Must have been what ?!?! – Sweet 16. Had finished School to begin Junior College @ KC.
Daddy with his Yamaha YZF R1 in those days. A Hardly one or two weeks old 1000cc Monster. Being my Dads Son These were the Days when I hardly knew Shit about bikes.. Forget riding em It was Just their looks & Power that fascinated me.
Power : 1000cc. Looks : Yamaha Yzf R1
It All fitted perfectly as per my immature choice of liking.
Me and My Dad would frequently go on these late night rides on the bike where It was Never about blindly riding street fast but rather enjoying the ride no matter how long or short our rides last. Hip young bloods with overflowing adrenaline’s would catch up with us on Red lights – asking – Let’s Race ??
My Dad’s respond – Always a clear cut – NO.
Confused – They would just ride away.
“Public Roads Are Not the place to Race – You wanna Race ?? You find a Race track. ” He would say.
I knew He was right. But I also knew that most of the challengers were a No match to This Monster.
Meaning even IF we Did race i can only imagine ; During the race They would strive a lot Harder than their bikes potential, eventually putting their own lives at risks – All this, while we on our Yamaha effortlessly sail pass them – A No brainer situation actually.
“Let’s Save the fuel.” I’d say.
On a Weekender night as usual we took our bike out for a ride. It was a Cold Saturday night. Me being the pillion rider would hold my Dads waist sitting behind. That day we rode all the way to BKC – MMRDA. Must have been past 2 am. The roads – Stark empty. Not even a Dog visible along the better parts of a good 8 to 10 kilometers long stretch.
Apart from chirping crickets & Of course The Bike’s Firing.. Pin drop silence. Tonight was the night.
It began with 3 slow-medium paced laps going up and down the long straight checking for grip, speed-breaker bumps & potholes *obviously*..
After a thorough inspection.. it was Time.
Attempt #1 :
Down shift into 1st.. & we hit the straight..
A Total of 6 gears to hit Top Speed.
up-shift into 2nd.. 3rd.. i peek my head over Dads shoulder to read the speedometer..
Hell we were going fast.. 60 miles per hour.. 66.. 68.. 72..75.. 77..
When i looked sideways – Everything around was storming past.. very fast !
Yes. Fast indeed.. still Not there yet.. another up-shift..
We almost hit 85 mph / 136 kilometers per hour *as per our Indian speedometers* – until we ran outta Road..
Forced to drop the throttle.. 50.. 40.. 30.. Back to breathing normal.
Attempt #2 :
Again Back in the saddle.. Twist of the throttle.. another up-shift.. 50.. 55.. i looked straight ahead.. all clear..
Click – next up-shift.. more to the twist.. 65.. 70.. 75..
Back inn the zone.. gaining SPEED.. 80.. 82.. 86.. 90..
*mind you these speeds are in Miles per hour – – NOT Kilometers per hour*
Never have the winds hit me IN MY FACE so Fast..
92.. 95.. 96.. 97.. This shit was crazzzzyyyy!!!!!!
I could feel my arm muscles tense holding tight onto Dads waist from behind.. my thighs gripping the seat more firmly..
98.. 99.. Just about to hit triple digit..
– Click.. final up-shift.. Whoa!! That came as a Surprise!..
Never knew we had the Power to GO A Hell MORE FASTER !.. 100.. 102.. 105.. 107..
Smooth!! Butter Smooth!!
Hitting speeds at a Full – 172 Kilometers per hour mark.. But, Yet again It Did Not last much long.. a sharp left probably at a kilometers distance – right Ahead,made Dad ease the throttle Down once again..
Attempt #3 :
Bike at rest – A long stare at the Fuel Gage.
– as per calculations This had to be The Final One..
– any other attempts after This – & it would be impossible for us To make it back home from Bandra to South Mumbai – at around 2:45 am with gas stations Shut closed.
Our advantage : Lesser fuel compared to before – meaning lighter the bike – easier to gain higher speeds in much lesser time.
Wheels in motion.. click – 2nd up-shift..
The Feeling of Pure Torque thrusting you forward strong & hard.. 50.. 55.. 58..
Another up-shift.. twist of the throttle.. to 62.. 65.. 68.. 70..
– click.. 75.. 78.. 80.. -click..
By This time All your fears have most certainly disappeared & You start Loving it !..
Zooming through the cold winds like a Hot bullet.. Hell Yes ! I was indeed Loving it !.. 90.. 95.. 98.. 100..
