Pause, Rewind, Slow-Mo, Play!

Wednesday evening, battling a mid-week sickness, I was in a delusional state that it was a Friday. Every time it dawned upon me that it wasn’t a Friday, I had to make the painstaking journey back to reality. I was riding back home on my beloved cruise bike. Perfect conditions for a nice ride on a cool Bangalore evening. Traffic was thinning on the Outer Ring Road and I felt my bike surge ahead of most vehicles with ease. Speeding in the nimble nineties, taking for granted the smooth and all-familiar ORR, I was in for a surprise, a nasty one at that. In a flash, I saw a pot hole, had no means to avoid it, stood upon the foot pegs, let my bike run into it, and after what seemed like a punch in the face, recovered some how without any loss of balance and continued.

Pause, Rewind, Slow-Mo, Play!

So, I was on the Outer Ring Road, riding my bike, when one Tata Sumo moving ahead of me swerved left around something. I thought I saw a pot hole. What I also saw in my rear-view mirror, was a lorry on a roll, speeding with the same fervor as mine. So, the possibility of braking was ruled-out. I braced up for the situation, positioning myself into a least damageable posture, braking enough to reduce my speed and still keep myself from reaching the lorry’s wheels, and finally, as if taking a plunge in a pool, entered the pot hole, the impact strained my neck, my bike gave a shudder, I came out of it, retained my balance and had to move on as if nothing happened.

Pause, Rewind, Slow-Mo, Play!

Lorry, Sumo, pothole, everything was happening in a rush. In less than a second, I saw it, tried to avoid it, tried to minimize the impact, tried to avoid going under the lorry’s wheels, went into the pot hole, came out and cruised along. But, a few nasty effects revealed themselves later. looked like, my front wheel had the maximum impact. The rim became askew, a few spokes were bent, the drum got cracked, the fork got compressed by nearly 4 inches, the left side seal of the fork ruptured, some of the fork oil spilled over, the fork got bent too, handle alignment went haywire, the rear wheel was bent and my bike was not the same.

It was incapacitated. Its torture could be felt. Its wails could be heard. It was limping in the front and crying like it had never cried before. But it somehow retained its resilience, and did its duty to bring me home. It knew that its master would never inflict such torment on to it deliberately, that its wounds would make cuts in his heart (and of course, burn a hole in his pocket). And I, the loving master that I am, wiped off those remnants of anguish from it.

If only I had the chance to kick someone in the balls and land a second kick again right there, it’d be to the fellow who was responsible for making an unsuspecting pot hole on a beautifully laid, signal-free road such as the Outer Ring Road.

Accelerator – My 1st Love!

Wondering if I’ve gone mad? Did I just express my love for abstract or inanimate things? Oh yes! I did. Well, its just my expressibility that is setting me apart. Otherwise, when it comes to driving, everyone will be loving some aspect of their drive. With me, Its the accelerator. THe story doesn’t end here, my friends! Read On. šŸ™‚

There are different love stories possible based on the priorities given to a few important control systems, namely, Accelerator, Clutch, Gear, Front Brake, Rear Brake and Miscellaneous. (Includes – Honk, Indicator, Hand-Signaling, Pass-Lighting šŸ˜‰ ) We can have a lot of combos and that decides the behavior they extract out of you, and your ride. šŸ™‚

(Before we delve further, its time for that naive statutory warning cum disclaimer cum ‘I’m not responsible blah blah…’ stuff to be dealt with.
Few women can enjoy reading this post. In my opinion, only tomboyish ones can. If you want to read further no matter what, don’t blame me for incessant yawns.
Auto Trans Vehicular users (Read : people using gear-less gaadis) can stop here if you want to continue with using them. If you want to read further no matter what, don’t blame me for incessant yawns.
Finally, all these are MY observations in MY bike as well as quite a few of my friends’ bikes over the past 3 yrs of my driving experience.
Only people with adventure spirit, I believe, will experiment further, promising to themselves not to blame me later. šŸ˜› )

Accelerator, Gear, Front Brake, Clutch, Rear Brake, Misc.
This is My usual style of driving and involves optimum use of Acc, minimum use of brakes, Honks and indicators. When none of them are in use, its just free cruise in Gear-engage position. (4th or 5th gear only!) Advantages : Max control over speed and deceleration. Braking is optimized in a way such that the engaged gear decelerates your vehicle with minimum jerks than brakes and stopping would be easier. Disadvantages : Not using the brake too often can make you apprehensive about stopping the bike. Mis-timing of events frequently causes more long term side effects like notchy gear box. Infrequent gearing can cause poor torque management.

