Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Changes, some needed some requested
Some fall on you unwarranted…

Beg for some, pray for some,
But the change will happen…
…Only, when you are ready for one.

Wished on shooting stars,
Prayed on all the scars
Darned life felt so stagnant
Will this ever change and take me far?

This might sound a little bit strange,
But all we crave for now is a new change.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Inked again...

Another busy Saturday came and went past…

I had so many things to finish!!! Since a while RedEye has been giving me troubles, she just doesn’t go beyond 80kph when I ride with a pillion and I had taken her to the mechanic to figure out why was she behaving like a lazy bull… spend almost half a day at the mech but we couldn’t figure out too many things… eventually it was decided that I change the air-filter on her and get he a high performance free flow filter to satisfy her appetite.

After finishing that, went home to find out that wifey is a bit late and we would have to rush out to meet XH, we were supposed to have a quick lunch and go to Russell’s place XH was going to get inked! Yes, he was going to get a tattoo and I was going to be his moral support and the expert commentator ad critic… we had a nice and economical south Indian lunch and then went to meet Russ.

I was too excited to be there and to see XH go through the pain (yeah, I’m a sadist sometimes) XH had selected a very safe and sober Hindu design of an Aum in the center of a sun… while Russ inked XH I too decided that I wanted to add a bit to my own tattoo… so after XH was done, I sat to get my tattoo done, thanks to the lack of exercise; my arms felt like jelly and the needles hurt a lot :( but I got a very neat design, I added to my Native American collection and a bit of my biker spirit…
The wifey was also interested in getting one tattoo but she was not sure if she wanted it or not… after a lot of deliberation she decided to get a nice small design which was part floral and part tribal. She was very brave, didn’t flinch at all!!! After all the tattoos we said our thanks and rode back home… now the wifey and I are already contemplating another tattoo anytime soon!


Monday, July 07, 2008

50 Ways to Save Your Life

i read this article here on motorcyclistonline.com and just had to share this with the Indian audience. i've finetuned this artical to Indian references so that it becomes a bit easier to comprehend.

The best bike in the world is scrap--or soon will be--unless you learn how to use it. The most powerful piece of high-performance hardware is between your ears. To help you program it with the right information, we've assembled 50 potentially lifesaving bits of street savvy. Some you'll know, some you won't. All are worth remembering, because when it comes to riding motorcycles on the street, the people over at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (www.msf-usa.org) have the right idea with their tagline: The more you know, the better it gets.

