A good article is like a fart.
You get the idea, you chew it into smaller ideas, digest all of them, and out comes a beautiful tootsie that relieves your system of distress, while making a cute sound. An idea that stays in your system for too long leads to either constipation, or diarrhea, both of which result in a smelly, painful outcome that nobody enjoys.
This post has been overdue since a while.
The idea came in my head a few months ago, and since then the internal dialogue that constantly happens inside my head has been raging on continuously. Initially I wanted to label all who go retard at Lavasa, or any other twisty section for that matter, as ignorant and stupid. Slowly, I started identifying the reasons why people do such stuff, and finally came the realization that I’ve done it too, although not at the level of what some of the people in some of the examples that I’d show you have.
Sadly, the average length of my posts has almost quadrupled from 1000 to 4000 in the last few months, which means that being able to structure my thoughts properly is even more important than it used to be. Let’s break this thing up into parts that can easily fit inside our mouths then.
Identifying the problem
What is the issue that this rant is about? Here is a small playlist to help you figure it out.
In case you still have some doubts, here’s my take on what the problem is.
People push themselves and their bikes beyond the limits on public roads, full of natural and man-made hazards, with complete disregard to their level of skill, experience, type of bike, or the safety of others, for no other reason than the thrill of doing an obviously wrong thing.
The first video is someone riding their wheels off in rain. Second and third are of the same guy making giant blunders while attempting to push too hard. Fourth is a Bullet guy who doesn’t understand how an uphill hairpin should be approached. Last is just one example of how moronic it is to go beyond your limits at a place like Lavasa.
It goes without saying that this is not an issue exclusive to Lavasa, but endemic to every twisty section you can find anywhere. I’m singling out Lavasa here because it’s the most popular one, and people seem to call it “The Mullholland of India”, a statement so deeply idiotic and false on so many levels, that it’s hard not to laugh, and then cry.
Here are a few more examples from places all over the country, just to make sure you guys don’t feel Lavasa is the only place where this shit happens.
In some ways, it feels like ghats of India have become infested with bikers, who, like a plague, have spread themselves far and wide, making life difficult for a vast majority of people, and sometimes ending it altogether.
Have I done it?
Of course, there’s no stupidity I haven’t tried for myself. Here’s just one example of it.
Yes I’m not as big a cunt as I’d like myself to be, but I try.
Although I’m a relatively slow rider who takes few chances, I have done some incredibly brainless things over the years.
I once overtook a car on a blind turn, only to find a truck right in my face. If the truck hadn’t moved off into the gravel, I wouldn’t be writing this. I once went to Shimla from Chandigarh and came back the same day, and that entire ride was filled with insane moments of incredible foolishness. I once attempted to do Chorla at night on the way to Goa, lost my way, found myself in some godforsaken jungle, with a dark visor on my helmet, and rode like a madman through the potholes and besides the truck and over the jams to get there by midnight.
The biggest reason why people may not recognize me as an asshole is because I try not to share such witless moments in public, and also because I rarely carry an action camera on me, hence many assholic moments go unrecorded.
In any case, let there be no doubt in your minds that when I say people do stupid stuff, I know exactly what I’m talking about.
Why do we do it?
The reasons for this type of self-destructive behavior are varied and deep. Here are a few that fit my theory.
They just don’t know any better.
When you’re young, at the beginning of your riding life, the obvious thing to do is to try and find the limits, of you and your bike. Since you are young, and consequently a jackass, this aim is achievable anywhere, inside the city, on the highway, or at some ghats somewhere.
The riding and driving culture in India is anyways fucked up, the people who they watch on the road everyday are probably the worst ones to learn from. They watch people break every rule in the book, do crazy stuff for no reason, and risk themselves and others just to feel a bit better about themselves.
On top of that, it’s easy to see that those who don’t behave like dicks get trampled on by other dicks, hence the incentive to be a dick yourself is pretty huge.
