“Why do you ride ?”

Home Forums Great biking roads “Why do you ride ?”

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #8580

    “Why do you ride ?”

    The watchman’s eyes seemed to speak as I tied my luggage to my bike. Sevenish in the morning on a long weekend. Most folks were sleeping comfortably in their homes, and here I was all ready to get going.

    Curiosity overcame the watchman.

    “Kahan jaa rahen hain sahab?” (where are you going?) he asked.

    “Kudremukh !” was my unequivocal reply.

    Silence. Then a tentative “Akele?” (alone?!)

    I nod my head.

    “kitna door hai”(how far is it?)

    “300 ke aas-paas” (around 300kms)

    More silence. But the look says it all. I must be mad.

    The bike has been trobbing in neutral while i have been putting up the luggage – warming up the engine. Time to move out. People are coming out on the roads but still the traffic is much less compared to the usual days. Sleepy people. Some glance my way seeing the bag on the back seat of my bike.

    My bike is a 2000 model CBZ. Black. A 156cc bike, which is all heart. People give names to their bikes, but for me , when I am on the bike, we are one. A whole symphony in flesh and metal. Its beautiful. I did try to give it a name, but none came to mind. Ultimately my friends named it , but i keep forgetting.

    I will it and the bike dips right out of the way of a sleepy cyclist going to his factory. Soon I am out of the city and hitting the highway towards Mangalore where I will be doing most of my riding today.

    The CBZ is not a touring bike, as most of the people who own tourers will like to point out. I wouldn’t care less. It provides miles after miles of performance. At the twist of the throttle it would still jump even after going hundreds of kms at a steady 80kmph. It does not look like a tourer, but it handles this part of a bike’s journey admirably well.

    I had taken this same route about 6-7 months earlier. But what a difference this was. This time I was going alone. That time I was with a group of 16 bikes, mostly enfields and RD 350s, who used to overtake me doing 80 like I was standing still. ‘140’ their owners proudly said when I asked what speeds they were doing. We had gone to Kundapur then, a beach resort. This time I am going to a mountain peak.

    Why do I ride ?

    The question has been put before me a lot of times. By my friends, colleagues and family. Its difficult to explain, as the feel is something you need to experience, and not something you can explain. The bus and the car is an option I just shrug away. I live for the man and machine symphony.

    A gorgeous stretch of road and I stop for a couple of pics. The trees keep the hot sun off the road and provide much welcomed coolness as i sip some water. A couple of buses screech by missing out on all the scenery, people dozing inside. Why would i like to go in a bus ? ? ?

    I had done this road about 1 year earlier with a friend going to Kemmangundi. That time the rain gods were smiling on us. Unleashing a torrential wall of water on us, soaking us to the skin. On the bike – in the picture. You are not a passive observer. You smell the earth as the first drops of water touch it. You feel the rain when it comes down. You curse the bus driver who thinks he is in a Grand Prix and comes charging down from the other side. Its not living in the lap of luxury, but I feel alive.

    This time the rain gods have not yet woken up. The journey goes pleasantly.

    Kudremukh is a hill peak in Karnataka. Its a peak which is supposed to be shaped like a horse. A haven for trekers and leeches. My destination is not that today. I am going to the Kudremukh National Park, set in the tranquil hills , the silence shattered by detonation from the kudremukh mines. There is a call for the shut down of the mines as the ecology of kudremukh, a one of its kind, is heavily disturbed from the mining operations.

    The last 70kms to the forest rest house is through the ghat roads. The man machine symphony gets an overture of the rolling ghat roads. No traffic other than a jeep ferrying villagers from one town to another. The bike loves it, diving in and out of corners , seeming to say “now, this is what i call a road”. Patchy in parts. Trecherous in others. Pure fun in the remaining. Passing through paddy fields in the valleys and dark shadows of trees elsewhere.

    By the time I reach Kudremukh, its evening. The Range Officer is about to leave when I enter his office.

    “How did you come?” he asks.

    “By bike” I answer.

    He looks at my bike and then at me, then at the bike. Eyes open in astonishment.

    “All the way from bangalore?”


    “Accha hai!” (that’s good!)

    I smile.

    I ride. Why don’t you ?



    Excellent Diablo. Makes me feel like I dont ride enough. I’ve just bought a Suzuki GSX-R1000 and probably won’t ride it until the better weather comes (in a few months over in the UK)
    I travelled a lot on tourers a few years ago but now I ride because I enjoy the thrill of speed, power and handling.


    Hi freddy, looks like you are going the other way round. Most of the people I know liked to ride fast and now, as age is catching up with them, are shifting to touring, and not so much into speeding ! Looks like you are forever young !



    It’s not about the speed so much as getting a quick thrill. When you’ve got work and family commitments sometimes you need a buzz to keep you sane.


    Another superb post Diablo. Reminded me of when I used to go “touring” on my Honda CB100N! Did 240 miles in a single stint once – about 400kms with all my gear on it. Mile after mile on the A1 North at 10,000rpm. Poor little thing. I went up to the Chevoit Hills on it, rode over the top of the UK from the Lakes to Northumberland too, on some ace roads. I have had many bikes and done thousands of miles since, but those early rides remain amongst the most memorable. The reason I rode then is just the same as it is now, to escape. When I am on the bike all my troubles just melt away and it doesn’t matter what size, or type of bike it is.
    I would love to ride more now, but many things stop me. This just makes the pleasure all the more intense when I can.
    Diablo, keep riding, keep posting!


    Agreed Radar. Both you and Diablo are in the wrong profession, we should be reading your stuff in the magazines or books.

    All those miles on a CB100N or CBZ150 deserves a medal (or at least free chiropractic treatment!)



    Originally posted by imperialdata

    Agreed Radar. Both you and Diablo are in the wrong profession, we should be reading your stuff in the magazines or books.

    I know I am [:D]
    I guess I should start looking for an alternative career .. IT is so boring.


Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.