10 Commandments of Motorcycling
1. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s machine.
We know it is difficult to avoid temptation when you see your neighbors’ brand new motorcycle parked in the alley. But you must overcome this yearning to possess a machine that belongs to another man. Best to think of the wonderful times your machine has given you and the joys the two of you have experienced together as one. The best part is that so long as you keep loving your machine, it won’t mind if you brought along a new mistress in the garage.
2. Thou shalt always respect the classic
We have all been through the phase of prepubescent life when we liked speed zipping through the narrow alleys of our streets on our little 2 stroked speed monsters back in the day. Heck, some of us love doing that even today. But one must never forget who are the granddaddies of motorcycling. The classics, proudly strolling through the streets to this day, looking better than ever before and gracing modernity with their presence, command respect. So make way for it and bow down a little in respect whenever you spot one passing by.
3. Thou shalt give more than you take
As a rider and as a human being, you shall strive to give more to the world than you take from it. Only you yourself can be the true judge of that, but when it’s true, people around you feel it, and feel gratified by your presence in their lives. As a true rider, this shall come naturally to you. It’s just something being on open roads often does to you. But when it comes, keep that spirit alive for all times. Be that way even when you’re not on open roads. Make that feeling a part of your daily life and you shall have your name engraved in people’s hearts forever.
4. Thou shalt love your machine before all other
Every now and then you shall come across a motorcycle that just takes your breath away, just makes you want to get your hands on it. But you must never forget your true love of a machine. The one that was your first and the one that introduced you to the open roads and passing destinations and all things in between. As a rider, you shall come to possess many sets of machine, but it’s only gentlemanly to never forgo and forget your first machine and to adore it above all else.
5. Thou shalt always abide by the laws of the land
As a rider it is your duty to respect the road privileges of others on the street and never to jeopardise their or your own safety for a bout of cheap thrill. Wherever you travel to, be at your best behaviour and leave a positive feeling behind once you are gone. Respect the local laws and customs and try never to offend the local sensibilities. You are a maverick as it is; it does not need to be shoved in other people’s faces. Especially folks that got nothing to do with you.
6. Thou shalt never forsake your brother in need
Never abandon a fellow by the road that’d be better off with your company and could use your assistance. Bad things do happen when you’re on the road, and despite all the precautions and prudence we can exhibit, sometimes trouble arrives from unknown corners and at the most untimely of times. If you can be of any help to anybody who might be in a situation by the road, never hesitate. As a rider, you can expect your good karma to come back to pay you when you yourself are facing one.
7. Thou shalt call out before passing
Everybody gets in a hurry now and then, and needs getting somewhere sooner than might be possible. A little rush can sometimes prove to be of extreme harm. Always give the guy in the front a heads up before you overtake, either by blowing horn or using your headlights, cause you just don’t know when the guy might decide to take a left or right turn without giving any indication to do so. Statistically speaking, up to 65% accidents on two wheelers are caused by drivers taking a sudden left or right turn just as the riders are passing by. So be safe, call out before passing.
8. Thou shalt be forgiving to the trespassers-in-cage who at times put thy life at risk
As a rider you are going to come across all sorts of nutcases sitting behind the wheels and trying to take up majority of the road space. They will often do unfathomable things on the roads like stopping suddenly in the middle of the road, or taking a turn without giving you any heads up and so on. All that is going to put your own safety and well being at risk, not to mention theirs’. But you must be forgiving towards them and keep yourself calm. You must remember that their vision and awareness of the world around them is skewed because of sitting behind an iron cage laden with tinted glasses.
9. Thou shalt leather thy machine with the finest care (leather)
Thou shall express your deep love and care for your machine by accessorising it with the finest quality leather. Give it a character and a name. Think of it as a person, rather than a machine. Bond with it at a spiritual level. Become one with it when you’re on the road, for it is only true soul mate you have when you’re out there. So express your affection by giving your bike the finest care you possibly can.
10. Thou shalt always be a rider, even when thee can’t ride
Thou shall take a vow to always keep the spirit of a true rider alive in you; even when you are past your riding days. The rider in you must never die. The spirit of exploring the unknown and taking life for what it is, the good and the bad, must never vanish from your heart. Keep the fire of compassion and kindness alive in you, even when it seems untowardly to be doing so. That’s your code of conduct. That’s what you live by. That’s the motto of your life.
Here’s a quick glimpse into the lives of riders from the series: Stories of Bike
What do you think is common amongst all these riders, apart from their love for open roads and motorcycle? Do drop your comments and let us know.