The same story continues in the virtual world. Young people are far more attracted to the extremes, all they watch on Youtube are videos of cars and bikes that sound loud, go fast, and stunt from time to time. The demarcation between what needs to be done on a track and what can be done on the road doesn’t exist in their minds, even though the videos they watch might come with the pointless “Don’t do this at home” warnings.
You really expect to tell a walking bag of testosterone “Don’t do this at home” and expect him to comply?
Our education system teaches nothing at all about safe and responsible road behavior. Our law enforcement system is entirely ineffective. And traditionally, we tend to use our roads as an anger management system more than one for transport. It’s no surprise that young dudes Squid their brains out all over our streets.
2. Influence of Youtube
Media, as in films, advertisements and news etc., don’t play an important role in the development of today’s bikers. Kids don’t watch the news, which is a good thing in a lot of ways, but most importantly because all news channels constantly brand bikers as dickheads, that anyone who crashed on a bike was racing, that it’s OK to blame bikers with big bikes and fancy riding gear for all of nation’s problems.
Movies are worse, in the sense that they portray bikes as these stunt machines that can do anything, slide under a moving truck, jump over a bullock cart, stop a moving train. Motorcycles in movies have no connection whatsoever to reality, and most kids understand that, or at least I hope they do.
Advertisements are the worst, mostly because the manufacturers themselves make such fucking short-sighted blunders, that the people who watch them are given completely wrong information.
It’s a rarity to watch any rider in any motorcycle advertisement wearing a full-face helmet. Gears? What gears? And then there was Bajaj’s marketing campaign for the RS200. If you don’t remember it, the tagline was “Leave track racing to Amateurs”. If the guy who thought of this idea, and the managers who approved it, haven’t been fired and then lynched, we as humans are not living up to our potential.
However, films, advertising and news have almost no influence against what Youtube has. Youtube videos have such a huge impact due to 2 reasons.
First, they are real, you know that’s a real guy doing those real things right in front of your eyes. Second, you can watch what a guy in Jordan or Switzerland or USA is doing from the safety of your house, the level of reach Youtube gives to you is incredible, it’s your choice what you want to see.
In India, a major factor in this direction has been Powerdrift. They make beautiful videos, with Sagar doing some pretty incredible stuff, and to that gets added their popularity in general. I enjoy watching their videos, especially the old ones, but what you need to understand is the difference in perspective between when I watch one of their videos, and a young dude watches the same thing.
When I watch a Powerdrift video, I appreciate the editing skills, the time that must’ve gone into thinking it, and then making it happen. I appreciate Sagar’s skill with motorcycles, more so since I’ve never got my knee down, and I understand how much effort it takes to get to this level where you can do anything with a motorcycle that you just got a few hours ago.
However, I’m also aware of the bigger picture, the fact that these guys have had plenty of crashes on the way, have spent countless hours on the track getting trained by professionals, and overall, spent huge amounts of time, money and sweat to get where they are. They understand the risks, they understand their limits, they prepare for eventualities, and they have tremendous amount of experience doing what they do.
Now imagine a 19-year-old watching the same Powerdrift video, what do you think he thinks?
He has barely seen the world, his viewpoint is extremely narrow, all he can see are the knee-downs, the sparks flying away, the wheelies, the sound, the excitement. To him, Sagar was born like this, and if he watches enough of his videos, he can download his skills to his own brain right through Youtube. Since there are no crashes in their videos for obvious reasons, he never realizes there’s a different side to the coin as well.
I’m not blaming Powerdrift for anything, it’s not their responsibility to teach youngsters things their parents should, the society should, and what they should have an innate understanding of. If anything, their videos are extremely sensible when compared to retard buckets you can find all over Youtube, who sadly have far more viewership than Powedrift.
My point is that kids are easy to influence, and they naturally tend to look at the fun side of riding than the sad side, they tend to look at top speed runs, exhaust note videos, stunt videos, rather than near-misses, crashes, broken bones and deaths. This creates a version of motorcycling in their head that’s completely removed from reality, and the shock of knowing the truth comes with great risk.
Here’s another set of videos to help prove my point, all these videos are specific to Lavasa.
