Bike Riding Experience (Hyderabad <-> Bangalore ~1300 kms)
Categories: Personal Experiences
Ever since I was a child I dreamt about bikes, how do they work, how does the balance with two wheels is actually feasible, and will I ever get to be a perfect biker? (Let's discuss my definition of perfect biker later in this post)
So it all started this year i.e in 2021 with me buying my first and a very opinionated bike it's Royal Enfield Himalayan
This bike has created a swag and happiness factor in me ever since I bought it. Every time I see my bike I feel that I made the right choice and I absolutely enjoy riding it. Since I bought the bike during the pandemic I didn't have many options/opportunities to actually experience the bike with a full-blown multiple-day ride to feel the engine and body dynamics with long rides. With this long ride, I was finally able to stress test the engine, re-validate my choice and my desire of doing a long ride on the bike has been accomplished.
In my opinion bike riding is a sport that involves understanding the bike, roads, other riders, and the humans that use roads without engines (i.e. for crossing the roads). I like this game as it involves the right set of balance in everything if not you will not enjoy the ride and easily get frustrated with too many things to handle.
Before doing this ride I wasn't confident thinking that am I the perfect rider in the first place to cover 1300 kms on a bike that too on the highway with heavy vehicles and most of the vehicles speeding at 100+ kmph with high-risk factor? So let's dive into my understanding of the perfect rider:
Do I have control over the bike by all means?
I can control the weight and can balance the bike, I can control myself to ride at decent speeds.
Do I understand the basic internals of the bike to understand its functioning for unforeseen situations?
I managed to read the bike internals on its functioning and what are the common issues faced in the bike to fix them when the problem arises.
Do I own safety gear?
I bought the safety gear just before the ride and trust me I didn't expect it to be so expensive but at the end of the day it's for the safety of the rider, so convinced myself to buy one.
Do I have strong intent, determination to ride?
It's a long awaiting trip on my to-do list and finally got an opportunity to ride. so yes I'm damn interested in making this happen.
Do I have decent sleep before the ride days?
The Ride Day
Writing down all the thoughts and what makes me an ideal rider helped me to boost my confidence, helped me to start the ride, and offered me the confidence I need on the road.
I was a bit nervous as it's my first ride and I'm doing this alone. I initially started with an 80 kmph speed which felt pretty decent, easy to ride, and handle the bike. But as I covered 200 kms in 4 hours. I realized I'm being too slow and soft on the machine. So I decided to level up my riding to 100 kmph which needed more effort from my mind as it needs more mind power to be alert and to analyze everything on road quickly as this speed involves efforts in controlling the bike on surprises on the road. But this speed has taught me an interesting observation of my mind i.e. FLOW.
Riding at 100+ kmph for 15+ mins took me into almost focus and flow that at a point I felt maybe I'm really asleep and need to stop for a break from riding but the reality is I was in deep focus which felt like asleep to me :). Anything in deep focus feels like you have complete power and control over your actions and as all your mind is concentrated on a specific task which at most focused on and feels like you are enjoying it completely.
This at most focus has created confidence and good detachment from normal life as it felt like a completely different trance to be in other than your normal routines. The biking experience has helped me to understand the concept of deep focus and flow in this busy, distracting world.
Taking a break between rides felt very relaxed and a sense of accomplishment. As the breaks are quick points of reflection on the ride. It helped me to relax and get myself back on to the vibe of riding. Usually, I say myself Dream incrementally and in the ride I said myself Ride incrementally as in a nutshell riding long is all about consistency and focus. So I recommend taking as many breaks as possible that help you to refresh and enjoy the ride rather than taking too hard on yourself.
Coming back (return journey)
I have mixed thoughts on the return journey. As I came without any major breaks except the fuel breaks, this made me sense how does it feel riding without actually feeling the world around you, The perks were I reached early and I managed to drive in 100-120 kmph at a point it felt like I'm flying in the air. The downsides were my back had severe pain the next day as I took the ride hard on myself and thinking back about the ride feels like it was a risky move to drive in a single stretch at throttling speeds of the machine.
This single stretch ride helped me to reflect on the value of taking breaks that I shared above.
This ride was the best way to detach me from my routines and to experience a whole new world and myself as it taught me my reactions to various experiences in life, staying at home during vacation was limiting myself and not experiencing the world outside. So this trip has taught me the world has a lot more to offer it's up to us to experience and make the most out of it. One must explore themselves by navigating to new territories whenever possible.
Note: This write-up is not intended to recommend or promote biking. This is my experience and all I second in this write-up is to explore yourself by traveling around and engage yourself in the activities that take you into at most focus and flow.