Author Archives: Akhil Kalsh

About Akhil Kalsh

Akhil has been a biking fan since his umbilical was cut. He got his hands on a Pulsar 150 when he was in college and has ridden its sorry ass about 50,000 kilometers since over most of India, including Ladakh. Now he can be seen on a Duke 390 trying to run as far away from civilization as possible.

Adventure travel film festival 2017: My experience – Part 2

Friday, 11th August 2017.

For a night spent shivering like I was north of the wall, I slept rather well.

The alarm was set for 7 am, but I woke up around 6.30. Didn’t want the showers to get too busy, so picked up my stuff and walked over there. I wasn’t wearing my lenses, and I hadn’t bothered to check the place out beforehand, bounced around a few doors before finally finding the room I was supposed to be. There were a few people inside, but I was early enough.

As I entered the bathroom, I saw a man walk towards the showers. He was completely naked. Without my contact lenses my eyesight is about as good as a bat’s, but he was naked, and had a nice bum. I thought I had entered a nudist-only bathroom, but a quick look around told me that wasn’t the case. I’m from a country where some people still bathe in their undies, this was new, but I got used to it rather quickly. I thought about walking around naked myself, it must feel kinda liberating, but nobody needs to start their day with the view of a skinny, hairy ass.

Keeping my hands clean enough to put on the lenses in the tent required some long-term planning, but it got done. Got some breakfast and chatted to some people for a change. One of guy’s entire family was attending, he told me about the bikes his dad owns, and what he plans to ride in the future. Must be fun to be him.

I spent some more time by the tennis court, but now it was filled with kids who had no idea what they were doing. There were a few giant bean bags in front of the main school building, and it was sunny, so I spent the next few hours reading Sam Manicom’s Into Africa there, waiting for the morning volunteer meet. It was peaceful.

The meeting began, we were given a tour of the venue, and a basic idea of everything. Once done I went through the schedule, my tasks started in the afternoon, it was time for another few hours of reading. I was hungry again though, so raided the volunteer kitchen for some heavenly cupcakes and coffee. I think I enjoyed the cupcakes a bit too much, one of the kitchen staff told me “Boy you love those cupcakes don’t you?”. I think that’s their polite way of saying get off our food you greedy bastard.

While sneaking out of the cafe I met Jane again, we went and sat on the giant bean bag. We talked about our trips, experiences, and the festival. It’s hard to describe how interesting and attractive a women she is, you feel young just being with her. She left when it was time for her duties to begin, and I carried on Into Africa.

It was time to move to the Patrick Troughton theater, where it was my job to handle the projector room. Lucy, the owner of the giant tent, was outside as the meet and greet person, and she told me to go upstairs to see Richard. I tiptoed inside, a movie was playing on the screen, and shook hands with Richard. As I looked at all the dials and buttons, I realized I hadn’t attended the training to learn what they all did.

“I didn’t see you at the training session in the morning.”

“I didn’t know there was one.” 

“No worries, it’s really simple.” 

A short crash-course later I was ready. By this time Portia, who I was partnered with at the theater, arrived as well. A young college student, she was supposed to replace Lucy outside the door. It was time for the movie to begin, so we got on with our jobs, but not before I stashed a few cupcakes in the projector room. In my defense, there was a shortcut from the theater to the kitchen.

My job was to play the movie, dim the lights, adjust the volume, turns the lights back up once the movie was done, open the doors, and take out the trash. I thought about introducing the movies before they started, something that Richard was doing during his shift, but then decided against it. The movies we were about to watch didn’t need introductions, and public speaking isn’t my speciality.

I think I had the best job a volunteer could ask for, press a few buttons and then watch the movies from the best seat in the theater. I watched Man with a pram, Trabants to the end of the world, Surviving the fundy footpath, and so many other films that are difficult, if not impossible to watch outside such a film festival. Apart from the movies in the theater, there were a few short films running on loop at a different location, I saw them too once I was done with my shift.

After dinner it was time for a special movie. We all shoved ourselves into a giant aircraft hangar of a sports hall, and watched DugOut. The level of cinematic beauty in that movie is fascinating, especially considering the fact that the whole thing has been shot and created by 2 dudes. After the film was done, I went straight to my tent for some sleep, while for others the party had just begun.

Saturday, 12th August 2017

The day started at 6.30 again, I missed the naked man with the cute butt though.

Got ready, breakfast done, and it was time for some more Sam Manicom. My wife was going to sleep with me tonight, I mean in the tent, I mean real sleep rather than “sleep” sleep. She is an even bigger adventurer than I am, and had never slept in a tent, so that ought to be fun. I had booked her train tickets, she took more or less the same route that I did, and I walked over to Mill Hill East station to pick her up. We walked back to the school, it was easy to carry her tiny bag.

Back at the venue, picked up her tickets, and then gave her a tour of the location. My shift was about to start, I told her to come to the theater with me. She being who she is decided it would be better to roam around the place for no good reason. While we were roaming towards the theater, I noticed the Honda riding academy setup, there were a few young girls riding around on little scooties, and I thought this would be a great place for wifey to learn a bit more about two-wheelers.

She knows how to ride a gearless scooter, but doesn’t have the confidence to take it to the road. Once we had rented an Activa in Goa, I gave it to her to ride for a bit and sat behind, she did well but got very nervous for some reason. Being comfortable on the road is a matter of experience, self-confidence, and luck. If you have bad experiences at the start of your riding life, chances are you won’t do too well down the years.

Went over to the Honda stand, but they said it’s all booked for the day, come back tomorrow 11 am. They had on and off-roading sessions for people like me as well, but I didn’t want to go. I was in rehab from motorcycles, I didn’t need this temptation.

We booked our slot, I went over the the theater to get on with my job, and she quickly got lost somewhere in the building. I went to Portia and asked her if she wanted to do the button pressing thingy, and I would do the hello bye bye thingy. She said sure, so I gave her a crash course, and then headed down to the door. It felt weird that I was getting to watch all the movies while she stood outside. It was easier for me to infiltrate the kitchen from my new location as well, more cupcakes were scored.

Although I had to keep running to the door every few minutes, I did get to watch another movie called Liemba. The two sisters who made the movie were there as well, and gave a talk about their experience. Afterwards Georgia from Man with a Pram came and gave a talk about the trip after the movie. I had a starry-eyed encounter with her, I mean once you watch the movie you feel sort of a bond with her, and I had seen the movie twice. She arrived and I gave her an overview of our plan, asked her to sit in the front row, and then went to arrange the other stuff. Once the movie was done she gave her talk, and then moved out.

“Was it all OK?”

“Yes it was perfect, you were brilliant in there Georgia.”

“Thanks.” 