3. The fetish of Knee Downs
As someone who spent a large part of this and last year attempting to get my knee down, I understand how strong this urge can be. We watch a lot of MotoGP, we watch a lot of Youtube, and it looks so easy. Then you try to do it yourself, and the damn thing is so unimaginably uncomfortable.
I understand how important knee downs are to people, and I also understand how useless they are for a rider, at least one who isn’t taking part in some competitive racing event. But this fetish of scraping your knee leads to a lot of huge problems, as we’ll discuss.
I’ve been to Lavasa only once. I went there with a friend, both had their girlfriends behind them, and we were staying a few nights there. It was raining like shit. We went on a Friday, so on the way up there wasn’t much traffic, just a few random bikers with loud exhausts practicing their cornering. When we came back, it was a Sunday, and the entire twisty section, from top to bottom, was swarming with bikers, like an open wound attacked by maggots.
A few of the bikers were like us, caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. We just wanted to get out of there, had no reason to get involved in the fuckfest that was going on. Some of the bikers there were total dickweeds, there was a guy riding a yellow Harley V Rod without a helmet, there were plenty of others on loud bikes overtaking everyone all the time without giving a single shit about common decency and sense. Most of the bikers were reasonably geared up, on small to mid level bikes, and pushing their heart out to get their knee down to the ground.
We couldn’t help laughing at some of the poor sons of bitches, their bikes perfectly straight, both their ass cheeks out of the saddle, their body looking like one from a crime scene that fell off a building, contorted, twisted beyond recognition, and the knee stretched to the breaking point, just desperately wishing for a touch of asphalt.
The first problem with this uncontrollable desire is that it fucks up a biker’s body position. Their aim is no longer to balance their weight, to be comfortable on the bike, and have complete control over the throttle, they would sacrifice anything to have a few scrapes on their knee guards to show to others later.
The second problem is that doing such stupidity on a public road is crazy, I understand you are trying a few things, getting to know what works and what does not, but do you really have to do it at a place with absolutely no margin for error, with an oncoming vehicle waiting for you to fuck up, with the cliff waiting to embrace you and your bike with its bushy, thorny hands?
The third problem is that more often than not, such riders get into races. They watch someone else who looks faster and has his knee down, and they will do anything to overtake them, just to prove a non-existent point. If things weren’t dangerous already, now they are.
I will not tell you that there’s no reason to get our knee down, I still want to, and I still try to. However, it’s completely useless to make it happen on a ghat section somewhere, come to a track, be away from all the distractions, all the risks, and then do it. As with everything else, knee downs are just a way to understand your limit, and it’s quite possible you’ll rarely do them again once you know how, but to reach that point you’ll have to spend time practicing, making mistakes, crashing.
If you don’t have the brain to realize this isn’t something that’s supposed to be done on a public road, rest assured your brain would sooner or later be splattered down that same public road.
4. Lack of understanding about the Law of Personal Space
This is a cultural thing that has its hold deep in psyche. The Indian society has no sense of personal space, your neighbors know what size undies you wear, your relatives leave no stone unturned to embarrass you in public with intimate questions, and our public transport system mainly involves people pushing each other’s armpits into each other’s noses. The biggest reason for this is that there are too many of us, but there are a number of other factors too that need their own article.
In case you missed it in my earlier post, the Law of Personal Space states the following:
The Law of Personal Space states that you are free to do whatever you wish to do, as long as it doesn’t affect someone else’s personal space.
With an entire culture that doesn’t give a single fuck about personal space, that permeates every walk of our life, it’s quite easy to see why our road sense is as warped as it is. It’s even easier to see then why riders feel no issues at all with using public spaces for personal fun.
I have no issues with you breaking some of the laws, it’s impossible to follow all of them all the time. However, when you put your thrill in front of someone else’s safety, that’s where the problem comes. You crash, you die, no issues at all, great fun. However, you make a dick move that makes someone else crash, then you are in trouble. Most of these riders don’t give a single shit about the locals who are just living their lives, riding their scooters and small bikes to and from home. They overtake them like they don’t exist, or matter.
