Ensuring the right riding line into the Forty-Oh & beyond

What’s there to ride a bike?

You get on it, thumb the starter (or kick start it) and zoom off, right? If you speak to the experienced and expert folks, they’d tell you that there are plenty ways in their ‘riding made easy’ arsenal that they like to use.

Some pack light and minimalist while others choose easier, better surfaced roads. Some ride lighter bikes, while most of them are infinitely better skilled than I can dream of being, when it comes to handling two wheels. I’m no riding expert or anything; in-fact, I’m one of the worst riders out there. I’m lazy – you’ll laugh if I told you of the number of rides that haven’t happened, because I didn’t feel like setting off.

My riding skills are minimal – I taste the dirt at least once every ride. And the best part, I’m always looking for a spot to pull over and catch a few winks, instead of pushing along to claim my spot on some imaginary podium. There is one thing that does get me going though and that’s because riding is a tonne of fun. Every single ride of mine may or may not have gone like clockwork, but I’ve returned with a wide grin plastered on the face. And that’s what keeps me going back on the road (and the world beyond it).

My riding trips have reduced in the past year, as work has had me switch to four wheels for a lot of trips. But every trip that I managed to pull off on two-wheels, it felt like this massive victory and I’d be grinning for days after that. One such trip I was happy to go along on happened last month. It involved riding up a hill in the mud, with slush & brick/foot-ball sized rocks strewn all along the path.

Overcoming the difficult terrain made for slow progress, but it was all well-earned. Each spot where I got stuck and then found a way out sparked off some heavy thinking in the head. The evening revelry that followed did put things on the back burner, but they returned with vengeance after crossing over to the other side of the night.

Sitting there on the hillside the next morning, I rediscovered an important factor in all those who look to make their riding easier – fitness. From pushing a motorcycle up steep inclines, to picking it up when I decided to taste the dirt, I had to do things different. I mean, leverage was good, having co-riders on trails was better, but I still had to contribute more, work better. Since then I’ve been looking up on the web, speaking to the experienced folks in the community and they all seem to reaffirm that the thought train is on the right track. I even went and did the #StandUpChallenge that a friend said I should try and do.

I’ll be crossing over into the ‘Four-Oh’ in a few years. I don’t know what I’ll be riding next or where the odometer will take me. What I do know is that if I want to do this for the rest of my life then I’d have to ensure, I’m willing to do all that it takes. From eating better and having supplemental nutrients such as Ensure, to (gulp!) letting go of some of that famous flab of mine.

RoadUnRoad PC: @Peyush Baranwal (https://www.instagram.com/peyush_baranwal/?hl=en)

Well, here’s to praying to them MotoGods to be kind, and keeping that front wheel pointed in all the right directions!

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