100 Mph – The point where you’re life starts changing.. You enter into a Different world..
-click.. 110.. 115.. 118.. 120 miles per hour & gaining..
In these moments Life is reduced to a point of Singularity – straight ahead. All there is.. All that matters. It’s Life @ Point blank !
As a Pillion privileged to look on the left and right I soon realized We were inside a completely Different dimension.. Things around moving past like bolts of lightning.. The Wind Hitting me Hard in the Face as I struggle to keep my eyes open.. cold winds.. Oh But i love the winters !.. Squinting I glance at the speedometer over dads shoulder yet again.. 138.. 140..
At this point I’m guessing it must be the Top gear.. My face is almost Chinese now. This is It ! *I think* We’ve Hit the Maximum speed.. 140 miles per hour constant.. Well, Not felt a single click after 100.. I was pretty sure We were riding on the 6th and the Final gear now..
Still sprinting at a 140.. It’s Fear that begins creeping inn..
That’s when you know You’re moving TOO FAST &.. FOR TOO LONG !..
None of Us Both had ever been On This much Speed that too for such a Freaking long Time..
Our Adrenaline’s already at Peak..
*I especially* although Scared was having the Best time of my Life….and then Just like That – Outta nowhere – – Click !..
– 6th & The final Up-shift..
– Easy clutch release.. and more Throttle !!!!
140.. 142.. 145.. 148.. Whoaaaahhh!!!!!!!!
My Eyes widened ! Nostrils flared ! Eyebrows raised ! I took a Deep breathe Inn *with eyes tightly shut*
HOLY FU******!!!!! The Bike was living a Life of its own.. Faster.. more Faster..
Even more Faster.. Godspeed !
At Such High speeds The bike went Whizzing Crazzzyyly!!!.. OH MYYY GODDD!!!!! It felt Insane !!!!..
The Struggle to simply look at the Speedometer On a Super High rpm was Real.. Sound of Cold winds gushing inside your ear.. accompanied by MUSIC of the bikes engine revving up to its Maximum strength..Now It was a much different struggle to keep them eyes OPEN.. All you could Do was squint through those eye lids and Watch the road ahead.. Then tilting your head down you TRY observe the speed or Attempt Reading the Speedometer amidst all the high RPM whizzing..
But Suddenly You’re Confused as to Where should you pay attention.. The Road ahead ??.. The Speedometer??.. or the Things Storming past around you??
Each item has a different element of its own.. a different World of its own.. and you wanna have it all.. You wanna experience everything..
*Which isn’t possible – to be honest*..
But You Don’t wanna miss anything..
You look at the road ahead & you miss the beauty of catching The speedometer rise in numbers..
If You fix your gaze on the Speedometer, you miss experiencing the point of Singularity You’re moving towards.. Well, But If you somehow manage to watch them both you’ll still miss the ultimate fun of watching all things storm past you – literally like Flash on fire.. maybe That’s Life ! You just can’t have it All !
*Getting back to The topic*
The Bike felt Like a crouching Tiger Flying at the Speed of light.. With Monk like Focus.. My Dad seemed Invincible at this point, his eyes on the road – looking straight ahead..
I realize The bike has already entered the Red Line Speed limit.. gaining.. gaining more.. gaining fast.. faster.. fastest.. Star Wars – Light speed !
*Well, That’s what it felt like*
A quick glance through the vibratory-like whizzing & the speedometer read.. 178.. 179.. constant.. constant..
My Dad is quick to realize this.. He looks down @ the speed.. The Bike Now truly At its Maximum potential.. Speeding a few single digits below 180..All it needed was a little more throttle twist.. followed by a quick press-n-release of the clutch.. Not once.. Not twice.. But thrice.
..and We hit the 180 miles per hour mark !
*288 Kilometers per hour*
A moment to cherish.. It was a Success..
We had Done it !
With over 2 kilometers of road Still ahead of us.. We began our descent.. Throttle eased in slowly.. slight pressure on the brakes combined with down shifts..as we got back from 140.. to a 100.. to 90.. 85.. 78.. 67.. & finally to a normal pace making our way back home before we ran outta fuel..My Adrenaline was Still at Peak moments after the ride had ended.. I took a Deep breath Inn to calm down my nerves while I sat on the sofa thinking about it.. thinking about the moment..
What a ride ! Truly An Unforgettable one.