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When I was a kid my parents never wanted to get me a motorcycle and constantly told me how riding was dangerous! I used to look at people riding their bikes and wondered how it felt to let the throttle loose and experience the rush. But I never got the chance to own a bike and had to manage with a TVS Scooty and a Kinetic Honda for the most part of my twenties.
How I Took to Riding!
It was 2012 and I was battling clinical depression; my personal life took a beating due to mistakes I made and nothing was going well for me. I had quit my job to pursue an MBA and had got placed in a Big 4 consulting firm. Career-wise things were looking good but on the personal front things were in shambles. I would come back from work and drink every day just to get through the night. Living alone can be tough especially if you are battling depression. I had a close group of friends but I saw myself moving away from them due to certain personality complexes I had developed over the last 2 years. I was so distraught that I had lost my decision-making capabilities; not being able to trust myself to do the right thing and had lost faith in people.
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My finances were taking a beating with the high rental I was paying, my education loan and expenses living in a city that has grown to be so expensive. I decided I wouldn’t drive to work so I bought my first bike ever; a Yamaha FZS. The decision was purely driven to save cost & time and I had no idea how an inanimate object would change my life forever. For the first 6 months, the bike was my daily commute to work and back. It saved me loads of money and I started to save a little bit.
Am in love!
Falling in love with something like biking was the last thing on my mind when one weekend I decided to take the bike out on the highway. I was still the same person, the same job, the same family but yet everything changed that day. That short ride changed how I looked at the world, how I saw a paradigm shift in my thought process and how eventually I got rid of my depression. The short rides kept increasing in frequency and I was now looking at doing longer ones. One Friday afternoon I was googling about motorcycle clubs in Bangalore and I remember seeing quite a few of them. I contacted a couple of them but got a response from only one – Bangalore Motorcycle Club (BMC). They were riding to Sakleshpur on the weekend and I decided to join them along with a friend.
It was a major shift for me since I was not very comfortable with strangers, I loved sleeping only on my bed and only ate food I was accustomed to. I hated ambiguity and didn’t know how to deal with change. Thanks to all the issues in my life I had gone into a shell. Looking back I feel all those things had to happen to pave the way for my love for riding. Anyways, on Saturday morning I joined the group for the ride.
The experience was absolutely rejuvenating. I saw people looking at us while we were zipping on the highway in our riding gear. Girls smiled, kids waved and the whole world suddenly looked like a happier place. I felt free, felt alive and for a long time, felt happy. The strangers I met that day became friends. Being in a group, you need to trust your pilot, your sweep and your shuttle; that taught me how to believe in people again, to be more open to making friends and be comfortable with others running a part of my life.
How my bike changed me!
For a long time, I wanted to write this blog and today I decided to share how riding a motorcycle can change your life and make you a better person.
- You become more accommodating – Before I started riding, I needed my own bed to sleep on, didn’t share my food, didn’t eat others food, didn’t make a lot of friends and was suspicious of everything around me. Post my rides with BMC, I saw myself being more accommodating. I wasn’t fussy about what food I was getting so I started eating everything. I learned how to adjust to any kind of accommodation from tents to dormitories to sharing a room with 10 other people, to sleeping on sidewalks
- The weather doesn’t bother you – Ask any rider and they will say the weather doesn’t bother them anymore. Be it heavy rains or the harsh sun, a ride never stops their journey. Rather the harsher the weather, the better the ride experience. That’s one reason riders love riding to Leh and crossing icy mountain passes
- You make more friends – Being part of BMC over the last 5 years, has given me so many friends for life. I have come in contact with some great personalities and learn so many life lessons from them; there are some riders I look up to for their personality traits. Its given me access to people from various walks of life, from across the world and different professions. I learned how to work in a team, to sometimes put others interests ahead of mine and how to deal with difficult people
- It’s meditation – When I am on the bike, it’s just me and the road. I forget whats’ going on in my life and focus on the bike and the world around me. Somehow the feel of the throttle, the revs and the road passing underneath me wash away all the problems I have. For that moment, I am connected to the bike and it somehow takes me to a different world altogether. A world where I am in total control of where I am going and what I want to do. Any anger or sadness I have disappears with every milestone I cross and the bike seems to absorb all that is wrong in the world and spit it out of the exhaust
- You become a storyteller – In the last 5 years of riding, I have come across so many beautiful places, amazing people, strange people, great food, funny incidents, accidents and have a lifetime of stories to tell others. Haven’t you noticed that when travelers meet all they discuss it their travel experiences? They always seem to have new stories, met new people and created lifelong memories. Whenever I meet new people now, I see myself talking about travel most of the time. Even business meeting have steered to discussing my last trip or which bike I ride!
And the love story has continued
I own a KTM Duke 390 now and it has been my friend over 75,000 km in the last 4 years covering 12 states. My love story with riding still continues and seems to grow as each ride goes by. I now ride with my wife and together we are Travelmynation. A seed that was sown years ago, a passion for riding has now taken shape into something so beautiful and everlasting. We travel full-time now documenting our experiences through pictures and blogs and you can see more about our journeys on our Instagram account here.
Do you have any such stories to share? Let us know why you love riding/ traveling and we would be happy to share it with others!
“This is my motorcycle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My motorcycle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My motorcycle, without me, is useless. Without my motorcycle, I am useless. I must ride my motorcycle true. My motorcycle and myself know that what counts on the road is not how fancy or how flashy our ride is or how fast we go. We know that it is the thrill that count. We will ride… My motorcycle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, and its accessories. I will keep my motorcycle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. Before God, I swear this creed. My motorcycle and myself are freedom embodied.” – taken from the net