Category Archives: biking

Alcohol & Roads DO NOT MIX

This was posted by a fellow Bike Nomad … felt it is a serious concern, hence posting it here.

I feel compelled to post this after reading 4 trip reports on 3 different forums where alcohol consumption has become the high point of the report!

Many of us on a forum like this love to head out on the open roads, head out into the hills and beyond. Putting the windshield down, flooring the throttles and feeling the wind on our face gives us a high! I am no tee-totaller but do we really need to add alcohol and drugs to this mix?

So alright, we have a few drinks and maybe some other barely legal intoxicants! After a hard days ride, alcohol may help relax the mind a little bit and help us get some sleep so we are ready in the morning for another day. But can we at least promote a culture of safe riding/driving and responsible drinking?

Many bike clubs, especially those with *ahem* “bigger bikes” in particular, seem to promote a culture of this kind of unsafe behavior. Maybe not openly but more subtly by making consumption of alcohol and drugs seem like the cool macho thing to do. Despite publicly professing a responsible position, forum signatures like “A real rider should have no blood in his alcohol stream” (or something to that effect) and organizing night-rides/drives where the consumption of alcohol and drugs seems to be the raison-de-etre of the ride make the claims of being responsible rather hollow sounding. The typical “night-ride” goes something like this: ride out towards Tamhini Ghat after 9 pm, sit at a chosen location with some fantastic views and then… pull out the booze and polish off a large quantity of alcohol before riding back the 65 odd kms in the wee hours of the morning. I have been on some
rides like these and have been deeply uncomfortable about the situation. A night-ride to Tamhini is a lot of fun, especially on a full moon night. But do we need to add alcohol and hash to the mix to make it enjoyable? Is this responsible? The first gift i received on my birthday from the club was a hip-flask! And atleast one such bike club actually has a separate thread running on its yahoo-group on arranging for alcohol before the “Independence Day ride” which happens to be a dry day! Without going into naming and shaming, there was this bunch of RX riders, some of them members of this forum, going out for a round of rubber burning near Bandra-Kurla complex after a drinks session. I can never forget being cornered on a TV show (NDTV) while trying to unsuccessfully defend the biker community after this shameful incident. I mean where are we getting to people? What is this culture we are promoting?

But its not just bikers on “big bikes” being irresponsible. It applies to many 4-wheeler drivers as well. I have earlier posted about an experience where a Silver colored Scorpio with TBHP stickers swerving to the extreme left on the expressway and throwing out an empty beer bottle! The dudes inside were clearly drinking but by throwing an empty beer bottle they put others at risk as well. It could have hit the vehicle coming from behind!

Then again, I have been on so many OTR’s where after a hard days work on Saturday evening, we head out for an OTR session. The idea behind leaving on Sat is to maximise the amount of time available for the OTR on Sunday. Instead we find people drinking through the night getting little or no sleep whatsoever, and then heading out for a punishing OTR session in the morning! Consider the situation: Heading out for a physically and mentally challenging OTR session having had little or no rest in the past 24 hours and having consumed alcohol barely 3 hours before! I have seen some people, while heading back from one such OTR swerving wildly from side to side on the expressway trying to fight off fatigue and alcohol induced sleep! Is
this safe?

Like everything else in life, alcohol is best enjoyed in moderation. There is nothing “macho” about drinking and driving/riding or punishing our bodies by sleep denial. On this Independence Day, let us resolve as a forum to desist from promoting such irresponsible behavior and instead promote a culture of safe driving/riding. Let us resolve to keep needless references to alcohol out of our trip logs. While on OTR’s/Rides, let us actively promote safe riding/driving practices.

Regards
Roy Skaria
Cougar Rides
Live to Ride – Ride to Live

The Helmet

thank u Jayaram Krishnamurthy for sending the following

Got this mail from someone who was saved due to the helmet he was wearing when he got into an accident. Read on…

Hello All,

I am fine now, recovering at a faster rate with complete rest along with medicines. It’s because of your prayers and fingers crossed that has enabled me to communicate with you in the form of this mail today. A Huge Thanks and Best Wishes from me and my family to you.

Today, I take this opportunity to share a short but very important experience. Please do read when you get free time from your work or while taking Trivedi’s Uncle’s tea (for Team working @ AFOUR) in evening. The Subject Line is “THE HELMET”.

Confused or shocked? Please don’t be, else you will not get what I want to share with you now.

Guys, it all started when I never used THE HELMET for last 2 ½ years of my driving. Many people used to tell me that I should use it, but I used to give stupid reasons that so and so are the problems with it and used to drive without it. Even Mahesh Sir himself asked me the reason for not wearing it for 3-4 times. Then as the traffic situation become worst at Hadapsar due to the BRT and new over-bridge construction, I soon realized what I was lacking. Then during my last 2 months tenure at one of our clients Reflexis, I finally purchased THE HELMET.

