Monday, October 27, 2008

Sir Gwain and the green light

The wind whipping by, cold then hot then cold again, goose bumps marching steadily down my back, chest tight with cold, fear and exhilaration scuffling for control. I’m riding a motorcycle through the streets of Hyderabad. Effortlessly, years of riding manipulate my body forcing it to do the right thing though my mind is still struggling to remember what to do. Almost two years of auto rickshaws and trying to cross the street here has prepared me for this. Years of riding in the US has also helped.

I’ve always ridden with the assumption that everyone on the road is out to get me, and here they really are. This was the most free I’ve felt in India since becoming comfortable taking autos. I could have ridden all night.

When I decided to get a motorcycle I told myself simple, I’ll ride very conservatively. Not weave through traffic, not pass in oncoming lanes, and cross intersections cautiously. That lasted the first hour. I feel as comfortable riding here as home. The rules are different, but the game is the same. Somebody will cut you off. They will pull out in front of you. They will stop suddenly, same as at home. But here it’s at 60 kph not 60 mph.

The light barely works, the horn doesn’t, the turn signals don’t, there’s a strange rattle from the front end and the brakes are drum, not disk. And, I love it!

It’s like my first car, a symbol of freedom. It will always be in my heart a magnificent bike. Years from now it will become more powerful, bigger, better, and more beautiful with every telling of the story. For now, it is my Llamrei.

1 comment:

  1. :D I read your post And I understand what an experience it is for you to ride in India... I would also like to know the shock those Hyderabadi's are receiving when they see a white man Zip by on a Yama (ha)

    All the very best to you and Hope you are going to be safe on the road... :D

    Ride ON :D