I think it was five or six years ago. We were in a vacation. I’d been thinking about something for a long time. I made up my mind and walked up to my Dad and told him I wanted a second hand superbike and I wanted to race. His face was blank. It still is. He is an orthopaedic surgeon and bikes weren’t a part of his life. He didn’t show off the shock when he heard those words from me. He took some time to digest it and then explained to me how risky it was to do such things. He offered me a choice. He agreed to buy the bike, but wanted me to give up the idea of racing. I gave it a thought back then, but the idea never materialized since I could never find a good second hand superbike for less than 3 lakhs and I was not interested in using so much of my Dad’s money to buy a superbike. I had no clue about the market at that time and all that I wanted was to move up from the Pulsar 150 that my Dad had bought for me while I was still at college.
I then found xBhp. I understood what I wanted was not racing, but traveling on bikes. I met new friends, bikers and people from the industry who have changed the way I’ve looked at bikes.
I waited until I earned my first buck. I started saving for whatever bigger bike I could get. A few years ago, I waited until the most hyped bike back then, the Pulsar 220, was launched. I saved up enough for the bike and bought it. That is the bike on which I learnt the discipline of riding and the joy of touring. I went to places I’d never imagined possible. I did trips that lasted for weeks. I became patient. I learnt it is patience that takes your farther, but not speed. Thanks to all my fellow riders, I learnt courage. In fact, a few of them are finalists riding in this contest.
Years passed, and I wanted to upgrade. I didn’t have the financial strength to buy one of the premium choices offered by the different companies that managed to bring in their flagship litre class bikes. I waited, saved up and finally managed to get my hands on the Ninja. The 250R kept me happy for a while, but I was still longing to feel the rush of a big bike. I still am.
I am glad I waited for it instead of making the choice when my father offered it. I’m happy I progressed slowly. I’m at a point, looking up with the craving. I know I will get there some day.
I took the Road to ST7. It was never on the map. I followed my mind and gave it my heart and soul. Here I stand in a point where the Road takes me no more. Cravings apart, whether I get my hands on the ST7 or not, the last seven days of my life was spent in solitude, with experiences that have taken place deep in my heart. No matter what pictures I captured, or what words I wrote. There are some things that stand unshared, and can never be. With that feeling dwelling deep inside, I’m sure I will be back on the road very soon!
[End of the road; waiting for signal.]
June 22, 2011
The dates were announced. The results were to be announced before midnight. All 10 contestants waited all day long. At about 9 PM, I got a call. It was someone from xBhp on the other end. I remember every word, every moment. My eyes widened. I grinned. I’d made it. I won. The ST7!