Accelerator, Clutch, Rear Brake, Gear, Front Brake, Misc.
This was my 1st method of riding only because, I’d learnt it that way. Features include not very precise use of accelerator, more braking than in previous case, Free cruise with a depressed / pulled clutch, and more frequent gear changes than in previous case. Advantages : Less noisy ride because of increased clutch use, driver is apparently convinced that brake related security is more. Shifting gears frequently and properly can help maintain a steady torque, which ensures a smother drive. Disadvantages : Relying more upon Rear brake is good only for slowing down and not stopping fast. Frequent gearing means higher wear and tear, directly proportional to the rashness of use.

I’m game to try other ways which anyone suggests, as good as you are to try mine. šŸ˜‰ But driving involves a lot more than Acc, Brake etc., to be a good experience. It requires a proper attitude towards your drive, the road, and its users.

Happy Driving. šŸ™‚

Kmee Kmee

This sound is one of my favorite, even if the thing that makes it is not! Hail the honk of The Road Runner. For those of you who are/were not obsessed with Cartoons, The Road Runner,Ā  is a super fast running bird. I would not go into the details, lest, i would delve away from what i intend to say write here!

Of all the times i am irritated, the most of them from the past one year have been on roads. Being and riding in a dense city of Bangalore has only added to the frustration. I don’t intend to say that it is a bad city by any means (i’d rather kill myself than do such a blunder. I’m a huge fan of my city! šŸ˜€ ), but what bothers me is the slow change of driving attitude of the people while the city grew faster than any could imagine. Probably this is what is happening in other places too, where rapid development is taking place.

The attitude problems faced by me, or similar cool headed drivers tend to affect only us. And those responsible may be :

  • Slow moving traffic : These are descendants of Pluto! Literally! They are such cold drivers that they tend to make me imagine as if they are enjoying their way to oblivion. Oblivion because, I’ll be tempted to drill holes in their ears by making my bike sing šŸ˜€ . My sometimes-perverted-mind goes a bit further to imagine a peek into their personal lives and see what if one really was a slow rider šŸ˜› ! This category includes HTVs (who think they’re born to ride on the right side of the road inside the city limits too,) Cabs and mass transit buses (who stop and start abruptly, even if there is no pick-up/drop point and take an eternity to reach a speed of 40kmph!)
  • Autorikshaws : These are probably the only creatures after terrorists to carry home such a huge load of hatred! I don’t mind generalizing them because, good ones are in a range 1:1000(0) šŸ˜€ . I think they like to show off their very selves through their vehicles’ nosey front wheels poking out of a wide butt. The worst part is that we cannot judge which way these god-damned sons of snails will turn! And 90% of the times we are wrong šŸ˜¦ .
  • Pedestrians : Well, not all are sensless in this category, owing to the fact that i’m one among them at times šŸ˜› ! But, you can find specimens, as good as the previous two categories, and worse too! The way they walk swinging their arms in manner unique to themselves, makes me feel like parading them in the same fashion on a battlefield.
  • Venus-ians : It would a blasphemy on my part if i had a girl friend and had she read this particular option šŸ˜† . I cant stop pondering over the innovations that a few women come up with w.r.t driving! First i see someone hovering their foot above the road till they travel half a km from start. Or , the other kind who are on a constant vigilance for any obstacle in the next mile! And, as soon as they find any, the brakes screech and the vehicle is just short of crying. Thank God that i haven’t seen any Dio/Activa/Kinetic Honda/other gear-less vehicles sobbing because of their mistresses :mrgreen: .
  • The Show-Stoppers : Its a time of fashion and we cant really stop people from flaunting what they have. But, should it be done on the roads? Some crazy girls have their roles here too. At every signal, you can find them scrubbing their faces patiently within the 60 odd seconds they get. Reason – Pollution! Or, the new-to-college hunky-dory guys, who’d have performed a sathyagraha at home to get a two wheel drive. You can see them dressed in a fluorescent blue full hands tee, and (again) a fluorescent orange cargo, sporting a helmet wider than their chest and half as heavy as themselves, all for a Scooty Pep šŸ˜› .

There might be other categories which do not amuse me as much as the ones mentioned above. It is quite a possibility that i haven’t seen many other types. However, my reaction towards all of them is the same. I wish you were all teleported to a planet devoid of roads. That way, the pollution levels will go down and some population too šŸ˜› .

What has Road Runner got to do with this post? Well, i long for that ability to run over my irritators, turn behind, make a stupid face at them and say “Kmee Kmee” šŸ˜€ .