I have discovered a new form of adventure sports lately. It gives me the required adrenalin rush, makes me scream and pray to God for the safe landing as well. No, it isn't scuba diving, bungee jumping, not even zip lining, as I said it's new...it's riding my bike on the Indian bylanes. Now, i know most of the bike riders in India would have enjoyed this sport and would agree with me when I categorise it in the adventure sport section.
First, you get out of the house with your safety gear; helmet, preferably shoes with good grip (without too much of heels) and dark, easy to wash clothes. Then, you get on to this bylane which is kind of a blind turn which people will knowingly want to take a turn on without honking. Once, you have avoided the collission, you get onto the road; which is not exactly capable of being called a road; try manouvering your vehicle on the various speed bumps, deliberately and sometimes incidentally created.
Once, the art of braking on the exact bumps and memorising their position is mastered, you move onto Obstacle course 2 - the art of dealing with the deaf and stubborn variety of people. As they say in the famous ad - Roads are full of idiots. This variety is indigenously trained to ignore the honks, forget moving aside they won't even pretend to acknowledge your bike's existence on the road. And, God forbid, if you happen to brush past them, you would be hurled with such a multilingual variety of abuses that your day would be made. So, the only way to master Obstacle 2 is to wait for these people to move on the side or learn the tactics of going past them without brushing them on that narrow 2 -way lane, full of bumps( refer to obstacle 1).
After we have mastered obstacle 2, we move on to the 3rd and very important obstacle, we categorise them as animals. They can be of any variety, goats, cows or dogs. Sometimes, when the difficulty level of the sport is easy, this obstacle will ignore you and move on to the side once you have honked. In moderate difficulty level, they won't move on to the side but stand right in between and won't budge and the only way out is to get down and find a way past them without irritating them. Under tough conditions, this obstacle will sit on the side making you think that it's an easy day but as soon as you press the accelerator, it will come running in the middle of the road causing you to brake suddenly and lose your balance or knock somebody / vehicle on the lane. The key is to keep the accelerator under control and never to assume that one has mastered Obstacle 3.
Then, there are the new and unique obstacles per day, which cannot be defined. Some days, it might be - a garbage collector vehicle right ahead of you, spilling all the garbage on the 'just-bathed' you and your 'freshly-washed' vehicle and
- other days, it just might be a construction truck or a water tanker
- or some idiot who gets irritated because you being a girl have overtaken him and he didn't like the whole idea,
- water clogging on the already broken road or
- just a local festivity for which they decide to put a stage in the middle of the road alongwith some speakers and decide to dance
- some confused soul who was going right all the time and suddenly decided to turn left and when you glare at him, he would start his indicator.
The key is to keep your calm, not underestimate any obstacle and try to be innovative in avoiding these obstacles. Hurling abuses generally don't help, however, can be tried on a case to case basis.
Whatever, the case may be, this sport is sure to give an adrenalin rush and teach you new things every day.
So, Happy Riding and enjoy the sport!!!