That is what I think I said, but I might have just stared blankly at her face and imagined the words in my head.

After my shift was done me and wifey roamed around aimlessly through the fields. The last 2 days had almost been like a vacation for me, I hadn’t looked at my phone much, had spent a lot of time reading, had watched interesting movies, and had extremely high quality sleep at night. We walked and talked until sunset, after which it was time for an outdoor film screening.

Even though the weather had been extraordinarily good since the start, we were still in England, and the nights were cold. I picked up both our mattresses and sleeping bags from our tent and picked a place on a hill some distance from the screen to watch the movies. As we settled down, I noticed the two creators of Liemba walk towards the screen, and then sit down on bare grass. I was wrapped in a sleeping big, sitting on an air mattress, hugging wifey for extra warmth, looking at them plonk their asses on damp earth gave me a shiver.

“Hi, aren’t you feeling cold?” 

“Hello, um, no it’s alright.”

“Are you sure? I’ve got an extra mattress over there, why don’t you come on up?”

“Wow you must pick up a lot of girls with your extra mattress” 

I am not a witty guy, I don’t do comebacks. If you say something to me I’ll probably just smile. Then a few days later I’ll think of a comeback in the shower, and crack up imagining how hilarious it would have been if I had said it then. When she said that to me, I just smiled. I still haven’t thought of a comeback, it’s work in progress.

They must’ve been feeling cold, since they decided to walk on up and use the mattress.

First up we watched a popular Youtube video about a trainhopper, with a surprise at the end, the dude was at the venue to give a talk after the playing. Then we watched Losing sight of shore, that’s one hell of a film about a few women who rowed a boat across the fucking Pacific. I don’t know how to swim, so this movie was a big deal for me.

Then it was time to sleep, and we realized that our so-called 2 man tent was really more like a 2 rat tent. There was no way we both could have slept inside without looking like blocks in a game of Tetris. The only solution we could find was to put all our stuff outside the tent and hope it didn’t rain.

It was another cold night, especially for her. My bed-warming skills were contained inside the force field of the sleeping bag, I couldn’t help her.

Sunday, 13th August 2017.

The last day began the same way. I asked wifey to lookout for nice bums in the ladies showers. She didn’t see any, neither did I.

I remember thinking while having breakfast, I could get used to this routine. I have struggled with getting up early all my life, and now all of a sudden I had done it 3 times in a row. Spent some time reading, and then we went over to the Honda place to see if wifey still knew how to ride.

She did, but at the same screamy-nervous level from 4 years ago. The trainer was really patient, and by the end of the session wifey had definitely improved. Time for a few cupcakes to celebrate.

Back at the theater we watched a very special movie about Ben Carlin. He did a round the world trip in the 50s, and remains the only person to do so in an amphibious vehicle even after 60 odd years. You have to watch the film to believe it, that man traveled the world like we travel to the grocery store. The film was followed by a talk with Gordon Bass, who has written a book about Ben Carlin.

After lunch it was time for a final sweep of the main field. The volunteers formed a line and combed the field like a bunch of policemen trying to find a murder weapon. The vacation ended after that, we walked back to the tent and saw Portia on the way. I liked her a lot, she always had a book with her. An awkward hug goodbye later we moved onto disassembling our home and packing it all up.

Walked back to the station and the trains took us away.

Travelers are usually good people, experiences change you for the better. ATFF for me was a collection of the best of travelers, it doesn’t get much better than that.

This was a unique experience, to say that I enjoyed it would be an understatement. I would watch a movie, think this is the best goddamn adventure movie ever made, and then watch something better a few minutes later. I got free food from the lunch lady, and binged on cupcakes at the kitchen. I slept like a baby, spent time reading, and walked miles. It was like one of those expensive art of living camps, for free., and without all of the God bullshit

Let’s do it again sometime.

Adventure travel film festival 2017: My experience – Part 1

“Hi I’m Lois, it’s nice to meet you!”

“N..N..Nice….” 

This happened when I met Lois Pryce, within a few minutes of arriving at the Adventure travel film festival 2017, London. It set the tone for the rest of the weekend, with me drooling around people I’d only read about, tongue-tied, looking like I just jumped off the boat a few hours ago.

I volunteered at the festival, for the sole reason of being able to help someone else do a good thing. I haven’t done any adventures in a while, have given up motorcycles completely, and spend my weekends reading or writing. Life is slow and simple, and I seem to have some money in my account for a change.

The closest thing I’ve ever experienced to the ATFF was MTM 2015, although they are very different in the way they are executed. As someone who is scared of organizing a house-warming party, I respect people who organize such huge events.

My initial plan was to cycle the 70 odd kms from my home to the festival location. When I told Austin he said “Are you sure?” in that stereotypical British accent. I guess I was trying to make a microadventure out of it, but it didn’t happen in the end. The rear tire punctured a week before the festival, I ordered a tubeless kit but that didn’t arrive for weeks. More importantly, once my bag was packed I realized I couldn’t sit on the cycle with it on my back.

It would’ve been fun, if I hadn’t killed myself on the way. The plan was to follow the grand union canal all the way to the outskirts of London, and then find my way to the venue from there. I know, not much of a plan.

The venue was Mill Hill school, located in North-West London. Initially I thought it would be like a public school back in India, but boy was I in for a surprise. I booked the train tickets, packed my bags, and then it was time to wait for the day.

Thursday, 10th August 2017

We had to gather at the school by late afternoon for a meetup/barbecue thing, so naturally I planned to reach there about 2 hours in advance. Took a Virgin from Milton Keynes to Euston, then changed for Finchley Central, and then onto one for Mill Hill East. The final train was a bit of a surprise, I’ve never seen one wait at the platform for so long, mostly London trains fly away like Mumbai locals. The Mill Hill East is a tiny one-platform station that’s also the end of the line.

The school is about a mile from the station, but it feels much farther away on foot. I saw a lot of good-looking houses, plenty of churches, and a few vintage cars as well on the way. My backpack was a bit too heavy, but not as heavy as the midget I carried to Isle of Man.

I saw someone outside the gate who looked like a young Michael Cera. Ben took me inside and introduced me to the place.

Mill Hill is a school that looks like a museum, both from the outside and inside. A quick Google search tells you that Francis Crick studied here, yes that’s the dude who helped discover the structure of DNA. Evgeny Lebedev, owner of The Independent was a student too. For the Indian crowd reading this, Vir Sanghvi is an alumni as well. Others include the son of a former Sri Lankan president, famous actors, footballers, mathematicians, businessmen, poets, neurologists and everything in between.

Another quick search tells me that the cost of schooling here per year is about twice what my dad paid for my entire 4-year engineering degree.