I started wearing it now and then while driving for office, going outside for shopping, etc. I got so used to it that I even wear it when I visit my Grandma’s place, which is just 750 meters away from my house. Then on 20thOctober morning, when I was driving on my vehicle along with my sister to Lohegaon Airport, near Blue Diamond hotel and at Koregaon Park turning, I had just taken the turn with a speed of perhaps 15-20kmph, I had a collision with a 2-wheeler which rushed to me directly from wrong-side with a considerably high speed. I stopped by applying vehicle’s brakes, but perhaps the impact was already done from opposite side. Luckily my sister went un-hurt but I was thrown over my bike’s handle over the road, directly on my face. Due to this, THE HELMET’s glass broke off and fractured my face. But 99% of the functionality of THE HELMET was already worked out, i.e. saving the Brain. I was admitted immediately by my alert and strong-minded Sister to the nearest hospital and then because of immediate First-Aid by doctors the things were brought to control. The MRI-Scan reports clearly stated that there is no danger to the Nervous System.

Now, THE HELMET will remain in the show-case or perhaps will be used to plant seeds in it, but it has already proved the commitment to save The Brain. It will be replaced by a new one soon once I will be 100% fit for driving, but this accident will always be considered as learning for me.

All the people who are using THE HELMET continue using it, you are doing a great job. While the people who are still not using it, I sincerely request you right from my Heart as well as Brain, PLEASE USE IT. I would always expect that such thing should never happen again with anyone else. Even if you drive slowly and carefully, you never know how the people around you drive and also the roads with a poor quality. For example, even if you are traveling from our AFOUR office to Vertex, which is a 5 mins drive, there are 4 speed breakers, 7-8 potholes on the road, the most dangerous one just in between Croma and Vertex, worst turning near ICICI bank and near the School corner and many more.

Remember guys, life hardly gives a Second chance to anyone, so please wear THE HELMET; you are precious for us and also for your families.

I am very much thankful to Mahesh Sir; who helped me in realizing the importance of THE HELMET due to which I started wearing it. Also, he immediately arranged help by informing the concerned people at runtime to look into my health matter.

Also, I am thankful to Rajan, we spent almost 2 ½ hours on a Saturday evening searching for THE BEST HELMET in 3-4 shops.

I am sincerely thankful to Pradnya Mam for supporting me and my family during our bad-patch and communicating with the doctors now and then so that I can get maximum medical help.

It’s that Volga (my HELMET’s company) HELMET because of which my brain got saved. I thank to THE HELMET because of which I am again with my Team today, and will be ready to work again once I pass the fitness tests. I am hoping to meet you soon. Wishing all Good-Luck in their respective project-work. Also, be best in your health.

Thanks & Regards,

My Life @ BikeNomads.com

on the way to dalma early morning

“The reflection of the rising sun on the handlebars is my alarm. My first cup of tea is miles away from my bed. I dont have a home. I carry my world with me. Boundaries have no meaning for me. I have no time to see the dust clouds in my mirror for the road ahead calls out to me. The wind is my partner. The sun is my compass. I dont stop in the rain, I sing with it. The evening birds match chords with my thump. The neon lights of the city become blurry lines as I enter the encroaching dark of the highway. The earth is my bed, the sky is my roof. I sleep to the music of the gurgling brook. I want no glory. I have no name. I dont have a begining, I dont have an end. I am a BIKENOMAD!”

– written by a fellow Nomad …

BIKENOMADS

Just A Biker – a tribute to fellow bikers n RoadMelters

these words touched me as it popped in my mail from Eastern Bulls … as i felt what Belgi Thomas felt as a biker …

tribute to RoadMelters Jamshedpur

I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line.
But you didn’t see me put an extra £10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
But you didn’t see me playing Santa at the local Mall.
I saw you change your mind about going into the restaurant when you saw my
bike parked out front. But you didn’t see me attending a meeting to raise more
money for the hurricane relief.
I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I rode by.
But you didn’t see me riding behind you when you flicked your cigarette
butt out the car window.
I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children.
But you didn’t see me, when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

I saw you stare at my long hair.

But you didn’t see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you roll your eyes at our Leather jackets and gloves.
But you didn’t see me and my brothers donate our old ones to those that had none.
I saw you look in fright at my tattoos.
But you didn’t see me cry as my children where born or have their
name written over and in my heart.
I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere.
But you didn’t see me going home to be with my family.
I saw you, complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be.
But you didn’t see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.
I saw you yelling at your kids in the car.
But you didn’t see me pat my child’s hands knowing she was safe behind me.
I saw you reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road.
But you didn’t see me squeeze my wife’s leg when
she told me to take the next turn.
I saw you race down the road in the rain.
But you didn’t see me get soaked to the skin so my son
could have the car to go on his date.
I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time.
But you didn’t see me trying to turn right.
I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in.
But you didn’t see me leave the road.
I saw you, waiting impatiently for my friends to pass.
But you didn’t see me. I wasn’t there.
I saw you go home to your family. But you didn’t see me.
Because I died that day you cut me off.
I was just a biker. A person with friends and a family. But you didn’t see me.

Spread this link around in hopes that people will understand the biker community..
I hope you never lose someone that rides.
EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIKE US, RESPECT OUR RIGHTS TO RIDE WHAT
WE CHOOSE AND TAKE A FEW EXTRA SECONDS TO BE SURE WE ARE NOT
IN ‘YOUR’ WAY
Regards “N” Rock n roll
Belgi Thomas