I am sitting in a cab right now, moving between Delhi to Jaipur as part of my work. This is a almost a weekly affair. The way my mind is, there are random thoughts flashing for few seconds and disappearing. Some are able to stay for a few mins. But it’s a rare feeling when you feel something so strongly that you want to pull out your laptop and start writing about it. Lets see where this one goes as I write and may be I will put it on my defunct blog if the url is still alive and available.

Ofcourse its about motorcycles. All of a sudden something made me think how I started. I remember my earliest experience with 2W was the Avon cycle which my elder brother owned. After few years I got my own Hero Impact cycle, and later we got a Hero Shakti 3G.. . Those were the days without helmet and any knowledge about riding year, probably around 1999-2000. (Hypocrisy alert- I have absolute zero respect today for the parents who allow their kids without a DL to ride to their school on the scooties or bikes without a helmet). However I’d be lying if I say that ‘that was the time when the motorcycling bug had bitten me’. It was just commuting to tuition, or swimming class back then. I had no idea what ‘biking’ is. My father used to ride, just like every other household, a Bajaj scooter which I enjoyed being escorted on standing on the footboard in front, trying to find few inches on the rider seat to rest my ass on. I even used to ask my father to let me press the horn button. Later I moved to the pillion seat at the back as I grew up, getting squeezed between my mom and my father, and sometimes my brother too because my younger sister had replaced me in the front.

These are some bits and memories I still remember, many I don’t. But in retrospect today, I am able to find a connection and atleast mark that time as the beginning of my ‘moto’ journey. Ofcourse the significant milestone was when I started working for Royal Enfield and got surrounded by passionate riders and motorcycling enthusiasts. This was entirely different way of looking at life, and even living it. I got my humble 110cc CB Twister to commute to office which was almost 50km two way journey. I got fully used to spending time on road on my bike and even did runs to Vellore from Chennai occasionally before I upgraded to Duke 390 in 2013. This was a big shift and it took a few panic braking situations to realize what kind of performance shift I had made. The pocket rocket was (and still is) most happy in the higher revs and speed.

I see moving to Duke 390 as a big milestone in my life because it vastly contributed to what I am today. I started doing longer rides and was most happy on the highways. I still remember the time when I had planned to ride to Mahabalipuram for a breakfast ride from Chennai, but actually ended up riding to Pondicherry because I didn’t feel like stopping. Such was the joy to ride this bike, and I repeat, it still is. Also, living with like minded people who shared the same love for biking was an added catalyst and we all bonded with each other.

Then I moved to Gurgaon and continued to explore and ride around on my bike. Did mostly solo rides, or with another friend (Aditya) who owned a Duke 200 and later upgraded to Duke 390. We used to ride to the base camps of some treks we did with Indiahikes. We did Delhi Darshan rides. Every holiday season or long weekend we used to plan our rides in advance and apply leaves accordingly.

Then I got married in 2018. However I was still able to do long tours on  my bike atleast once in an year. Did the Bhutan ride, Tirthan Valley, Brahmatal trek. Now I am blessed with a daughter recently and I have consciously decided to take a pause at long rides for a few years to spend more time with family.

I don’t know what is the point I am trying to arrive at by writing all this. May be its just an urge to pen down all the feelings and thoughts I have about my riding aspirations. Yes, there’s still a lot more riding to be done, so many places left to see, those dream treks to be done. But the question I keep thinking about is, can these dreams still be achieved? If yes then when? If not then what was the alternate way of life which I could have taken to reach that goal. Is the goal worth taking the alternate road? What would I miss, what would I gain? I have no idea.

But one thing is for certain which I realize today. ‘Biking’ can be a mindset but it cannot be the only way of life you can choose to live. If you do, you need find a way to make a living out of it, be a travel influencer etc. Your love for motorcycles and you want to ride to new places every few months, however its not possible if you start working in a job, or when you get married. Most imp thing is to realize that making a living by only riding bikes is very difficult. Even if influencers are able to achieve it personally I don find it as a sustainable way of living. I just like to see the salary credited sms at the end of every month. You may throw moto-emo arguments at me that bro you are stuck in a cage and you don’t know what you are missing and you have no freedom … no thanks…  I am very well aware of what and where I am today and I choose this life.

Having said that, I am not giving up on my riding aspirations. There will be a time when I will be at ease in my life to pursue those dreams. But until that happens, what I fear the most is ‘losing it’. I never want my love for motorcycles to fade away. Thankfully I am working for a job which allows me to ride new and different motorcycles regularly and it keeps the light alive. I don’t need to do only long tours to live the moto life. Even a commute to office on the Duke 390 makes me as happy as I was when I rode it for the first time. Reaching office in record time, the joy of overtaking in traffic, are some of the small victories in life which my bike still lets me enjoy and makes me smile inside the helmet. That’s all I need to keep it going. Because you got to take some responsibilities in life, and yes, your for motorcycles is important but other things and family does come first. Its totally upto us how we maintain a balance between our responsibilities and our dreams.

I am sorry but this post is totally about me, its alright if you don’t agree with something I have written. But I would love to read your thoughts on this. You can mail me or leave a comment below.


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