Ben took me through one giant field, and then another giant field, and then a few more until we entered the main building. Met Austin in the corridor and then went onto the volunteer office. Most of them were rotating around a few tables like a few candy wrappers in a dust devil. I was told to setup tent in the volunteer area and return.

While moving out of the building, I saw a water dispenser. I was thirsty, picked up one of the glasses, filled it up, and drank it without touching the glass with my lips. Once done I put it back in the pile of glasses from where it had come, almost immediately there was a boom inside the hall.

“Don’t do that!” 

“What?”

“You put that glass back on top with other glasses.” 

“Yes, I didn’t put my lips to it.” 

“No, no that doesn’t matter, just go.” 

“Sorry.”

“Just go.”

That lunch lady did not fuck about.

I of course being the seasoned adventurer that I am had used my tent only once before. I reached the field where the volunteers were supposed to pitch and it was more or less empty. I had the choice of all the spots to decide what would be the best place to be. I took a quick look at the Sun, figured out the directions, imagined where the Sun would rise, what path it would take through the day, and picked a spot. I was rather proud of my bushmen skills.

Two other volunteers walked over and congratulated me on the choice of my spot, I didn’t realize they were being sarcastic.

A quick change of clothes and I was back at the HQ, slowly rotating along with the other candy wrappers. We prepared welcome packs for the attendees, magazines, flyers, and goggles in a bag. Midway through feeling light-headed, Lois entered the office and I had that awkward greeting with her. I’m not much of a talker, so I just listened, and answered any questions that were asked. Once we were all done Lois suggested we have some beer.

“Should I tell her I don’t drink? Na I look weird enough for today, I’ll just get a can and sip a bit. But then I’ll have to throw it all away, that won’t be nice. Do plants like beer?”

Luckily they got distracted with other ideas and I slipped out. While going out I saw a different lunch lady in the cafeteria. I was hungry.

“Hello, is there something that I could get to eat?”

“No, no this is for the children, and for festival people with meal passes.”

“Oh, no problem, thanks.”

“Let me see if there are any leftovers.”

I never say no to food, I’ll eat anything. Few years ago a customer and his girlfriend had come to an office I worked at, she was eating some ice cream in a cup. As the introductions went around she offered her ice cream to everyone, they refused, I accepted. She was surprised.

The nice big black lady struggled around walking and brought me two cups of some cake with some cream and a strawberry on top. She couldn’t find a spoon anywhere, and we walked towards the kitchen. She went in, I stood outside, I heard her tell someone to give me a spoon. The lady who I had disgusted a few minutes before showed up with a spoon. I was smiling, she was not.

After I was done eating, I walked back to the tent. Someone was setting up her tent besides mine.

“Do you need any help with that?”

“No I’m alright thanks!”

“No problem.”

“So, we are neighbors! Do you think this is the best place to pitch the tent?”

“I think so yes.”

“Hmm, let me ask that lady over there, she might know better.”

Jane went over to the other end of the field and spoke to a woman who was sitting besides what looked like a tent big enough for a circus show.

“She tells me this is the worst place to tent for the night. It would be too hot during the day, there’s no protection against wind, and if it rains there might be standing water.”

“Ah.” 

We both picked up our tiny tents and set them up next to the big one up the hill. Apparently my bushmen skills need a bit of touch-up.

It was now time for the volunteer meetup/barbecue, I knew nobody and did not want to level up my awkwardness for the day. After I picked up a few tasty vegetarian burgers, it was time to head over to the tennis court and watch two old men play a match. Those guys were hard core.

When I used to live in Hyderabad, it was tough to find a place to ride to. We ended up with a new system, find a lake nearby, and then attempt to circumnavigate it. A simple idea, it worked wonders at making our life more interesting. Before going to sleep, I went around the school boundary once. It was too dark to notice anything interesting, but it did tell me a lot about the size of the place.

I spent another cold night in my tent, I don’t know what I should do to warm things up. I even used a few of those packets of chemicals from Warmee, but nothing worked. I’m usually a hot guy, at least my wife says so, I’m an accomplished bed warmer. For some reason those skills don’t work with tents. Is it the mattress? Is it the sleeping bag? A deep analysis of my inability to be comfortable worked well to put me to sleep.

Video Vednesday: Epic journeys

I’m planning to move Video Vednesday permanently to the weekend. The name might need to be changed, but what would I call it? Video Vunday? Sinema Saturday? I don’t know, let’s keep calling it VV for now, who gives a shit anyway.

Here’s a selection of films I’ve been watching since yesterday. I’ve already seem some of them before, but these are worth a second watch.

1. Malle Moto

Lyndon Poskitt is one hell of a guy, he has basically combined the concepts of RTW and Racing, but at the highest levels of both. It’s hard to imagine the level of dedication required to live such a life, but this guy is doing it. Living the dream? Perhaps, but not a dream everyone can live.

2. Himalayan Motorcycle Adventure

David Darcy from Australia makes some very interesting videos, his channel is filled with informative, fun, and cinematic films that I have featured here in the past as well. Here’s one of his adventures in our own backyard, or should I say our attic.

3. Into the dust

If you like Dust to glory, you might like this as well. It’s a movie about the Baja 1000 as well, but from a different perspective. A few months ago a bunch of Indians finished this epic race, and a look at this movie tells you a lot about why they deserve our total respect.

I watch a lot of videos to find the ones worth sharing. Watching so many insane videos does give you an inferiority complex, what have I done with my life? There are guys traveling the world, winning races, enjoying life, and all I can do is watch..

I guess it’s time to binge on some Spongebob.

Book review: Built for speed by John McGuinness

How do you review the story of a 23 time Isle of Man TT winner?

I have read a lot of books the past year, I have reviewed a few of them on this website. When I review a book, it’s usually not from the point of view of the story or the writing or the narration, my review is meant to tell you that this book exists, and you should read it. I can’t review a book like a critic, I have no right to.

Linguini can’t review Gusteau’s dishes. Pippin can’t review Gandalf’s fights. Hodor can’t review Arya’s murders.

When Sam Manicom travels the world and allows us a look inside his mind with his books, he’s doing us a favor. When Michele Harrison sent her ebook to me for a review, all I could tell her was that the book is awesome and so is she. When I listened to Guy Martin’s autobiography, it was from the point of view of a kid listening to God.

When I went to the Isle of Man TT last year, I was lucky enough to meet John McGuinness and get a signed copy of his autobiography. I finished the book a few days after I returned. It has been many months since I read it, and I’ll try to describe how it felt.

When I’d listened to Guy Martin’s autobiography, I was impressed with the honesty. McGuinness takes that honesty to a whole different level. His story is not just about the struggle and the failures before the rain of success, it’s a story about culture, relationships, and an extraordinary life.

