Feb 4, 2006

Collective soul

Today I woke up at 0445, rubbed sleep out of my eyes, drank coffee without tasting it. I began to really wake up as hot scalding water washed away the last bits of yesterday. By the time the boot zipper clicked in place, I was ready for another day.

I was heading to meet Mumbai's newest motorcycle club, the Mumbikers. The plan was they would meet up and then head off to Pune for the weekend. Now, the Mumbikers is a largely cruiser oriented community, where the Mumbai Motorcycle Company (MMC) run by Ash Chandler and Akshai Varde bring out their smart, innovative choppers. Bullets are welcome by default, and a couple of imported cruisers (Shadows and Steeds) also join in the fun.

It was fun watching the seven-odd members of the team setting up for their first group ride together. Chandler has thoughtfully gotten a print-out of hand signals and group ride rules for the riders, but I didn't see anyone reading them. I think the excitement of the road, of the ride and of meeting new people along the way was overpowering. That is understandable, of course.

But I just sat back and watched the lively chattering between the riders, back slapping, good wishes and even the fairly humourous rider's briefing that took place.

I don't think the brief was taken too seriously, but it is a start. I know most clubs spring up informally and the first ride often turns into a all-or-nothing race to prove who is where in the pecking order. Which means chaos, crashes, ego-fights and a whole bunch of nastiness.

Just the fact that that was missing in the morning today was nice.

I watched them ride off into the sunrise, leaving behind trails of dust, shattering thumps from the open pipe choppers and the fading images of early morning laughter.