This is my take on the current scenario of everyday motorcycling in our country from what I have seen at the places I have lived and ridden. So, what is it about the bikers of India? There’s a lot, to keep it simple we’ll try to categorize them.
1. Uncle to office:
The most simple biker. Typically rides a less than 150CC bike, that gives a good mileage. All that’s going on in his mind during riding his motorcycle is everything that’s probably not related to riding. Riding is simply done through the sub conscious brain and the muscle memory earned through years of repeating the same process. As the road taken mostly is the same route everyday, he knows each and every pothole and how to avoid it. He’d occasionally jump the signals or go in a wrong route, just to save some time which he had lost in having a sweet morning talk with his family or a strong rant on the government’s new policy. He parks his bike at a no parking zone just to save a few bucks, or to escape from the horde of vehicles while coming from the parking place. He was never educated about the road safety or traffic etiquette. Uncle just like you is peaceful everyday before he gets on the demon with two wheels.
2. Teenager to college
The most complicated biker on the road. Typically owns a 150CC or plus motorcycle gifted by his parents. There are more things this guy’s brain is processing while riding than my computer is processing currently. His thoughts range from the last days game which India has lost to the next days movie plan with friends. A tiny part of his brain is used while riding for riding while his brain is already busy calculating the pocket money he’d be left out with after getting fuel for the day. He is a very active rider constantly using the clutch, gears, brakes and throttle, which most of the times results in mistiming of something or the other producing a weird sound while he is filtering like a squid through the traffic. There would be a bare minimum to no riding gear at all mostly because it wouldn’t be cool to wear a helmet as it won’t compliment the hairstyle and rarely because of the budget constrains. At times we would see two pillion riders behind this guy who in-turn is trying to overtake a girl on Activa. We have all been there haven’t we? ; ) A crash or two would help this guy to get to his senses. Don’t worry, he’ll pass this stage. If you think you belong to this category, please do as you please but find an empty stretch of road. And a piece of advice, Not everyone you see on the road want’s to race you. It is mostly lack of any other ways to vent his over flowing testosterone that results in such behavior on roads.
3. Amateur Rider
The collage guy who has gotten to his senses after those crashes and got a decent paying job typically in the IT field, who has lot of frustration built into him and want to do something meaningful with his life would be the perfect guy who will most probably end up getting an RE(80% of the times) or some other bike. Since the only thing he has seen around the world is bikers brothers talking about the soul of the bikes they ride, this guy too would start riding with a minimum to medium riding gear. The ride would mostly not be to enjoy the place he is visiting or the road he has taken, but to feel the soul of the bike as told by the biker brothers. Getting involved in group rides disturbing the normality of public roads would all of a sudden seem alright for him. The urge to belong to a community is what drives this guy to get onto the road. He would never cause any problem to the commuters. After a couple of crashes I guess I can say, I for one belong to this category miserably trying to figure out what to do with my life.
4. No others
All other riders we seen on the roads go about their business without any unusual activity. The pro bikers are rarely seen on the public roads. My point is, we are all sane people deep down, the problem is with he way the society has got us thinking that it is only you who is important in the whole universe which is a big joke. If we can smile at each other every time, at least when we are on the roads, we can enjoy the chaos we live in every day.
“Thou shall always smile when on saddle”
Most of the content in this article might seem to be inline with the thoughts of Akhil, who is the owner and author at www.riderzone.in I’m an avid reader of his blog, so can’t help.