It was about two decades ago that I started riding on bike. I had fairly good balance on cycle to make the transition easy as far as balance was concerned. However the fact that bike can move on its own without pedaling made me nervous and I always hesitated before turning the ignition key. I constantly applied break during the ride lest it should go out of hand and often wrongly applied accelerator for break and instantly got panicked Those were really tension filled days and I am sure that during the honey-moon days with a bike no one can enjoy the effortless and cozy ride until the machine is tamed. My first bike was a below 50 cc affair. However the lower cc made it no less dangerous.
In a couple of days I learned how to ride on it somewhat safely though my riding speed was just around 20 Kms per hour, a little speedier than walking briskly. The neighborhood people found my ride amusing. And gradually the speed could be accelerated to a respectable level. The comfortable speed of a vehicle varies from vehicle to vehicle and also from person to person. Generally bigger the vehicle higher the comfort zone speed. A 50 cc bike is flying if it goes on a speed of 45 Kms or above. I never ventured on to that speed in that bike any way. It was later changed for a 100 cc one when the new generation bikes started arriving in the market.
To drive a bike is a full time work without a moment’s respite. One can never abandon concentration by experience in the ride, one can only get accustomed to it and become comfortable with it. A rider has to concentrate on all sides of the road and note all movements taking place around him such as whether a boy or an older woman standing on the sidewalk is going to cross the road immediately or the whirring auto rickshaw on the other side of the road would jump in front of the bike. I usually look on the face of the man standing on the side walk to know his intentions and the face-reading found more or less accurate. However my biggest night mare is auto rickshaws and I have skipped many a heartbeat upon sudden appearances of autos from the side roads.
As I do not like to ride in high ‘velocity’ most riders behind me would overtake and it instilled me to frequently look the right side mirror to make sure that no reckless driver is behind me. The traffic in front of me poses not much of a problem as I have fairly mastered how to maneuver it. While the skill to drive properly is very important to avoid mishaps, that alone does not guarantee a safe ride, since a novice on a driving seat nearby can let all the hell break loose and there is always an element of unpredictability in riding. Let us say luck is also a factor for riding safely.
All said, I enjoy the ride on a bike and almost all days it will be necessitated to ride on it for a few miles. If for some reason it was skipped for a day or two I will miss it.