Posts Tagged ‘Biking’

The GoPro conundrum

07 Nov

Sunday morning is one of the best times of the week for me. I usually set out on a Bike ride every week. The traffic is low and the weather in Bangalore adds to the experience. The peace and tranquility this brings is indescribable. I also get to see and meet fellow Bikers which makes it all the more purposeful.

Last Sunday I set out to ride towards Nandi Hills, near Bangalore. Over the past few weeks I had been experimenting with my GoPro Hero3 Black Edition camera which I mount on the Bike to take video and click photos during the rides. That day, I mounted the camera on the right side of my Helmet. It gave a brilliant perspective while capturing video and taking photos. Excited at the prospect of how this would turn out, I headed out that morning.

The onward journey to Nandi Hills was largely run-of-the-mill. The Bike ride in itself was exhilarating. Of course, I managed to attract a lot of attention, much to my discomfiture, but I had called for it, hadn’t I?

On my way back to the city, I had just crossed the Airport flyover and was coasting to the finish line, so to speak. To my left, I noticed a parked Police Hoysala vehicle. “Hoysala” is the name given to Police vehicles in Bangalore. A cop was standing beside it and had his eyes glued to me from the moment he saw the weird object protruding from my Helmet. As I came closer, he signaled at me to stop. I dutifully complied and moved to the left of the road. I surmised this would be a routine traffic stop. This was the first time I had been pulled over on my morning rides and my rhythm was somewhat broken. Amidst the confusion I completely forgot that I had the Camera attached to my Helmet. I wasn’t capturing any Video at that point.

The Cop came over and asked me to show my license, emission test certificate and insurance papers. I wasted no time in presenting him with all the paperwork. He did ask me how quick I was going, to which I shrugged and replied, “Around 60”. He smirked as if to say “yeah right!” Everything was in order and he gestured at me to move ahead. I put my Helmet back on and rode away.

A couple of kilometers ahead, I looked over at my RVM and noticed someone flashing their headlights. Rather annoyed, I scanned the RVM for who it was and noticed the same Hoysala vehicle. I wasn’t sure it was following me at that point. However, I backed off the pace and kept glancing at the RVM. The vehicle kept getting larger in it and now I could see the same Cop waving at me to stop. I moved to the left again and screeched to a halt. The Hoysala Van stopped a few meters ahead of me. I had a puzzled look on my face. Our Cop hurriedly walked over to me and asked me sternly what I had mounted on my Helmet. I removed the Helmet and showed him the gizmo. I said it was a ‘Sports & Action Camera’. He took the Helmet and walked up towards the parked Hoysala. While he was showing it to the other cops, seated inside, I waited nervously, wondering what on earth was wrong. Minutes ticked by and I was getting anxious. He walked back towards me and asked if the Camera was recording any video. I nodded my head. What ensued was a barrage of questions about why was I recording and what the Camera was used for. The discussion happened in Kannada, of course.

Now just envisage trying to explain to a Cop what a GoPro Camera is. Not easy. That was my predicament. Despite my irritation, I had a grin plastered all over my face. The bewildered look of the Cop was priceless. After, what only can be described as a tutorial on the use of action Cameras, I was on my way home. The only difference was that the Camera was no longer mounted on my Helmet; it was in my backpack 🙂


Street Race!

26 Feb

I am a born Biker. Despite having 2 Cars, I usually prefer to ride my Bike, a CBR 250R. The other day, I was on my way to work. It was Wednesday, early evening and the weather was Bangalore-perfect. Conditions were overcast with the Sun just peeping out of the clouds and cold breeze blowing through the streets. These were near-perfect conditions for riding. I couldn’t help but hope that this was a weekend ride towards an unknown destination. What fun would that be, no?

I was in my element, enjoying the ride as well as the typical Bangalore weather on my Ceeber (read: CBR). During the ride, my top speed hadn’t even crossed 60 as it was just a casual ride to office. As I crossed the halfway mark, I was on the right side of the road with very few vehicles ahead and behind me. Suddenly, this buffoon of a guy on a Black Pulsar 220 whizzed past me with no more than a few inches between us. Not just that, he swerved violently across the road and quite deliberately cut me off. I had to slam the brakes hard to avoid impact. The combined-ABS on the Ceeber worked like a charm. Our man wasn’t wearing a Helmet and was also puny in size. His light weight body on a fast Pulsar made it easy for him to throw the Bike around easily. As I watched him disappear into the distance, I was still in a confused state of mind and felt discomposed, as my rhythm had been wrecked. By now, he was far ahead but I could still see him in the distance. I don’t mind being overtaken even by a TVS Champ as long as the person overtakes responsibly and doesn’t try to act smart. I almost never take up racing battles in city streets in the interest of safety.

As I regained my composure, I felt that my body was involuntarily preparing for battle. I looked up and smiled. I could feel every muscle in my body tightening up and the Adrenalin rushing through my blood. The war-cry has been sounded. The bells had been rung for the bout to begin. I shut my Helmet Visor and with a demonic glance at my speedo, which was still stuttering around the 60-mark, I downshifted to 4th gear and revved the engine. The 250 CC mill of the Ceeber roared to life like a caged Lion. I pulled-back on the throttle and the Bike surged ahead like a madman on a mission to kill. By now our man had disappeared from sight. I could only imagine him smirking to himself thinking he was invincible. Before I knew, I was already doing 100 kph in 5th gear with still a cog left. What a blissful feeling, I tell you. After a few seconds, I could see the target once again. I could see his distinctive Red shirt in the distance. Traffic on this day was surprisingly low. Seconds later, I was within 25-30 feet of our hero (sarcasm intended). I positioned myself directly behind him so he cannot see me in his mirrors, as I steadily gained momentum. Our man, however, had managed to spot me. I could tell because he glanced at his mirrors a couple of times and his body language had changed. He looked nervous and raced forward furiously.

A Truck decided to play spoilsport. It was bang in the center of the road, about 50 meters ahead and was moving slower than Geoffrey Boycott’s grandma. We both had to back off the pace. I moved to the right and he moved to the left of the Truck. His desperation was very evident as he almost rode on the footpath so as to overtake the Truck. I, for once, even thought of backing out as I was actually worried about safety. But, no! Not just yet. He had to be taught a lesson. With renewed enthusiasm, I opened the throttle further with my final dash towards the finish line. I surged forward and as I raced past him, I swerved across him but with enough distance between us. He revved his engine hard in angst as he was forced to take a turn towards his destination. I raised my hand with him still looking at me and shook my index finger, as if to say, “Let’s not try that again, shall we?

Revenge was sweet.

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