The morning after

Shubhabrata Marmar  /
29 Jun 2018 13:28:37 IST

Do you think the world has a slow-motion button? No? I think it does.

But it appears on your heads-up display only under specific conditions. And when you press it, the world changes for you. It's brilliant. You have more time to think, you see more, and you make better decisions. My unlock comes the morning after I return from the racetrack.

Take today for instance. I've just returned from two days of wet work at the Kari Motor Speedway. Riding my 2004 Yamaha YZF-R6 for a few hot laps in between helping a bunch of students learn the art of going faster and safer at the TWO Track School by Indimotard and OVERDRIVE. It was a good weekend.

2004 Yamaha YZF-R6 | Feraci | Shumi's track bikeThis 2004 Yamaha YZF-R6 wearing brand new Michelin Pilot Power 3 tyres was the weapon of choice for a wet track day - a fast, sweet-natured motorcycle on phenomenal tyres

But when I start Feroci up in the garage today, it feels different. I don't know how to describe it but think of it as a sort of prescience. I already know that today will be a great ride.

Booming off a traffic intersection, it feels like everyone around me is sleeping. And I've omniscience. They're moving so slowly, I can almost see their decisions before they make them. I can take any line I want. It's as if they're all i7s but I'm Cray. They're geniuses but I'm Lucy.

Actually that's pretty accurate. It is as if my brain has extra bandwidth to process what traffic will do around me, which allows me to ride better, smoother and faster.

My new commute is not a long one. But on this day, it feels more compressed still. And as smooth as a freshly ironed shirt.

I know the rational reasons why. I've spend the last two days without any distractions. Without my watch or phone. Without my email. Without our digital tail of worries and to-do lists to curl and uncurl constantly. Just working on riding better.

And today, therefore, my brain is sharper on the motorcycle than usual. I see the driver ahead checking his mirrors to make a turn and work around him even before he turns the steering wheel.

Eight minutes later, I'm at work. Now I've to get off and grab that tail and start working through it segment by segment.

I'm euphoric at how well that ride went. Not a single error. No interruptions in the liquid smoothness of the connection between Feroci and me. I feel a great swell of emotion. I wish I could ride like this daily.

But I know it isn't possible. Tonight, as I head home again, the slow-mo button will disappear. And nothing I try will allow me to access this state of bliss.

I will be very smooth, very patient and very fast too. But I won't be this good.

Only one thing to do, then. I've to go back to the racetrack again.

Tags: Shumi  |  column  |  Overdrive  |  TWO track school  |  IndiMotard

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