John talks about his childhood, the love for motorcycles, and how it grew. He talks about his girlfriend, and how he ended up living in her parent’s house. He talks about his own mom and dad, how they influenced him over the years, and he talks about the path he had to take on the way to become a legend.

The best part about the book are the photographs that show up from time to time, they really give you a whole different perspective on the story. The language is extremely simple, the presentation is even simpler. It’s an easy book to read.

It is rare for a book to openly name people, this one does that too. This is not a book just meant for bikers, there are no technical sections, it’s all about the feel.

The way John met me, the way he was speaking with his fans, and the way the whole Isle of Man TT culture is gets reflected in this book, they are a bunch of blokes who not only don’t realize how awesome they are, they choose to ignore it. That same attitude flows through the book as well. 

I know I’m known for writing articles that take centuries to read, but I am purposely keeping it short here to avoid any major spoilers. I read a lot of books, not everyone reads as much as I do, but if there was one book about motorcycling that I would recommend, this would be it.

If you are in India, the cheapest way to get this book would be on Audible. Buying a physical book might end up being costly, but you can try on Amazon. I have a signed copy from John, if you’d like to borrow it please let me know, I live in Milton Keynes.

Would I ever buy a superbike?

I’m at a unique position in my life.

Before 2017, all I could do was dream about buying a superbike. I didn’t have the money to afford one, and I was in India, where buying one doesn’t make sense. Getting a superbike in India is like leaving a penguin in the Sahara, they don’t belong.

It’s hard to describe how much time I’ve spent watching motorcycle exhaust videos on Youtube, searching for the perfect one is a lot like searching for porn, a very specific set of videos work for you, adding “compilation” to the end of the search term usually helps, and once you find the one, you watch it over and over again.

I’ve also spent hours on the Triumph website, they have one of those bike configuration screens where you can add and remove parts to see how much the cost changes, and how the bike looks. I’ll take that quickshifter, that Arrow, and a legal notice from your CEO thank you very much.

If the Ninja 650 belongs to the superbike category, I almost bought one. I also really wanted to buy the Street Triple when it was launched, and after I rented the Daytona, it was tough to return. It took me a long time to get used to the Duke, but once I did, I got bored quickly. It’s a fun little machine, but 60,000 kms are enough on one bike.

Now I live in the UK, cheap superbikes are easily available and the roads allow you to enjoy the bike rather than attempting to kill you. My balls would fall off with frostbite if I ride here at the wrong time, but who needs them anyway.

For the first time in my life I can justify the purchase of a big bike, but I really don’t want to. Here I am trying to structure the reasons why.

I’m a bit scared

I have never broken a single bone in my life, mostly due to luck, and my survival instincts.

When I rented the Daytona, I took it on a highway and pinned the throttle. Every nerve in my body wanted me to stop, but there’s a part of you that wants to know, and another part that enjoys doing the wrong thing. I watched the speedo fly through 100, 120, 150, 180, 200, 220, 230. The bike could have done much more, but my helmet felt like it was going to explode.

It scared me, I scared myself. I’m not a responsible adult, I’m not either of those 2 things. I would like to think that I’m an experienced rider, but the problem is that you don’t know what you don’t know. My judgement of being an experienced rider is based on my experiences, and they are limited.

It’s just too easy to kill yourself, I don’t want that kind of power. You don’t give a chainsaw to a monkey, you don’t give a loaded gun to a child. Most of the time I manage to stay in control, but it doesn’t take a lot of effort to slide out of the bubble. When you are out, you don’t realize you are out.

It does feel a bit weird watching teenagers on Ducatis and Triumphs, feels like I’m a bit too negative, that I should behave more like a real man. However, I think I’m a bit too old to care, and I’ve seen too many crash videos to risk it. I don’t mind taking the risk, but at my age you start to ask yourself what are you getting in return.

I’m not rich enough

The money doesn’t stop flowing once you’ve paid for that big bike, that’s usually just the start. I’ll have to buy new gear, will have to save money for maintenance costs, and spend a lot on insurance.

More importantly, only the super-rich can ride around on big bikes without caring about the fuel costs. For someone like me who wants to travel as far as possible while spending as little as possible, a superbike just doesn’t enter the equation. I’ve seen people touring on Daytonas, S1000RRs and R1s, it looks cool for sure, but I can’t do it.

If I buy a superbike, the most logical thing to do with it would be to take it to the track. Becoming a track addict is similar to becoming a heroin junkie, you’re always out of money, there’s always something more to buy, and you find yourself sucking bleedy dicks in dark alleys to support the habit.

And then there are upgrades. The entire superbike ecosystem is designed to squeeze you dry.

I’ve always said that bikes are a means to an end for me, and it doesn’t make financial sense to spend too much on the means. It’s like air travel, I always go economy class even if I can afford business, because the flight doesn’t matter. If I ever start getting angered by an annoying passenger, like someone sitting next to me and hogging the entire armrest, or someone with a crying baby who don’t seem to care about others, I tell myself that this 10,000 km journey would have taken 10 years in 1876, a bit of inconvenience for 10 hours is no big deal.

This isn’t what I want

This is perhaps the most important reason, I do not have the need for a superbike, I don’t want one. I don’t want to wake up people in the middle of the night with my exhaust, I don’t need wheelies on demand, I have nobody to impress. Most people who buy a sports bike do so because the bike is more than just a machine to them, a symbol of something else. My entire aim in life is to be as less symbolic as possible.

If there was no other option, if all bikes were costly to live with, then I guess it would make some sense, although in that case it’s quite possible that I would never have got involved with motorcycles to begin with. The good thing is that we have cheaper choices, machines that do exactly what we want them to do at 10% the cost of a superbike. There’s no logical explanation why someone would give up on such a choice.

Let’s say I pick up a Ninja 1000, and take it on a ride to Scotland. I may not be able to enjoy the twisties because of the fear of crashing something costly. I may not be able to enjoy my time off the bike because of the danger of it getting stolen. Every fuel stop, every oil change, every insurance renewal would remind me of a bad decision.

I know this seems like a lot of negativity for one article, but to me it is important to live within my means. It doesn’t take much to max out credit cards, take personal loans, and go into debt. Maybe when you are old such decisions feel like the right ones, but I’m too skeptical of destroying my present for the vague promise of a smile when I’m about to die.

Everything would be funny when I’m about to die.

This is why I liked the Duke so much, and why I stuck with it for so long even though I was bored with it. You just ride the shit out of that thing, leave it in jungles, smash it into rocks, it doesn’t complain, it doesn’t matter. Everything can be fixed for a few bucks, you can truly enjoy the bike, and the experience that comes with owning it.

