Thursday 4 April 2019

This is why we ride: Meghalaya

If you are from somewhere nearby Meghalaya, like for example Guwahati then you might probably have seen or heard bikers riding to Meghalaya on every possible weekend. For many, it might seem as pure madness to visit the same place again and again but many bikers love to live this madness. And if you are one of those bikers then you might exactly know why but if you were pondering for answers then your search is over as you are on the right place.

Since my childhood, I have been visiting Meghalaya every now and then. I and my family would plan a trip to Meghalaya, especially Shillong on every possible holiday. Back then the roads were narrow but still wider than the roads through which my and possibly your father too have traveled through to Shillong. The moment you enter the roads of Meghalaya, lush green hills engulfs you from both sides. The breeze feels fresh and cold. And almost every vehicle in Meghalaya has a touch of customization which is cherry on the top. And probably that is where my craze for custom vehicle started. Back then I had no idea about vehicle customization but the wide alloys on almost every car were enough to awestruck me. But that was childhood. Although I first learned how to drive a car on a Maruti-Suzuki Alto when I was 12 years old, I could not go anywhere far because I had no official driving license. But as soon as I turned 18 years old in 2013 I got my driving license. I would occasionally drive to Meghalaya with my family and the feeling to drive through the roads twisting around the mountains is indescribable. Driving through twisties is much more fun than driving on a straight road. Every corner has something new to offer. But unlike the childhood days roads of Meghalaya are now wider. You have four-lane highway to carve through the mountains.

It was 2016 when I first got my motorcycle, a 155cc Suzuki Gixxer . Although I have learned how to drive a car back in 2006, I had not ridden a motorcycle myself until I got my own motorcycle in 2016. I had no problem in balancing as I knew how to ride a bicycle but the controls were so much different. It was then when I understood that riding a motorcycle requires much more engagement than driving a car. Even after having the challenges, it would bring a smile on my face, every time I rode it. Riding a motorcycle is an experience of joy but only when the roads are open so that you can crack open the throttle and let the wind please your body and soul. And this is something you cannot experience in Guwahati city, a place where you can hardly go over 3rd gear and above 30kmph during peak hours. So, how does a biker fulfill his desire to enjoy riding his or her motorcycle? The answer is Meghalaya.

I still remember the day when I first rode my motorcycle through those wide flowing, twisting roads of Meghalaya. The touch of cold wind as I leaned to carve through those tight corners made me fall in love with those roads instantly. Someone once said, "Happiness isn't around the corner, it is the corner" and if you have ridden or driven through mountain roads then you might perfectly relate to the feeling. The traffic is so much lower and like always lush green hills and sky above constantly changing are there to bring a wide grin on your face. You can stop whenever you want to soak in the scenery. You can ride fast through the wide roads or lower the pace to enjoy every bit of what nature has on offer. Something which is not possible in a city.

The flowing wide roads of Meghalaya is a perfect destination for bikers to enjoy riding their machines as they enjoy the scenery and feel the cold breeze without having to be stuck in stop-go traffic. Unlike in a city, their ears would not be deafened with horns blasting from every side and their body would not be burned from the heat of the engines of the cars. The experience of riding a motorcycle on an open road is almost like meditation. The mind freshens as you open the throttle and leave behind every worry there is. And that is why we ride to Meghalaya.

Location: Guwahati, Assam, India


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