You can have fun on twisties, as much as you like. One of the advantages of crappy law enforcement in our country is that it’s mostly your own responsibility to be a good road user.
It’s very simple to be one really, as long as you are alone and there’s no chance of someone else getting affected by your actions, go ape shit, wheelie, then stoppie, then do a rolling burnout, while scraping both your knees, shoulders and the bloody helmet. However, if there’s someone in front of you, someone who is not aware of the party inside your pants, don’t involve him in it, be respectful, overtake them when there’s space, tell them you’re doing it with a horn, and then go live your life.
I understand when you are pushing yourself, you tend to get into this zone where you want to get rid of all distractions as quickly as possible. If you are looking for the ultimate version of this, go to a track. If you still do want to do it on the roads, you’ll have to control yourself, wait for your moment, and give space to everyone else.
Here’s an excellent example of what I mean. 2 riders, with obvious wealth but not so obvious brains, sucking each other’s cocks in broad daylight on a public road with people around them who have no part in it.
5. Lack of safe environments to improve
This is the most obvious reason why a lot of us find ourselves forced to do what deep down we all understand is wrong.
There are barely any tracks in India, especially if you live in the West or Central part of this country. People of South have 2 tracks, Chennai and Coimbatore, Hyderabad has a tiny one, and then there’s Buddh. 3 major tracks to serve an entire nation of over a billion people is hilariously inadequate.
On top of this, roads are free, tracks are not. Going to a track not only involves spending some 10,000 bucks per day just to register, but you also must spend on proper riding gear. It’s just easier to ride in your chaddi to the nearest ghats and corner the shit out of them, not to mention enormously cheap, hence that’s what a lot of people do.
A small number of smaller tracks have cropped up at places like Bangalore, Kolhapur etc., but a lot of people have this misconception that small tracks are useless.
“What’s the point of taking my Duke 390 to the circuit in Hyderabad when I’ll never be able to take it above 3rd gear?”.
This is wrong on so many levels, but I’ll try to answer a few of them.
Small tracks are great for beginners, speeds are low, so if you crash, nothing happens, you just get up and crash again. Small tracks also tend to have a lot of tight corners, which teach you a lot about throttle control and lines. Most importantly, small tracks are dirt cheap. A track day in Hyderabad costs roughly 1500 bucks. Based on the value you get out of this experience, I’d say that’s money well spent.
Not only do we not have proper places where people can try things out and improve, not many of us want to spend the time understanding the complexities of a motorcycle, to read books about cornering, to read articles, to ask questions and clear doubts.
The combination of these factors means that what you end up with is an army of frustrated, jacked up bikers, who are inspired by the internet to push beyond their limit, ready to break every rule, without even the basic understanding of how to go about it in a safe and responsible way.
6. A burning sense to belong
This is, in my opinion, one of the biggest factors at play. Like girls have this weird compulsion to look beautiful, no matter how many layers of horse jizz make-up that takes, boys have this compulsion to be cool, to be associated with important people, to have some excitement and adventure in life. Motorcycles seem to be an easy way of doing this, and they dive in, head first, with no sense of direction.
It’s so common to find college dudes riding superbikes nowadays, how do you think that affects an average middle-class teenager? If he can’t have a bike that goes quick, at least he can compensate by going quick himself, taking a few risks on the way.
The group riding culture doesn’t help either, there’s always that one twat in every group who takes the most risks and looks the fastest, consequently everyone tires to keep up with him, which obviously ends in disaster. If you are quick, people respect you, if you are not, you are looked down on.
Humans will do anything to be appreciated, self-worth is the biggest motivator on this planet.
The sad fact is that young people generally tend to connect their self-worth to external factors, what people think of them, how many likes they get on social media, how do they look. This connection takes them on a dangerous path, lead by deranged, irresponsible assholes who themselves don’t have a fucking clue what they are doing with their lives.
This is one of the reasons why I don’t like people who give too much importance to motorcycles, you know the type who say “Ride or die”, “Live to Ride”, or share memes like “Ride, eat, sleep, repeat” and shit.