In the end it’s the fear of buying something too valuable, I think that’s why too many superbikes end up being sold on forums with 700 kms of usage in 3 years. I don’t want to buy something that I’m afraid to use, I don’t want to buy something that I’m afraid to lose.

RiderZone income and traffic report: January 2018

Let’s set the mood a bit.

Right then, I’m planning to start putting out income and traffic reports again every month. Sure it’s a depressing exercise, but it should help me get a bit more organized, to face facts, and more importantly it should give an idea to anyone planning to make a living online of what they are getting themselves into.

Riderzone traffic report: January 2018

Total views: 29,297

Average per day: 945

Change from last month: +20%

Change from same month last year: -50%

January was not a bad month considering I had basically given up on the site for a year and then brought it back from the dead. Sure the traffic is half of what it was last year, but that was a different time. At least disciplined articles every day or so did help increase the traffic 20% this month from December 2017.

Riderzone income report: January 2018

Total income: $ 20.88

Adsense income: $ 18.48

Youtube income: $ 2.40

Patreon income: $0

Yeah, I know. This is also expected because of the lack of updates on the site, looks like if you don’t post often enough your RPM goes to the sewer. Patreon income has obviously gone to shit as well, even my wife stopped sending me money. Youtube income is understandably low too, I don’t like videos much, and there isn’t enough content on my channel.

I also have an Amazon associates account, but that doesn’t make anything because I usually don’t bother including links in my articles. I don’t want to ask someone to buy something from a specific link, because I actively avoid doing that myself.

All in all, this is a train wreck, but not a plane crash. 

Things could get a bit more positive if I manage to stay disciplined. I have also attempted to streamline my social media engagement by deleting everything but Facebook. Twitter never got me much traffic, and Instagram got me none, so off with their heads. I’m spending a bit more time on Team-bhp nowadays, and trying to understand Reddit as well. For someone who used to be a marketing manager, I suck at marketing.

The plan is to just keep my head down and write 5 articles a week, then look up every month or so to see what’s what. Part of my motivation is the jealousy I feel at other stupid websites being more popular than mine, the other part is that I don’t seem to be good at much else. My attempts to get a job have been met with one rejection after another, so this feels like my only option at this point.

Let’s get on with it then.

Video Vednesday: Reality check

It’s good to un-fool yourself from time to time.

Today’s selection of videos talk about what adventure costs. The cost might be in cash, or it might be in things, or it might be something more general like discipline and compromise. The aim is not to discourage anyone, it’s to give you a look at reality, since there are too many people out there who delude themselves and you into believing adventure is easy.

1. How much does a Dakar cost?

I knew something at the level of Dakar was going to be costly, but I hadn’t expected something this insane. I knew CS Santosh and Arvind KP had to struggle a lot to get into Dakar, but I hadn’t realized just how much. Videos like this make Raid de Himalaya look extreme value for money.

2. How much does an RTW trip cost?

Teapotone is a British Youtuber that has been recommended to me an uncomfortable number of times. If I happen to get a bike in the UK I hope to see him someday. This video is about the fine details of the costs involved in a long motorcycle trip from someone who has actually done it.

3. What lifestyle does a traveler end up with

I was attracted by the dog, this dude actually travels with one. This video is all about what’s the life and routine of a traveler. A lot of people seem to believe that travelers magically spawn from one cool place to the next, this video talks about what they do in between the Instagram selfies.

4. What things are needed for a really long journey

Alex is a legend, although every time I go to his channel I am surprised by just how subscribers he has, especially when compared to so many other jackasses out there sitting on millions. Here’s another one of his informative videos about what you actually need to get to do trips like he does.

Show me the videos you love, I’m getting a bit bored.

Is it Time’sUp for MotoGP Paddock Girls?

A few days ago UK’s Professional Darts Corporation decided that they would discontinue the tradition of women escorting male players to the stage.

I did not know grown men playing darts competitively was a thing, I always thought of it as a glorified drinking game. However, it looks like someone in the management remained sober enough to accidentally realize the way they treated women kinda sucked. They made the unpopular decision to stop this stupidity, and there are already petitions with thousands of signatures to stop this stopping of stupidity.

I can’t claim to be a feminist, especially considering the string of sexist articles on this website. My brand of humor is completely dependent on silly jokes about blowjobs, prostitution, and fucking, jokes that are funny only if you agree with the basic assumption that women are things. But even an old-fashioned dickhead like me can see that the decision made by the darts boys is correct, and wonder why MotoGP hasn’t done the same thing.

I do not believe that the world is a fair place, I don’t think there’s such a thing as justice, and I keep my expectations from humanity lower than Sam’s expectations from Gollum, but even a cynic like me was surprised by the MeToo movement, and the extent of abuse against women. I am a man, I am biologically incapable of understanding what it’s like to be a woman, but I did not know I could be so blind.

Is there a direct relationship between abuse against women and a girl standing next to Marquez in a mini-skirt? Probably not. Is it weird that smushed tits, forced smiles, and high heels in a male-dominated sport are considered normal in 2018? Yes.

I’m not the first to say that there’s no need for MotoGP paddock girls, plenty of people have expressed their disgust about the concept. Every time such an opinion is expressed, the arguments against it are the same. In this article I would like to take a deeper look at what those arguments are, and if they make any sense.

Paddock girls add glamour to the sport

This is usually the first argument given against stopping grid girls, that they add another dimension to the sport. The idea seems to be that somehow watching a bunch of girls hold umbrellas over a bunch of guys makes the whole thing more interesting to watch.

I don’t really understand the concept of glamour, to me glamour is fashion’s only excuse for existence, and an excuse that doesn’t exist in reality. Nobody needs to spend hours making their face look like a candle ejaculated on it, but they do it because glamorous celebrities seem to as well. What makes those celebrities glamorous? The fandom of all those people who make their faces look like a candle ejaculated on it. It’s like a human centipede, the fashion industry shits in the mouth of celebrities, those celebrities add more spit to the shit before making the consumers eat it, and finally the consumers take a bite and actually believe that the deep brown color of their lips makes them more attractive.

The concept of glamour is sexist by design, a bikini is glamorous, a mankini is not. Maria Herrera, Moto3’s only female racer, does not have a man in a speedo hold her umbrella, if she did, most people would just go “ewww” and Dorna would have to cancel the race in embarrassment. Something is obviously wrong with a concept that applies only to women.

Saying that grid girls add glamour to the sport is like saying that punching your wife every week or so adds romance to your marriage.

Paddock girls are getting employed

This is another favorite, paddock girls are being provided jobs and money, so all is good. Anyone who doesn’t see the level of disrespect that follows from this argument is more ignorant than Joffrey Baratheon.