1. Assume you're invisible Becayse to a lot of drivers, you are. Never make a move based on the assumption that another driver sees you, even if you've just made eye contact. Bikes don't always register in the four-wheel mind.
2. Be considerate, The consequences of strafing the jerk du jour or cutting him off start out bad and get worse. Pretend it was your grandma and think again.
3. Dress for the crash, not the pool or the prom; sure, Pizza Hut is a 5-minute trip, but nobody plans to eat pavement. Modern mesh gear means 100-degree heat is no excuse for a T-shirt and board shorts.
4. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst Assume that car across the intersection will turn across your bow when the light goes green, with or without a turn signal.
5. Leave your ego at home The only people who really care if you were faster on the freeway will be the officer and the judge.
6. Pay attention Yes, there is a half-naked girl on the billboard. That shock does feels squishy. Meanwhile, you could be drifting toward Big Trouble. Focus.
7. Mirrors only show you part of the picture Never change direction without turning your head to make sure the coast really is clear. Mirrors only show you part of the picture.
8. Be patient Always take another second or three before you pull out to pass, ride away from a curb or into freeway traffic from an on-ramp. It's what you don't see that gets you. That extra look could save your butt.
9. Watch your closing speed Passing cars at twice their speed or changing lanes to shoot past a row of stopped cars is just asking for trouble.
10. Beware the verge and the merge. A lot of nasty surprises end up on the sides of the road: empty McDonald's bags, nails, TV antennas, ladders, you name it. Watch for potentially troublesome debris on both sides of the road.
11. Left-turning cars remain a leading killer of motorcyclists Don't assume someone will wait for you to dart through the intersection. They're trying to beat the light, too.
12. Beware of cars running traffic lights The first few seconds after a signal light changes are the most perilous. Look both ways before barging into an intersection.
13. Check your mirrors Do it every time you change lanes, slow down or stop. Be ready to move if another vehicle is about to occupy the space you'd planned to use.
Scan 12 seconds ahead for potential trouble.
14. Mind the gap Remember Driver's Ed? One second's worth of distance per 10 mph is the old rule of thumb. Better still, scan the next 12 seconds ahead for potential trouble.
15. Beware of tuner cars They're quick and their drivers tend to be aggressive. Don't assume you've beaten one away from a light or outpaced it in traffic and change lanes without looking. You could end up as a Nissan hood ornament.
16. Excessive entrance speed hurts It's the leading cause of single-bike accidents on twisty roads and racetracks. In Slow, Out Fast is the old adage, and it still works. Dialing up corner speed is safer than scrubbing it off.
17. look out for stray animals Ungulates and other feral beasts prowl at dawn and dusk, so heed those big yellow signs. If you're riding in a target-rich environment, slow down and watch the shoulders.
18. Learn to use both brakes The front does most of your stopping, but a little rear brake on corner entry can calm a nervous chassis.
19. Keep the front brake covered--always Save a single second of reaction time at 60 mph and you can stop 88 feet shorter. Think about that.
20. Look where you want to go Use the miracle of target fixation to your advantage. The motorcycle goes where you look, so focus on the solution instead of the problem.
Check your mirrors every time you change lanes.
21. Keep your eyes moving Traffic is always shifting, so keep scanning for potential trouble. Don't lock your eyes on any one thing for too long unless you're actually dealing with trouble.
22. Think before you act Careful whipping around that Camry going 7 mph in a 25-mph zone or you could end up with your head in the driver's side door when he turns into the driveway right in front of you.
23. Raise your gaze It's too late to do anything about the 20 feet immediately in front of your fender, so scan the road far enough ahead to see trouble and change trajectory.
24. Get your mind right in the driveway Most accidents happen during the first 15 minutes of a ride, below 40 mph, near an intersection or driveway. Yes, that could be your driveway.
25. Come to a full stop at that next stop sign Put a foot down. Look again. Anything less forces a snap decision with no time to spot potential trouble.
26. Never dive into a gap in stalled traffic Cars may have stopped for a reason, and you may not be able to see why until it's too late to do anything about it.
27. Don't saddle up more than you can handle If you weigh 45 kilos, avoid that 305-kilo cruiser. If you're 5-foot-5, forget those towering adventure-tourers.
28. Watch for car doors opening in traffic And smacking a car that's swerving around some goofball's open door is just as painful.
29. Don't get in an intersection rut Watch for a two-way stop after a string of four-way intersections. If you expect cross-traffic to stop, there could be a painful surprise when it doesn't.
30. Stay in your comfort zone when you're with a group Riding over your head is a good way to end up in the ditch. Any bunch worth riding with will have a rendezvous point where you'll be able to link up again.
31. Give your eyes some time to adjust A minute or two of low light heading from a well-lighted garage onto dark streets is a good thing. Otherwise, you're essentially flying blind for the first mile or so.
32. Master the slow U-turn Practice. Park your butt on the outside edge of the seat and lean the bike into the turn, using your body as a counterweight as you pivot around the rear wheel.
33. Who put a stop sign at the top of this hill? Don't panic. Use the rear brake to keep from rolling back down. Use Mr. Throttle and Mr. Clutch normally--and smoothly--to pull away.
34. If it looks slippery, assume it is A patch of suspicious pavement could be just about anything. Butter Flavor Crisco? Gravel? Mobil 1? Or maybe it's nothing. Better to slow down for nothing than go on your head.
35. Bang! A blowout! Now what? No sudden moves. The motorcycle isn't happy, so be prepared to apply a little calming muscle to maintain course. Ease back the throttle, brake gingerly with the good wheel and pull over very smoothly to the shoulder. Big sigh.
36. Drops on the faceshield? It's raining. Lightly misted pavement can be slipperier than when it's been rinsed by a downpour, and you never know how much grip there is. Apply maximum-level concentration, caution and smoothness.
37. Emotions in check? To paraphrase Mr. Ice Cube, chickity-check yoself before you wreck yoself. Emotions are as powerful as any drug, so take inventory every time you saddle up. If you're mad, sad, exhausted or anxious, stay put.
38. Wear good gear Wear stuff that fits you and the weather. If you're too hot or too cold or fighting with a jacket that binds across the shoulders, you're dangerous. It's that simple.
39. Leave the iPod at home You won't hear that cement truck in time with Spinal Tap cranked to 11, but they might like your headphones in intensive care.
40. Learn to swerve Be able to do two tight turns in quick succession. Flick left around the bag of briquettes, then right back to your original trajectory. The bike will follow your eyes, so look at the way around, not the briquettes. Now practice till it's a reflex.
41. Be smooth at low speeds Take some angst out, especially of slow-speed maneuvers, with a bit of rear brake. It adds a welcome bit of stability by minimizing unwelcome weight transfer and potentially bothersome driveline lash.
42. Flashing is good for you Turn signals get your attention by flashing, right? So a few easy taps on the pedal or lever before stopping makes your brake light more eye-catching to trailing traffic.
43. Intersections are scary, so hedge your bets Put another vehicle between your bike and the possibility of someone running the stop sign/red light on your right and you cut your chances of getting nailed in half.
44. Tune your peripheral vision Pick a point near the center of that wall over there. Now scan as far as you can by moving your attention, not your gaze. The more you can see without turning your head, the sooner you can react to trouble.
45. Every-thing is harder to see after dark Adjust your headlights, Carry a clear faceshield and have your game all the way on after dark, especially during commuter hours.
46. Don't troll next to--or right behind--Mr. Trucker If one of those 18 retreads blows up--which they do with some regularity--it de-treads, and that can be ugly. Unless you like dodging huge chunks of flying rubber, keep your distance.
47. Take the panic out of panic stops Develop an intimate relationship with your front brake. Seek out some safe, open pavement. Starting slowly, find that fine line between maximum braking and a locked wheel, and then do it again, and again.
48. Make your tires right None of this stuff matters unless your skins are right. Don't take 'em for granted. Make sure pressure is spot-on every time you ride. Check for cuts, nails and other junk they might have picked up, as well as general wear.
49. Take a deep breath Count to 10. Visualize whirled peas. Forgetting some clown's 80-mph indiscretion beats running the risk of ruining your life, or ending it.