As a man who has built an entire unsuccessful career on motorcycles, I can tell you for a fact that they are nothing special by themselves. Motorcycles are just a means to an end, to get you to places, to give you that thrill, to fulfill your sense of adventure. People who tell you otherwise are frauds trying to sell you stuff.
Don’t buy into this delusional idiocy.
I understand young men want to belong, they wish to have a purpose in life, something they can sacrifice for, to fight for. Go ahead and follow this hobby, make it your life, but don’t get sucked into the elaborately dark minds of others, make your own damn decisions.
What is the result?
The question can be raised that the last 3700 words have all been in vain, that I’m just jacking myself off for nothing. Let me give you a few examples of how easy it is to influence riders, and make them do unbelievably moronic things.
There’s this penis spasm on Youtube called MaxWrist. All he does is race random people on roads, some of whom don’t even know they are racing with this jizz pudding. Although I always try to not give a single second of my time to such ass lickers, I would like to show you an example.
Now that you’ve seen what the life of man continuously unhappy with the size of his dick looks like, let me show you what it does to youngsters thousands of kilometers away. Here’s a video of some tit hair near Bangalore.
Do you see the influence? No? It’s OK, I have more examples.
I’m sure you’ve seen the video of this ballsack riding through traffic like the ballsack he is. In case you haven’t here it is.
Now that you know what the life of a man who got hit on the head with a shovel at birth looks like, let me show you how it affects youngsters. Here’s the video of some nosebleed from Kolkata.
Still not satisfied? No worries, let me show you one of the most popular motorcycle videos online, something I’m certain you’ve seen, and probably shaken your head to until you passed out.
Now that you know what the life of a man whose penis has never been touched by anyone else’s hand looks like, allow me to show you the result of this stupidity in India.
If you still don’t see what I mean, this article has been a waste of your time, apart from mine. Having said that, there’s just one more thing I would like you to understand.
I get it that people watch foreigners do stupid shit, and they want to do it themselves. What they don’t understand is the level of medical support you get in those countries, they don’t realize that these people have a giant safety net around them, something that we simply don’t.
Here’s an example, a dude crashes, and within minutes there are trained professionals helping him, followed by a helicopter, a fucking helicopter to fly him to safety.
What happens if you crash at Lavasa? Or Lonavala? Or Kasara? Or Chorla? It takes an hour for an ambulance to arrive, if it does, and then the police come to fuck your day up even more, followed by the struggle of finding proper medical attention and fighting the law that’s supposed to help you out.
A friend once crashed near Amby Valley, I was with him. We had to go all the way to the city, fetch an auto, bring it back up, pick him up, and then ferry him to a hospital. He was just lying by the side in dirt all that time.
You think you can do what someone in USA is doing, but you can’t. You are not fighting on a level playing field, your world is completely different from theirs, the things you don’t even know exist are a common part of their life.
Get your fucking head out of your ass.
How do we improve this situation?
I don’t know. I’ve realized over the past few months that I’m a thinker, not a doer, so I’m far better at spazing out than actually helping someone, far better at having a ragegasm than making a difference.
In some ways, I don’t think there’s much that can be done at all. Young people are complete dicks, I was one too, and they seldom learn a lesson without reality smacking them flat in the face.
My writing style doesn’t help either, if there is some teenager out there who might be influenced by this article to change his ways, he will most likely be put off by my language and insults and not understand the idea behind them.
What we need is a vast system of sensible people telling beginner riders what needs to done. Parents and teachers are THE most part of this pyramid, what they say and what they do has a massive influence on what the kid grows up to be. The society, law enforcement, and licensing authorities are big players too, but there are far too many other important things to fix before they can get to this. Our popular automotive sites could help out as well, but I don’t think such articles fit in their business strategies.
Why would someone waste an article telling people about safety that only a few would read, when you can use that article to talk about the instrument console of the upcoming KTM Duke 390, which everyone can masturbate to?
The silver lining on this dark cloud is that this article is done, so I don’t give a shit anymore. I have vomited the idea out my head and onto the internet, and that’s all I care about.