Most Alive At The Ragged Edge Of Life

If you enjoy adventures on two-wheels, slushy conditions aren’t painful experiences; they’re joyous instead! The repeated falls, the endless skids, mud coatings all over the bike and the rider — they lend a weird sense of satisfaction. It’s a strange and fulfilling fetish. But it can also be dangerous.

“GO, GO, GO…”

It’s been nine years but I still remember shouting crazily to my friend ahead. We were filled with dread, piercing focus, and the regret that we’d not even be able to leave a loving note for our families if we got consumed by the landslide. With the throttle maxed out, we rode relentlessly for a couple of kilometres before coming to an equally rapid stop with the rears sliding, and reflected on the horror that we’d escaped — only just.

The slush was unimaginable — the worst I’d seen in years. It was near Marhi en-route Rohtang Pass that the roads were non-existent and the monsoon had wrecked havoc with incessant downpour for a couple of nights in the entire region.

We trundled along; carefully negotiating the waterfalls that got formed out of nowhere, surging down in anger on the already perilous road. Barely a few metres after yet another fording, a rock the size of a tennis ball hit my helmet and I almost lost balance on the bike and suggested we stop to measure the damage to my fancy headgear. But we both knew deep inside that it wasn’t for that; it was to stop and breathe, ease up the chill in the spine and gather our senses. Once my legs had stopped shaking, we carried on.

There was something about that stretch — both of us felt uneasy riding it. We’d stopped once again due to exhaustion, and just then we could feel the layer of ground under our feet shake. We knew instinctively that we’d meet our maker if we didn’t get out of that place immediately.

Suddenly, bodily exhaustion seemed to have been drowned by the sudden rush of intense energy and determination. As I thumbed the bike’s engine to life, its vibration caused a part of the ground to slide off. We simply got on the gas and went like the clappers. 

In the rear view mirror I could see a part of the mountain going down. Once the noise had faded and the surface felt firm, we stopped to take stock of what had happened. We’d managed to escape a serious landslide… we’d managed to escape death. And that’s when we laughed, cursed and were overcome with myriad emotions. We felt, weirdly, more alive than ever. The ride from then on was totally epic!

Are there crazy biking adventures that you have, too? Share them with me either in comments or drop them as digital letters.. It’ll be awesome to read your stories.

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