Of love between man and machine

Of love between man and machine

Riding High

Men’s passion for motorbikes and bike riding is irreplaceable - and when the bike in question is Harley Davidson, well then the passion turns to an obsession.

The same is evident when Sharad Sharma, a Delhi-based biker talks about his loving machine and long distance drives. Sharad, an actor and a television anchor, is the only rider to represent the Capital in the Southern Harley Owners Group ride from Bangalore to Hampi, beginning September 29-30.

Though the ride from Bangalore to Hampi is 364 km long, it would be around 2200 km long journey for Sharad as he is travelling on his Harley-Davidson XR1200 from Delhi to Bangalore, where he will join around 200 other riders.

In the last two years, he has ridden 19,000 kms. Ask him what drives a person to ride a bike so passionately, and Sharad says the moment a person sits on a bike, he is connected to the machine. “Machine and man become one. Personally, it is symbol of freedom. On a motorcycle, you smell the clean air and the cow dung, you remember each and every road and its potholes and your eyes have a wider view. In a car, you are caged. Your view is restricted by the windscreen,” he shares with Metrolife.

The pre-requisite of riding continously for hours is mental strength followed by physical fitness, the machine’s fitness and safety aspects. “One has to be mentally strong to ride long distances. Some people ride with friends and partners. I ride alone. The support one gets from well-wishers gives me confidence. Then comes physical strength. You can’t be a pot-bellied man and try long drives at the same time. Then your bike, helmet, gears, engine and other safety equipment have to be in sound condition too.”

Sharad has ridden from Delhi to Rajasthan, Himachal, from Mumbai to Delhi and Gujarat. A few months back, Sharad turned his passion into a profession. He started a company Travel Torque that conducts bike tours across the country. He has been a part of biking clubs in Delhi and Mumbai but doesn’t like to restrict himself to one set of
people.

“Riders are a different bunch of people. They are self-assured people sans insecurity. They don’t like to limit themselves. I am doing this ride because I want to meet other riders, know their experiences. I want to invite the riders of South to the North.”
What’s his ultimate destination? “I want to ride to America, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa with a bunch of enthusiasts...in fact go around the world on my bike,” he laughs.

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