There is a funny aspect about the accidents and the funny thing is that you don’t realize it until you are involved in an accident. Till date, I had witnessed a few minor road accidents, mostly bike accidents where the bike had skidded down the road or it has hit a vehicle while trying to put the brakes to avoid a collision. I had always considered it as the mistake of riders as I thought that they were not careful enough to avoid those accidents.
A bit wary of such bike accidents, I avoided riding bike in my college campus and preferred being the pillion rider. However, I realized that sometimes a pillion rider has greater chances of damage than the rider in case of an accident. In my last year at college, I was involved in a minor bike accident as a pillion rider when one of my friends was not able to control the bike properly over a path strewn with stones. He escaped with a scratch but I was not so lucky, I had to limp around for a week. And as usual, I thought at that point of time that it was his fault.
The college got over and I started driving an old bike around in my hometown cautiously with a speed at which I always felt I was in control and could put the brakes on in a matter of 1-2 seconds. That old bike had no horn, no rear view mirrors, no front brake and slow acceleration. All these salient features meant that I better be cautious and in the end, it resulted into a proper training needed to learn how to drive any bike cautiously.
After that I had to move on to Bangalore to start my career as a software engineer. My office was situated approximately 3 kms from my flat. Initially, I used to take the company cab which used to arrive at 8:15 am. As a week or two progressed, the excitement of starting a new career started fading and laziness started creeping in. Catching a cab at 8.15 am started appearing a task next to moving Mount Fuji . So, I started walking down those 3kms daily for almost two months. As the climate changed from pleasant to humid, walking down those 3kms became a daunting task. I felt the need of getting a vehicle and I decided to get a motorcycle. Choosing the brand and model was another exercise which kept me busy for almost two weeks.
Initially, I had decided to buy a 110 cc bike as I wished to use it only as a commuter bike. But everyone around me suggested, go for at least 150 cc. So, in a matter of two weeks, my selected bike varied from Honda CB-Twister 110cc to Honda CBF Stunner 125cc to Bajaj Pulsar 135cc LS to Bajaj Discover 150 cc and finally to Yamaha SZ-X 153 cc. I went to the Yamaha showroom and took a test ride of SZ-X and I felt that it had good controls, was comfortable and looked good. I booked it in the next few minutes. I had to wait for another two weeks to finally get my hands on a new shining Yamaha SZ-X 153cc.
The home coming of this bike was a long ride in terms of time. It gave me an indicator of what kind of traffic I am supposed to get accustomed to in Bangalore. I hadn’t driven a bike for last 3 months, hence I was a bit circumspect of being able to drive it back home safely. However, I did it without getting a scratch on it (and myself) or getting into a critical situation and it reassured me that I can drive any bike cautiously. As days passed on, the confidence grew and the caution took a back-seat.