Look at the entire MotoGP ecosystem, the riders are men, the mechanics are men, the commentators are men, the owners are men. All the important, exciting, high-paying jobs are done by men. In the middle of all these men you squeeze a few women, and the “job” these women have is to look pretty, make sure the men don’t get sunburnt, and get showered with champagne to make their nipples visible.

Is that a job you would like to take? Or would you rather be somewhere else on the grid?

Imagine if you were sitting in a cinema, had paid for a ticket, and you were suddenly told you can’t sit in the back row. You try to move to the middle, but are told that’s not possible. You move to the front, but no luck there either. You finally sit by the stairs in a dark corner, a speaker hanging exactly behind your ear, with only half the screen visible.

If someone approached you and said “Aren’t you lucky to be getting to watch this movie?”, how would that make you feel? There are worse things you could do than be a paddock girl, but there far more better things to be doing as well.

Paddock girls are a tradition

Any argument that starts with the word “tradition” irritates me. Small pox traditionally killed thousands of people every year. Humans traditionally shit in the woods. The earth traditionally was a collection of dust and gas spiraling around an unborn sun. Traditions are pointless, emotional flashbacks of just how bad things used to be, they are things to be remembered and forgotten, not life goals. Isle of Man TT seems to have forgotten about paddock girls, why can’t MotoGP?

It is true that grid girls have been with racing from the start, using a woman’s body to attract attention to your business at a time when women did not even have the right to vote doesn’t seem all that unnatural. What’s unnatural is believing that in today’s time, when literally everything else has changed from those days of treating women like a walking uterus, it is acceptable to feel nostalgic about just how fucking depressing things used to be, to want to keep the way things used to happen, and to feel offended if someone tells you to pull your fist out your ass.

What sort of backward thinking illiteracy is this? What kind of a person looks back at a time when people thought fevers were caused by witches, and says to himself “Ah, we should do more of that today.” Tradition is the weapon used by religion to convince people to make fools of themselves, drink this cow piss because a 1000 year old book says it’s awesome, go stick this bomb up your rectum and fire it on a plane because so many before you have done so. When did it become a fashion statement?

Saying that paddock girls should be kept because that’s how things started is like saying MotoGP riders should ride without any protective gear because that’s how things used to be.

Paddock girls choose to be paddock girls

This is one of more evil arguments against paddock girls, and one that’s rather hard to refute. Everyone is free to do what they choose to do, if a girl wants to hold an umbrella, so be it. The problem with this argument is that it assumes a level playing field.

This argument assumes that women could be a rider, a mechanic, or a commentator, but for some unknown reason all of them choose to be paddock girls. Nobody is stopping them from doing what they want to do, they want to put on makeup and look uncomfortable, hence proved all is well.

Woman in Saudi Arabia cover their faces and body with a veil. If they don’t do it, men look at them funny, their family gets angry with them, and occasionally they get arrested. If a woman in Saudi Arabia cover her face and body with a veil, does she choose to do it or is that her only option?

You create a system of which women are not a part, by design. You strategically leave just one area of the system where women can be employed. Do those women have a choice?

The argument can be made that there are not a lot of women MotoGP riders because parents don’t gift dirtbikes to their daughters. Because you don’t have a lot of women MotoGP riders, there aren’t any experienced women to comment on the race. Being a grease monkey isn’t exactly what parents dream their daughter to be either, although that strangely seems to be one of the most important characteristic of a hot chick.

However, if your argument is that women are only used as cheerleaders in this sport because they are not encouraged to do anything else by society, you really need to think a bit more.

Paddock girls are hated by snowflakes

Someone reading this article will at some point say that I’m a “snowflake”. Political correctness, or PC as it’s called by people who use it so much they need an abbreviation for 2 words, would also be mentioned to have gone crazy. I don’t know what political correctness means, it feels like something a politician would orgasm to. I like snowflakes, they are beautiful and complex.

The argument seems to be that telling grid girls to go is an unnecessary interference, undue moral policing, done by people who think they always know what’s right. It’s like capitalism applied to a human level, with cries for less government, less rules, and an unhealthy obsession with freedom.

The trick here is that these people who seem to hate rules help create a society where women are constantly told what to do and what not. After they push the women into a corner with their subtle agenda, anyone who tells them to stop is accused of being a PC Nazi. They tell others what to do, someone tells them not to tell others what to do, they tell that someone not to tell them to not tell others what to do. Magic.

Most of the arguments against paddock girls depend on changing the subject, distraction. They don’t mean anything by themselves, it’s just a bunch of catch phrases that people shout and then claim victory. The people who make these arguments are usually one of two types, those who genuinely think bad ideas are good ideas, and those who are too lazy to give up bad ideas.

Will it make a difference?

What would happen if MotoGP decided to stop paddock girls in 2018? Probably not much. Nothing would change as far as the race goes. The girls would be unemployed, but I’m sure they will find something better. Will it magically make more girls interested in racing? No. Will there be an all-girl team of mechanics? No. Will there be more female commentators? No. But it would be a symbol for change.

I hate symbols, but this is one of those few situations where they might be useful. A little girl watching a MotoGP race without grid girls may get the impression that she could be a racer too. If she makes it on a bike, other girls looking on will get more encouragement. With more girls on bikes it might feel natural to have more female mechanics, and then the commentators might follow.

It’s all about perception. Dorna can’t suddenly find female racers, even if it really wants to promote them. But the least it can do is destroy a symbol of the past, a symbol of idiocy, a symbol of male dominance. It would make financial sense, MotoGP has a male majority audience, it wouldn’t hurt to add a few million females to the party as well, right now it’s kind of a sausage fest.

I do realize that there’s a certain level of hypocrisy in this article, I’m telling people to stop telling girls to do a particular thing, by forcing those girls to be unable to do it. I obviously don’t have a right to tell anyone what to do, and from a philosophical standpoint it is rather difficult to justify banning something. The idea of this article is to show that the usual arguments given in favor of grid girls do not have any value, however I don’t really have a convincing reason against this tradition. I think part of the problem is that I am a man.

MotoGP is one of the most interesting sports on the planet at the moment. They have a field filled with incredible talent, bikes that are better and faster than ever, and a huge fan following. They don’t need these cheap tricks, they can take this risk. Dorna should instead spend its money getting girls into racing.

Imagine a girl winning in Mugello, imagine the podium celebrations with a pink trophy, imagine the post-race interview where the girl won’t stop talking. MotoGP has an incredible opportunity to make fun of stereotypes, rather than be one. What will it do?

How to buy a motorcycle

Put your money in a sack, run to the dealership, drop it in front of the salesman like a mic.

We have too many choices. Even though from time to time I rant about how we do not have a lot of options in the motorcycle department, the options we do have are enough to make the motorcycle buying decision extremely confusing and difficult.

