i, THe biker
31 Year Old
No. of Years of riding motorcycles : 5,
Kilometers done (appox) : 85000+ kms
For you, what does it mean to be a motorcyclist?
Motorcycling has taught me to appreciate and value choices. Apart from adding greater mobility and speed to the traveller in me, it allows me to experience life at my pace. Whether it's during month long trips or a quick weekend getaway, riding has been quenching my thirst of seeking new adventures.
How has motorcycling changed you and your life?
Bought my first ride in Nov, 2007. A year later, quit my job and since then have trekked, hiked and ridden to some of the remotest parts of the country. While on the highway, riding through states, cities, villages and long empty stretches, I have re-learnt such simple joys and truths of life, more than I have in my academic life. In 2010, founded 'Off-Road Adventures & Learning'(www.off-road.in) where I conduct experiential learning programs for corporates with the aim to encourage, engage and enable others to follow the pursuit of their hearts and excel in what they wish to do. An off-road, changed my life.
How did it happen that you turned your passion for motorcycling and motorcycles into a means of giving back to the society/brotherhood in a substantial manner?
Founded First2aid (www.first2aid.in) with the aim of reaching out to road accident victims after I lost a dear friend to a motorcycling accident. Currently, as a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and as a safety evangelist, I have been conducting first aid sessions and sensitisation workshops for Schools, Colleges, Corporates and interest groups. Aim is to sensitise people about the need to have safety habits and to teach life saving skills to the masses. So far have trained over 100 people in Emergency First Aid and addressed over 1000 people regarding safety.
Tell us briefly about your 2 most memorable ‘giving’ moments/events involving you as a motorcyclist?
July,11 while touring across More plains(Leh) a fellow rider crashed. Thanks to the training,identified an injured wrist, tied a splint using a knee guard, a scarf and some clothes and immobilised the injury for the remaining ride to Leh where he was diagnosed with multiple hairline fractures. The thought that I played the rescuer in such a wilderness condition is humbling.
Apr 13, at a traffic signal, saw the driver of the car next to me having a seizure attack. As I flung into action, I was surrounded by fifty odd people who, on learning that it was seizure attack, began scrambling for 'loha', 'kaanda', 'shoes' etc. Sensing trouble I instructed the traffic cops to keep the crowd away, seeing surgical gloves on, they complied. Once calmed, checked the man's airway & pulse, moved him to the rear seat and drove him to a hospital.
Given an opportunity and the necessary powers, what would be the 3 most vital things you would like to change about motorcycling in India?
1. Open 'Riding schools' (like we have driving schools) which would teach people safe riding skills. Make it a reality with supporting laws like one can only procure license once graduating from such schools.
2. Make Emergency First Aid a part of the school/college curriculum which would in turn make them future ready to be First2aid.
3. While stronger implementation of the existing traffic rules and laws would make things better but wish to instil a sense of responsibility which comes with the privileges of riding a motorcycle.
What are the best and the worst things about being a giver to society/brotherhood as a motorcyclist in India?
Best: Relatedness. From a gentle wave of the hand to a rider on the highway, to a quick chat with some over lunch at a dhaba sharing the route ahead or to stop by someone to help out with a flat tyre, one feels a connect. There is seldom a need to know to reach out to those in need.
Worst: Unfounded fears/facts and lack of skills are couple of primary reasons why we resist from reaching out. We are capable of doing much better.
Golden Question : How do you feel when you ride?
When I am touring on the bike, I am in a world of my own. The ride is 'Me' time where I sing, I talk and sometimes I listen; intently. It's a journey with self while I am covering distances. And often it is indeed, tiring yet energising.