As I’m quite fine now, beating the Indian traffic with my scooty, I thought the time has come to get a motorbike for longer rides outside of Dehradun. I am used to ride geared cars, but I have a
very mediocre experience on geared bikes. So I asked a friend if I could ride his bike, just to have a reminder.
He was brave enough to let me ride his object of desire and it went quite good for the ride. But there’s one thing I really struggle with - it is, when you have to get out of a parking spot or circulate on difficult grounds per se. There is that surprising moment, where your bike is to much at an angle and all of a sudden I can’t hold it anymore. It just gets to heavy and my mashed potato arms wouldn’t hold it. In fact, that’s what happened, when I tried to move my friend’s motorbike over an obstacle in first gear. Gear collapsed, me too. I took a nice smooth somersault, just escaped the bike to squeeze me down.
The bike is ok, I have a little bruise at the elbow, and my self confidence got a little decreased but nether the less we went to the bike store and I chose my classic 350. The very same evening, I had that bike in front of my flat and I had a little anxiety bubbling in my belly, thinking about the ride I wanted to take the next day.
Of course I did it anyway. I took that bike, and drove it all the way through Dehradun’s rush hour from the centre till Pitthuwala and back without any issues. I even dropped inside paltan bazar and survived that as well. In the evening I was quite exhausted I have to say. It was very demanding with the given circumstances. Also I felt like a glitter covered, bright shiny pink elephant, the way people were staring at me. Even worse, if my bike drops on the floor in public, I think I would die the dead of shame a hundred times.
But ok, the gearing is already more or less unconsciously happening and I was confident enough to take a ride to Rishikesh with my brother. Just when I wanted to turn out of the gate at my place it happened again - I was very focused but felt a little bit weak that morning and again the bike dropped on the gravel. This time, my big toe got in between and it is still painful. That was a wonderful start in the morning. Again all the confidence six feet under but I pulled myself together and just sat on that bike again. We had a beautiful ride till Rishikesh but over there it was completely overflowing with tourists, like I have never seen it before. The sweat was running down our faces, soaking our clothes and my swollen toe gave me a hard time. But anyway we crossed ram jhula and enjoyed some chai and food with a Ganga view.
Then again we had to take off to drop my brother outside rishikesh for his ten days yoga retreat. Immediately I started to feel grounded, when we reached. I have friends there and painted the wall once with dancing shiva. He turned from brownish to greenish in the sun though. I wished I could stay there but I had to go back to Rishikesh. That ride went good as well and now, after spending a noisy night I enjoy the silence of the retreat again, writing my column. That is one of the many opposites in India - out of incredibly, almost unbearable traffic and crowd, you just glide into the most amazing tranquility, where people who surround you, are peaceful and loving and you remember about the purpose of being on earth. But that is actually another topic than riding bikes, which deserves its own attention.
All in all I really enjoy riding my bike but I stay very cautious on the road and still fear the angles when maneuvering. But my experience shows, that facing your fears and deal with them, makes you stronger.