Travel Diary Indonesia - A Crush on Motor Biking

Motor-Biking gives you the freedom to stop whenever you like, wherever you like and for however long you like. It is perfect for me because I don’t have to physically exert myself too much as I would have to on a bicycle and I am not too cocooned as I would be in a car. You see the world at a different speed - not too fast as you would see from inside a car and not too slow as you would see on top of a bicycle. It’s just that perfect speed at which you glimpse the world whiz by giving you a unique point of view. As the landscapes changed around me, from scrubland to coastline, so did the moods in my minds. The change was subtle but it was clearly there. For a split second it makes you question the validity of everything you’ve experienced so far in your life. How much was it the environment? How much was it the people involved in it? How much of it was hormones and finally how much of it was truly true?! But then again, I suppose differentiating those elements is immature as the variation in their combination, the intensity and the amount is what makes us “us” and our experiences, our own! 

All this biking reminds me of something that I read a while back. It’s about bicycling though but it is wonderfully apt for motor biking as well. It is an extract from the book Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne. 

“It (bicycling) seems like some form of meditation. And in a way it is. Performing a familiar task like driving a car or riding a bicycle puts one in a zone that is not too deep or involving. The activity is repetitive, mechanical, and distracts and occupies the conscious mind or atleast part of it, in a way that is just engaging enough, but not too much. It doesn’t cause you to be caught off guard. It facilitates a state of mind that allows some but not too much of the unconscious to bubble up. As someone who believed that much of his source of his work and creativity is to be gleamed from those bubbles, it’s a reliable place to find that connection. In the same way that perplexing problems sometimes get resolved in ones sleep, when the conscious mind is distracted, the unconscious works things out.”

I would be lying if I said I could relate to the experience that David Byrne talks about. But I certainly understand it. I haven’t motor biked that much yet to experience what he did but I would like to experience that someday. :)

The reason I specify that I have a “crush” on Motor-Biking and not “love” for it, is because the word “love” implies unconditional affection to the object of your love. I like to ride the bike as long as it can serve the purpose that I mention at the start . If there was a better mode of transport that would essentially serve those exact needs then I would drop my bike in a heart-beat and pick up the better vehicle. Vishu says, that he loves to ride the bike no matter what. He says “the roar of the engine completes his thoughts!” But that’s not how I feel about it. I only like to ride a bike when there is no traffic, the roads are good and the weather is good. My love is conditional and hence probably not really love in the first place. That’s why the ‘crush’ and not ‘love’.

There is something special in the constant movement while biking. We are constantly moving to some unknown destination. In reality, even when we sit in one place everything around us is always moving, but we just don’t realize it. Time is constantly moving and we are never in the same timeline twice, our emotions are motioning us to new unknown  territories, the planet we sit on is moving and the whole universe of which we are but a tiny fragment is moving to some unknown destination as well. In everyday life, we don’t really experience that movement. Where are we/universe going to? We do not know. How fast are we going? We do not know. In which direction are we going? We do not know. Are there any directions to start with to this kind of movement? We do not know. All we are aware of is the “movement” itself. And biking helps you become aware of being part of that collective movement. It is strong like when you in a car. The movement excites you, it makes you want to have fun, it makes you think, it makes you enjoy the moment it the fullest and more importantly it make you aware of the movements inside.