50. Enjoy the ride, ride because you like doing it and not because you want to prove a point or because everone you know does it... ride ONLY for the joy of it and nothing else :D

Lepakshi Ride June 29th

I had been itching to get a cosmetic makeover for RedEye since a few months, had ordered the decals from a very upscale website in USA and they have been sitting in my house all these months as I was too chicken to try and put them on the bike on my own. Finally last Saturday I did go to JC road and got them fixed along with a personalized name tag of the bike. The guys at the sticker shop were real professional and they did the job in less than 40minutes and in around a 100/- bucks! I was all enthu to click a few pics of her with all the cosmetics and take her out on a ride somewhere, anywhere!

Sometime during the last week Rocky had called me and told that they will be planning a day ride to Lepakshi and will let me know on the updates. Saturday evening he called and said that the ride is on for Sunday morning and we are meeting up at the Hebbal flyover. I was so happy! It was feeling like a really long time since both wifey and I rode together anywhere. Our lives had becoming really monotonous; wakeup, breakfast, go-to-work, come home, sleep… the days had become too boring and stress levels had started kicking in really hard, both of us needed a break and needed to feel some wind through our heads.

Sunday morning came too soon, woke up hurriedly and rolled out the bike to meet the guys there, by the time we reached MG road RedEye decided that she needed a full tank of fuel and we had to stop by at a gas station to fill her up. This was probably the longest, sloppiest and the most lethargic gas station service that I ever encountered till date; the staff there had no clue on who is filling the gas and who collects the gas, the quality of the fuel was the worst, after the fill-up they didn’t have change to give and they actually wanted me to let go of 10bucks since the didn’t have it!!!!! Fackers

Anyway, after this disgusting episode, we shot off towards the designated meeting point, must say that it had been a long time since I rode down that side of the town and those roads… the roads have changed drastically! The government actually had felled around 300-400 trees to widen the roads and to accommodate the traffic (no exaggeration) and to broaden the already broad roads. (Sigh, what is this city coming to? :( )

When we finally reached there we were already around 15-20 minutes late and everyone was waiting for us… the gang was Rocky and his wife Pallavi (who we met for the first time but it seemed that we had known her since ages) Prateek and his pillion Nita (who works with Oracle) and Orgy, I mean Mr. Arijit Ghosh (strangely, he is also Nita’s boss) everyone was there and getting jumpy to ride out as soon as possible to avoid the early morning traffic. After a quick round of introductions and pleasantries we all rolled off, Prateek and Nita were the spot and Orgy was the sweep… the roads to this side of the world looked so different! Everything felt new… after only about 15-20 minutes of ridding we pulled over into one of the south-Indian fast food restaurants for a quick round of Idli-Vadas and Dosas. The management probably found our crowd very funky since everyone around started jumping around trying to accommodate us there with our tankbags, helmets, riding jackets and all the works… we had a nice filling brunch and rolled out again.