This article explains the techniques I used to simplify my bike buying decision, however these ideas can be applied to almost any other decision in life that deals with material objects. Being able to make a decision is a skill that most of us take for granted, here I’ll try to explain how to make the job easier.

It is important to note that these ideas work only when you really are ready to buy something, this is not meant to satisfy those imaginary scenarios when you fondle yourself while scrolling through Revzilla, or finger yourself while reading that Daytona 675 vs. Daytona 675R comparo.

Restrict the choices

It all boils down to this simple idea, you must reduce the number of choices you select from. The reasons for this are really simple:

  • There are far too many choices, you will never be able to study or understand them all
  • Attempting to understand all the choices is a wastage of time and brain
  • As long as you are approximately correct, what you choose doesn’t really matter
  • There’s no such thing as the perfect choice, everything has positives and negatives
  • Wrong choices frequently turn out to be the most fun

Now let’s focus on how you convert those words into things that can be done.

  1. Fix your budget: Obviously the most important step, but one that most people get wrong. Humans are greedy, marketers know that, and they play it to their advantage. Spend a little bit more than your budget, and you could get this, spend a little bit more than the little bit more, and you could get that. It’s too easy to get distracted, to overshoot your budget. As a general rule, I always try to avoid a loan, buying with what you have is the easiest way to set a budget.
  2. Restrict what you really need: Just like you need to restrict your choices, you also need to restrict what you really want from those choices. Every buying decision is based on a few important factors, and a lot of unimportant ones. Figure out the 3 most important ones, and let them pull you towards the right choice. This part requires logical thinking, self-control, and lack of emotions, not everyone is good at these things, but you can be.
  3. Be brutal: I mean towards yourself, don’t treat yourself like a fucking princess. Once a choice is out of the picture for whatever reason, keep it out, no matter how much you really love it. Overshooting your budget could get you that item you’ve always dreamed about? Crush your dreams. Your brain is very good at fooling itself, you’ve got to slap it into consciousness quite frequently. Feeling sorry for yourself is pathetic, it won’t kill you to compromise.
  4. Make a sheet and make that decision: Once you have finalized the 3-5 choices that you must decide from, create a sheet in Excel or on a piece of paper. Compare the choices, write down everything you can about them. Do not attempt to compare things inside your head, your brain will trick itself into buying what it feels is the best option. Write things down, let yourself be shocked by facts and numbers, and make an informed decision.
  5. Buy and don’t regret: Once the decision is done, go for it. Don’t re-compare, don’t find new options, don’t overthink, don’t wait for too long. You might need to stop yourself from visiting certain sites, or talking about certain things. Do it. What you shouldn’t do is wait too long for a great deal, most things worth buying don’t get much cheaper. Remember that prices can always go up as well. Enjoy the satisfaction of having made a decision.

Example 1: How I bought a bike

After I had ridden the Pulsar 150 for some 5 years, I wanted to upgrade. I only had a bit more than a lac in cash, but a good friend of mine was willing to lend me another lac interest free for 6 months. So the first step for me was rather simple, I could only buy something below 2.25 lacs.

I had the following 3 most important requirements:

  1. It should be fast
  2. It should be comfortable
  3. It shouldn’t be a Royal Enfield

I wanted something that could sit at 120 kmph without much issues. I wanted something that I could comfortably tour on. And I absolutely did not want a Royal Enfield. Luckily for me, there weren’t a lot of options to choose from, unless I increased my budget. The options were:

  1. Duke 390
  2. RC 390
  3. CBR 250

At this point I got a bit confused because by putting a down payment of 2 lacs I could have actually got a loan to pick up a Ninja 650. I seriously considered that option at one point, but then quickly came back to my senses and dropped that option.

Now it was time to make the sheet, it looked something like the table below. Notice that I have quantified each feature as a number from 0 to 10, where 0 is bad and 10 is good. Doing this gives me a single number in the end that removes confusion.

Bike/Feature scoreDuke 390RC 390CBR 250
Total736958
Speed998
Acceleration997
Comfort758
Cost987
Maintenance cost996
Looks897
Range768
ABS10100
Pillion comfort547

Once this was done the choice was rather simple. I went to the showroom and booked my bike. Once this was done I distracted myself away from any news about new bikes, or any new user reviews on Team-bhp, and more or less blocked out the motorcycling world until my bike was delivered. Once it was, the decision was done, and there was no use regretting it, so I enjoyed the shit out of that machine.

Example 2: How I bought a laptop

I bought a gaming laptop about a month back. It was a much more difficult decision compared to buying the Duke because there were far too many choices, and I do not know laptops as good as I know bikes. In any case, here’s how I ended up choosing what I bought.

I have bought a lot of cheap laptops in the past, and they always explode with the load I put on them. This time I knew I wanted to buy something expensive, something than can handle the pressure. The plan was to buy a laptop around 1 lac Rupees, which translated to around 1100 pounds.

I had the following 3 most important requirements:

  1. 7th gen i7 processor
  2. Nvidia 1050 ti or above graphics card
  3. A warranty service where the engineer comes to my house, rather than me posting my laptop to them

The third requirement immediately disqualified most of the manufacturers out there. I was attracted towards Asus ROG laptops, and at one point even thought about getting something from Razer, but those options were easy to erase from my mind because I wasn’t very emotional about my laptop purchase, at least not as much as I was for the bike.

I ended up with only 3 viable options based on my budget and requirements, those were:

  1. HP Omen 15
  2. Lenovo Legion Y720
  3. Dell Inspiron 15

It was time to make the sheet, and this is what it looked like. Again, all features have been converted into numbers from 0 to 10, 0 is bad, 10 is good.

Laptop/Feature scoreHP Omen 15Lenovo Legion Y720Dell Inspiron 15
Price778
Processor101010
Memory988
Graphics889
Disk space977
Screen refresh rate977
Warranty978
Battery life678
Looks987
Total766972

Well, decision made, order placed, and all information about upcoming laptops and new laptop deals censored. It took them 3 days to deliver my laptop, and it has been a fantastic decision based on 1 month of usage.

A few important things to note

Based on the examples above, here are few things that I would like you to notice:

  1. I would have been equally happy if I had bought the RC 390 or the CBR 250, they have their own positives, they can do things that the Duke can’t, but a decision had to be made, and I made it.
  2. I would have been equally happy if I had bought the Dell or the Lenovo, all 3 of the laptops could have easily taken the pressure I put on them, and in the real world there isn’t much difference between a 1050 ti and a 1060.
  3. In most situations one important point can really help you filter the choices. ABS made life easy in the bike department since most bikes didn’t have it, warranty type did the trick with laptops because most models came without home-visit warranty. Finding that one key option can simplify things tremendously.
  4. All decisions are biased, it’s impossible to make a completely logical choice. However, basing your decision on pure emotion can only be done if you are a rich fuck, people on a budget do not have that luxury, because buying something is only the beginning of the expense. Buying a bike means buying gear, luggage, and petrol. Buying a laptop means buying software, games, and upgrades. Keep that in mind during the purchase.
  5. In the end, the decision is irrelevant, because it’s a means to an end. I bought a bike because I wanted to travel, I bought a laptop because I wanted to play games. Don’t waste too much time or energy buying something, spend it once you’ve bought the damn thing.

