A motorcycle riding jacket coupled with a pair of shorts is not the kind of attire/gear you would imagine a motorcyclist to be wearing , while riding across the motorcyclists paradise, Ladakh. Well I hail form a North Indian family, and I think just that has moulded me into someone, willing to use more muscle than mind. My ride captain, warned me, that I would be a victim to ABFS( acute ball freeze syndrome) but well, I just didn’t pay heed.
Since childhood, I have been fond of two wheels, but not the mopeds or activas but rather the flashy and sweet sounding twin cylinders. I started off riding a bi-cycle as the youngest kid in the neighbourhood. My parents were quite happy that I was a quick learner until, I started to come back home with scraped knees. This wasn’t my lack of expertise to ride, but rather the quest to do the unusual , i.e. riding over piles of sand, speeding down a flight of steps, locking the rear wheels on gravel and feeling all heroic about it. I think its just this love for two wheels since my early days, that has never let my father talk me out of riding motorcycles.
My first ever overland motorcycle expedition across terrains never seen and imagined was in the year 2015 with a bunch of friends. Its about two and a half years since then, and well a lot has changed. Now that I know some terms commonly used by motorcyclists’, I would consider my self a ‘squid’, before I rode to Ladakh. Well it wouldn’t be wrong If I was termed an ‘organ donor’ too back then, for the simple lack of wearing a helmet. It took me a while to get used to wearing a helmet. And even longer to get it through my thick skull, why it was so important. On my return from Ladakh, I saw motorcycling in a completely refreshed and new light. One that wasn’t all about riding like a serpent tearing through busy city roads, or about revving the engine hard as if it were the only forearm exercise. Rather it was more about going places that a car can’t take you, seeing places without being secured by the comforts of re-inforced steel. I do not hold anything against overlanding on 4 wheels, but I feel doing so on a motorcycle is more challenging and requires a lot of mental and physical endurance. There is no switch off button as long as you are in the saddle. No room for being complacent. Every single time you ride, you learn. You learn about your technique, strengths, weaknesses and also that of your motorcycle. I guess this where man and machine bond.
Since Ladakh, I have been an avid rider and motorcycle enthusiast. Multiple attempts to pen down my experiences out on the road have been overshadowed by procrastination, until today. I hope to document many a stories, perspectives and insights from behind the handlebar. I am an ardent fan and follower of the stupendously growing motorcycle culture in our country and I hope to contribute in every way I can, to something that I intend to make a lifestyle someday.