“Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out the car window”
“Two wheels move the body, four wheels move the soul”
“Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle”
I grew up reading through such clichéd quotes on Xbhp and BCMTouring, been in love with riding since I was in college, “riding”, not “driving”, there is a big difference between the two. You never drive a bull, prostitute or a motorcycle, they are always ridden. Part of the charm lies in the uncertainty, the thrill and the danger. The other part is just pure craziness, which is rather important! If there was nothing stupid about holding a tank full of petrol and a red hot engine between your legs, everyone would enjoy it!
So now that there is no doubt about the fact that I love biking and that I am a crazy butthole, let me take you to a world where this passion is a sure-shot path to nirvana and then some. Here are 5 reasons why I think biking is meditation:
1. It clears your head:
When I am riding on the open roads, just cruising around and enjoying the atmosphere, I feel so relaxed. There are moments when nothing is going on in my head, absolutely nothing. This is extremely rare, not just for me but most of the people today. Try it right now, stop doing everything, just for a minute. No TV, no texting and no thinking. We can stop everything but that voice in our head, it just doesn’t fucking go away! But when you are flowing on the tarmac, such moments come in abundance.
2. It keeps you focused:
You are completely focused on the road, looking for obstacles, leaning on the bends, living the life. You can’t focus too close or you lose sight of the distance, you can’t have a 1000 yard stare or you miss the potholes. It is a state of perfect concentration on only the things that matter. This is again one of those things that saints and ascetics run after, but seldom achieve!
3. It makes you enjoy the ride more than the destination:
Riding is just like life, the trip will end one way or the other. You might reach the destination intact, or you might end up bleeding on the side of the road, all that matters is what you did and how you spent the time you got. Destination holds no value in itself, it’s about the path you chose to get there and the actions you took in the endeavor.
4. It lets you value the moment:
It is so difficult to give importance to the present, it is an ever flowing river which we are just driftwood in. But when you step back and look at your life ebbing away from the shore, you realize the importance of this moment. When you are on the saddle, with the world whirling past you in a contorted funnel, the moment hits you in the face like a glass door that you never noticed.
5. It’s the perfect state of mind and body:
Have you ever noticed yourself riding? Sometimes I cross hundreds of kilometers and then wonder, how did I get here? I don’t remember the numerous up and down shifts, neither the braking and the acceleration. Some foreign entity takes over and moves you brain, mind and body in perfect tandem with the machine beneath you.
I know very few people who genuinely enjoy motorcycle riding over long distances, extremely rare. I have no idea why this is so, but I know they are missing something angelic. Even though I face major trouble riding due to my lenses and Keratoconus, I am about to complete 70,000 kms shortly. So for all those out there scared and overprotective of themselves, take a fucking chance, you might actually enjoy life for once!