The roads were reasonably empty and our riding was pretty eased. We were enjoying the scattered clouds and the cool strong winds… Prateek was the lead and I must say his 500CC bull with the rider and the pillion and its monster panniers was still roaring and keeping a pretty decent steady speed! I was right behind him and was sort of playing tag with Rocky, he’d overtake us then slow down and overtake us again… I was feeling happy to ride with a group of people who I like not only as bikers but are also great friends.

Then came the town of Chikaballapur and came Prateek’s initiation thanks to some drunk local on a cycle who didn’t know if he was coming or going… thankfully nobody was hurt, Pallavi used her amazingly polished Kannada on that drunk soul and gave him a piece of her mind… we didn’t want to stay there long and wait for the crowd to change its mind so we pushed off from there… after a few kilometers we stopped to asses the damages, thankfully there were none! Thanks to the riding gear both the rider and pillion were geared into. This was also a time was an amazing photo session, which also included Pallavi chasing an old woman leading two buffaloes or maybe the other way round and shouting ‘amma smile maadi’ while clicking the pics in the meantime Orgy showed us the long chain he kept on his bike and the ways he can beat off attackers in self defense, honestly I felt that if the attackers were of the homosexual tendency, they’d probably carry orgy along after looking at his self protection dance :D

After that photo shoot we again rode off towards our original destination… I guess after Hindupur we took a left turn and the great, majestic 4lane expressway turned into a small two lane road… we were in biker friendly territory :D almost around 15-20 kilometers of riding into these amazing landscapes brought us face to face with the monolithic Nandi bull’s status which is supposed to be carved out of a single granite stone slab… parked our bikes and all of us were itching for some masala chai, sadly the solitary shop opposite the bull had only ‘cool drinks’ and nothing else… just say the cool drinks were also not all that cool :(

Here we saw quite a few interesting characters, the cripple beggar who also was a mute, the two old women near the Nandi who were very happy to pose with us while clicking pictures and I believe they also fleeced us of quite an amount to click the pixies… there was nothing much to do here so we finally went to the actual attraction of Lepakshi, the Veerabhadra temple; strangely this temple reminded me a lot of my ride to Hampi, similar pillared facades, almost similar stone structures and the same amount of tourists, touts and guides. I was in no mood to checkout the place, so when Orgy announced that he is going to sit around in the shade and not go anywhere; I readily agreed to give him company. The others left us sitting there with all our samaan and Orgy and I had a real heart to heart discussion about work, marriage, kids, and life in general.

After a while, everybody gathered back and persuaded Orgy and me to at least go and look around a bit at how the place looks like… we like slackers walked around a bit, made a few oohs and aahs while looking at the sculpturesand got back in less than 10 minutes… all of were now hungry and were contemplating on what to do next when suddenly Pallavi emerged like devi ‘Annapurna’ with a paper-plate full of Pulliogre and Curd rice (the typical South Indian dishes) we all jumped at this sight and realized that the temple trustees are offering prasadam to all the people there. We like bhukkads charged at the temple, stood in line and got ourselves a good helping of the prasadam, now I’m not a big fan of the southi delicacies but I’m not sure if I was so hungry or was the food cooked really well… I actually had 2 helpings of the food.

Bellies full we decided to roll back… the ride back was pretty similar, but the crosswinds had picked up really bad and the bikes were actually getting pulled away… now the cheap petrol that I had filled in my tank started acting up on the bike, I could feel sudden power loss in the bike at a steady speed of 80. I thought it’d be the cross wind but upon listening to the beats of the engine I could actually notice it missing a few beats every few minutes. Upon stopping at a roadside dhaba I informed the guys about this… first we devoured some egg preparations (must say the food was not all that happening) after this Rocky and I started trouble shooting on the bike and realized that the spark plug was not in a very good state and needed some cleaning, done that and we rolled again… dunno what took over Rocky post lunch on our way back… he and Orgy both disappeared into the horizons speeding line maniacs… I had maintained a steady 80 as I still didn’t want to push the bike too bad on the crappy petrol. Prateek was right on our tail all the while, saw Rocky, Pallavi and Orgy waiting for us when we reached the Hebbal flyover again… stopped there, talked for a while decided to make more plans like this and said our goodbyes… reached home around 6:30-7ish in the evening…

Reached home all thrilled and happy and glad that I’ve made friends with some of the most genuine people on this planet! Guess its too good to have a few food friends… the ride was just a day trip but my respect and admiration for my friends grew a lot!