Feb 4, 2006

Early morning bliss

I currently ride a Bajaj Pulsar 180 DTSi. And on a cold morning, it goes fast enough. Fast enough to be a proper thrill. Fast enough to spin right up on a corner exit, helped by a thoughtfully placed metal drain cover. Fast enough to squeal the front tyre shedding speed into a nasty, slippery left hander along the way. Fast enough to buzz you up good in ten minutes flat.

And I know this. Which adds to the urgency, as I do up the various snap tabs, hook and loop closures, velcro thingys and get suited up. It demands the helmet shield be extra clean, the glove closures be extra tight and that the riding pants fit just so. Minutes later, there's a warming engine making all manner of promises to you. Promises of adrenaline, of pleasure, of speed, of the perfect cold morning ride.

Then you set about making the bike deliver on the promises. Devoid of the usual mess of traffic, the roads become lamp-posted speedways with blurred edges which race past your helmet shield with the urgency of a falcon in a swooping dive.

The intersections are now empty. Checks done, you can wind the throttle on long before the apex. As the bike widens the line, the rear tyre catches the drain hole perfectly. The rear of the bike suddenly goes smooth as revs rise and the front-end begins to point into the turn all of its own. It isn't a big slide, but it's a powerful, spectacular moment. With microseconds, the Pirelli at the rear recovers its composure and grip and with a gentle jolt, it returns to its raison d'etre, forward progress.

The rev counter stays around the 7000 rpm mark, just below peak power for the rest of the ride. Wind noise, satisfaction and a singing engine are the only sign of what is really going on.

Then in the distance, the sun rises. It is time to stop.

Next to sea, alone. Quiet. The morning heralded only by the quiet ticking of the engine.
And then the city wakes up again.

I put on the helmet again and slink slowly home. And lie in wait for tomorrow...