted body with plenty of room for modifications. Change this or that, put in this or take out that. As soon as you make her of your own taste, ride it and she will be more than happy to haul you to the point you desire. Not only that she will entertain you on the way with her characteristic voice and will make you as comfortable as possible. She will even keep your ego top-up as the onlookers will be caught dumbfounded, not interested in the Mercedes passing from side. You load it with luggage as much as YOU can handle, she never minds. And over everything else, “Everybody makes way for a Bullet” :-)

Is that all Y I ride a bullet?...…not sure!


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