Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Riding Escapades

Well, after all the lengthy and quite thought-provoking (I hope!) writings over the past few articles, guess its time for some light and funky ones (someone quite rightfully reminded me of that :)) So, lets see – light and funky….. "light" and funky, light and “funky”. The only thing that I know is light and funky is the cute looking lamp in my bedroom – "light" and “funky”. Sorry, I know, that was a bad joke! Aaaah!!! I know! I can always write something from my bike-riding escapades. Not exactly light (if you count me mouthing some heavy expletives :-D) but funky and funny indeed sometimes .

Ok... so.... which one of these 214 stories would make an impact? Story 49? No, that’s not funky, that’s not even funny. 186? Nah! That guy was not all that indecent. 125? Well, that could be light and funky except for the fact that I almost lost a toe when the idiot standing next to me stomped his feet on mine while stopping at the signal. Ouch! Hmm… well, now that I think of it, I don’t think just one story should qualify as being light and funky. Maybe an assortment will do… the more the merrier, right? So here are some random occurances from a journey that might enlighten and enliven you… the journey I take everyday to and from office plus a few other places on the run.

Now, the ride to office has been quiet an interesting one over the past couple of months. Earlier I used to travel about 10 kms to a god-forsaken place, that later didn't seem so god-forsaken after all :) Now, I have to travel even further, another 5 kms to another god-forsaken place, which I know not when will get promoted into a non-god-forsaken place. I think I would be quite happy with it being god-forsaken, if only it was also human and traffic-forsaken. Oh my! You should see the amount of traffic and the sea of people that I have to literally cross every day to get to work. And it is not funny at all!! Especially when the travel is some 15-odd kms each way, it gets less funny every day.

When I'm riding and being a mute passenger, I always have this thing about people who navigate through any kind of traffic. You know bikers who think they can literally squeeze into 4 inches of space with the shiniest and largest bike ever, a wife and 3 kids on board. I almost burst out laughing every time I see someone like this. In fact, I encourage them (not out load) to keep on, till they find the right spot! :-D Another area of interest to me is to see fellow women-riders. Not just how they drive/ride, but how they even can! Now, I know this is a sensitive subject, but lets face it. Women are not good riders/drivers. If you thought I would say within brackets – 'except me', sorry! I don’t like to go easy on myself, and I know my flaws (and goodness-es). The thing that 'we' lack is effective judgment skills and compensate for that with too much brains! How many times have you seen a lady rider/driver drive like her whole life depended on it? Many right? I can say for sure that she would definitely not consider driving a pleasure. And she will not hesitate to honk, even when she knows that she is the only one driving on the road. “What?!! That rat crossing the road doesn't know I’m coming!!!” I personally have had some minor incidents of almost ramming into the behind of a car or bus (!) just to stop in the nick of time. The reason? Poor judgment skills of not knowing how hard or fast to brake. With (of course!) the counter effect of me shouting (never out loud) expletives at the car or bus for having stopped sooner than I ‘thought’ it would. Typical, ain’t it? But I am happy to inform you that after almost a year of riding, my skills have definitely shown improvement, quite to the point that I don’t brake at all these days! Ha, ha!

The last time I laughed my wits out was when I saw a considerably new car parked right in the middle of the road. Now, this road divides itself into 2 main sections on the sole basis of a convenient ‘here-I-am, there-am-not’ divider. I always make sure that I navigate to one side of the road as soon as I enter it, so that I can spare myself a whole lot of confusion. So, one night I am driving home late from office, and I enter this road. A few meters down, I know there should come the start of the divider, but instead I see this car standing. I mean, from behind it just looks like its standing there, innocently, like it forgot which part of the road it was supposed to be on. Quite possible! I slowed down for it to move, turn, back-up… it didn’t. By the time I approached it, I kinda knew something was not quite right about the way it was parked. Who would park in the middle of the road, in (almost) the middle of the night? Are you crazy? Or do you think others are... to not notice it? By now, I am almost passing it by… and what do I see?? It has banged right into the start of the divider and is so smashed up that you actually can’t make out the front portion of the car. Now, that is a sorry sight indeed, but I found myself laughing so hard that I was afraid I would fall off my bike. Right from that spot to my house, which is about 5 mins, I laughed and laughed and laughed!! Who in their right frame of mind would miss a divider that is almost 3-4 feet tall? It stands there like a bull on the road. I understand that if you are blind or blinded by other things (if you know what I mean) it is quite possible. But even then, it is totally amazing that one should ram right into it without making an effort to try and avoid it. Sheesh!

And oh! Don’t even get me started on the honkers! Yes… the impeccable category of people who know just about what to do with a vehicle other than drive. They can sure honk your wits out! Well, I guess I'll reserve that for ‘light and funky' – Part 2 or 3 or 4 :)

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