Life comes in phases and keeps you occupied, whether you like or not. Sometimes it’s the sugar rush and at other times, a deadly hypoglycemia. In other words, these phases are like high and low tides, which always lead you somewhere.
My routine was quite tidal in nature too and it was wearing me, day in and out. Mind juggled from working out at the gym to acquiring a new talent, to try my hand at cooking (I am still dreadful at that), but nothing came close to exciting me.
Being an admirer of the surroundings, I glanced over to my bike (read cycle) one day, lying desolate and neglected in a corner and a thought sparked like a shooting star leaving behind a beautiful trail.
Habits evolve, schedules change but what to do when the thoughts linger! You ride, and you ride some more until the level of exhaustion leaves no room to think anymore… hahahahah.
That’s how this journey began and the transformation engulfed me in itself (rather forcefully), for who wants to sacrifice the golden hours of sleep and the warmth of the sheets for crazily panting like a dog after a sprint or struggling with a dozen flyovers to keep up with the herd lest you fall back all alone dragging your sore ass and the beast below.
Adding on miles and from few humble kilometers to numerous centuries, it has been a hell of a ride. Now, what prompted me to jump on the saddle and endure great pains? Well, that can’t be expressed in mere words. It was part excitement (of doing something unusual and challenging), being stubborn (when, everyone opposes you), rediscovering yourself and self-awareness.
What motivated me to ride?
One of the biggest motivators has been the people I’ve met on this journey and the associations that have formed. People from every walk of life, doctors, teachers, corporate and government employees, students, lawyers, housewives, defense personnel, technicians, athletes, you name it and we have them on board.
Curious glares, innovative taunts, and the weirdest questions always kept me going as they thrill me to the core… Lol. The most amazing fact still remains the unacceptance, of a few crazy souls whizzing past the city roads in the wee hours by the general population.
The tea stall owner is both perplexed and excited at the same time to host you and your entourage, in the hope of a good show and corporate branding of his joint as the future Meeting Point of Cyclists’ link ups and board meetings :P.
My wife has been the biggest motivator in this regard, as it’s not easy to wake up at 4 in the wintry mornings and riding in pitch dark being chased by dogs and struggling to carve your way in the thick dense fog, but she made sure I always woke up before time, had a decent load up snack and hit the road with a smile on my face.
Also, it helped a lot to be blessed with my parents’ support who actually felt proud of my adventures and liked boasting about my antics in their circles ;).
Why did I choose and decided to continue cycling?
It wasn’t a conscious decision but accidental or rather experimental in nature. But as the days progressed and the kilometers kept adding on, I felt a sense of amusement. It was a new journey with myself every time I rode alone or in a group.
The moments you spend capturing those locales, sunrises, and sunsets, deep in your thoughts and talking to yourself, finding ways to keep yourself motivated to climb one more slope and the contentment inside when you conclude the ride, makes you realize you are still alive.
What makes me saddle up?
Well that’s easy to answer, as there is not one but endless reasons
- Freedom and sense of flying every time I am on my bike.
- The lovely people I ride with.
- My time where I am not judged for my actions.
- Every ride is a chapter added to this journey called Life.
- Ignites the explorer inside me.
- I get the best views to capture and share.
- I get the time to gather my thoughts.
- Riding has helped me immensely in being meticulous and precise.
- Every ride rewards you with experiences and emotions that you will cherish forever for the rest of your life.
- ……….. and the list goes on !
Is it safe to ride and are there any boundaries to it?
It is as safe as being in the confines of your bedroom and walking a thin rope over a deep gorge. Nowhere is safe and everywhere is safe if you are aware, but not ignorant. I would term myself neither as an amateur nor a seasoned cyclist but do know a few dos and don’ts which can make or break it all
- Never ride without a helmet.
- ABC (air pressure, brake pads, cranks and chain set) to be checked before every ride.
- Front (static) and tail (blinker) lights for visibility.
- Charged phone and emergency contact details.
- Snack up and carry adequate fluids.
- Learn basic bike maintenance (fixing a flat tire) to be self-sufficient.
- Ride on your extreme left (in India) and watch over your shoulder for traffic.
I have had the pleasure and honor of riding with teenagers as well as people who are more than 60 years old, which clearly abolishes any set limits or boundaries. Every day you can get on the saddle is yours to live and cherish.
Remember, One Life to live and explore. Do what tickles your fancy till the time it does not harm you and the others around. With this being said, I conclude this run to get on to another ride with a hope of fueling my dreams and gathering some more thoughts to share!!