I consider myself to be a good decision maker, and what you’ve read is my process. I would warn you not to apply these techniques to people, they only work with objects. People can’t be quantified, and emotions can’t be removed from that picture.

I do understand that window-shopping is fun, it feels good to imagine buying something way out of your budget, it feels good to jack off to a fantasy. What I’ve talked about here is how to deal with yourself once the fantasy is over, once reality sets in, once you’ve taken a bath.

Silverstone MotoGP: My experience

It was a bit boring.

I know I sound like a teenager, a thankless parasite that gets everything but appreciates nothing. The race was at the end of August last year, why do you think it took me this long to write about it?

I had fair warning before going to Silverstone that it was known to be boring, the track is a rider favorite, but not as much fun for the fans. However, I live in Milton Keynes, I can cycle to Silverstone in the morning and be back by night. It would’ve been stupid to miss the race.

In any case, here’s how the experience was for me, and why you may want to avoid it.

Silverstone MotoGP: The experience

Me and wifey reached there good and early on Sunday, 27th August 2017. When we got off the cab it sounded like there were a lot of flies buzzing somewhere close. It was just the Moto3 grid on their warm-up laps.

The first two thoughts in my mind when I entered the circuit were:

  1. Wow this place is huge
  2. Wow everyone is yellow

When you watch a race on TV, the directors do a good job of representing all fan clubs. In real life, 90% of the crowd was in Rossi colors, it was a sea of yellow out there. The most obvious display of Rossi worship are the merchandise booths, everyone else’s stand is empty, and there’s a constant stampede in front of the VR46 one.

I bought a cap, it was the cheapest thing I could find.

We walked around a bit, found our stand, and sat in our seats. I had booked us right on the home straight, in front of the starting grid, directly opposite the pits. It was a difficult decision, I was confused between watching the race close to a corner and getting to see those lean angles, or watching the race close to a straight and getting to see those top speeds. All grandstands in Silverstone are pretty far away from the track, so it was unlikely that I would be able to see the front tire slipping for Marquez, or the rear tire smoking for Zarco. So I decided it would be better to stay close to a straight, enjoy the noise, and the podium celebrations.

There was plenty of time before the Moto3 race was set to begin, I saw a Tweet from David Emmett of MotoMatters about a small meetup on the other side of the circuit. It was hot, we had one of the extremely rare sunny days of the year, but I decided it was worth it to walk all the way to the other side to see the man.

I am a big fan of David, for a writer of my style, inspiration is hard to come by. Most motorcycle-related websites on this planet vomit such ugly content on a daily basis that I try my best to stay away from them all. Since I can’t find much else to read, I end up either spending my time on Wikipedia, or re-reading my own articles.

I would like to become a better writer, and that’s not going to happen if all I read are the academic works on Wikipedia, and the juvenile ones on RiderZone.

David is old school, maybe a bit too much, his articles don’t even contain a single photo, and his website looks like it was designed by cavemen. What I admire about him is the consistency, the depth, and the total lack of fucks given. He doesn’t post selfies with Rossi, he doesn’t brag about what a glamorous lifestyle he has, he gets on with his job. I also like the fact that he’s independent, doesn’t need Dorna’s money. I hope I can do something like him in the future.

I went to the spot where the meetup was supposed to be, but he wasn’t there. Waited for a few minutes, and then it was time to get back to our seats for the race. Maybe it was for the good, meeting your heroes usually doesn’t end well.

By the time we got back to our stand the Moto3 field was just about ready to launch. At that moment I was happy with my decision to book us seats by the home straight. That noise is epic, all those bikes redlining, waiting for the light to go out, ready to shoot away like bullets. Once they went through the first corner, reality hit us in the face.

There was a giant screen in front of us, but it was positioned in such a way that we couldn’t really see it well. I had a small radio thingy through which I could hear the live telecast. But during the race our time was spent waiting for the bikes to come to the home straight, watching them fly by within 5 seconds, and then repeat till the race ended. The race was exciting, I know that because I enjoyed watching it on my laptop once I got back home, but sitting there under the British sun, our skin roasting to a perfect medium-rare, it all felt a bit pointless.

Whenever I watch races at home my dad asks me why I enjoy watching people go around in circles. I’ve tried telling him that there’s more to it than that, but sitting there by the home straight I was wondering what more there was to it.

The race ended, I don’t remember who won, they all looked the same from where we were sitting, they all looked like multi-colored ants.

I got a ping from a Facebook friend, went to see him before the Moto2 race started. Also got a few snacks to eat, and moved out of the sun to keep ourselves from melting. The Moto2 race started and ended the same way Moto3 had. Someone crashed, someone won, we had lost interest.

Then it was time for MotoGP.

If there was one thing that made it all worth it, it was the noise when the MotoGP grid was about to launch. Loud is not adequate a word to describe it, I felt something on my chest, like someone was playing drums on it, and I was sitting about a kilometer away. Good thing we had ear plugs.

Rossi lead through most of the race, and that got the crowd a bit worked up. It was then that I realized one of the reasons why the Moto3 and Moto2 races had been rather boring. British crowd is extremely civilized, all they do is clap at the end, they watch the race like rich snobs watching an opera. When you watch the race on TV, they add in the crowd noise, there was none where I was sitting.

Someone crashed, someone won, and the race was over. We were at the perfect spot to enjoy the podium ceremony, and at an even better spot to enjoy the race the crowd did from the grand stands to the podium. Silverstone is one of the few circuits that allows track invasion after the race, you can just go and walk all over the asphalt, touch the rubber left by the bikes, imagine the lines, the speed, and the rush. We went and walked around a bit too, but by then we were tired and it was time to go home.

There were a lot of things still to do at the track after the racing was done, there were a number of parties, games we could play, probably even get to talk to some of the riders, but we aren’t the sort who liked any of that. I think part of the reason why we didn’t enjoy the race was because we weren’t half drunk, there are very few things in life that are fun sober, and watching a race isn’t one of them.

This experience taught us a lot about why we are nerds. I enjoy reading, writing, video games, my wife enjoys painting, music, and cooking. We are designed to enjoy only nerdy things, visit to a museum, staring at a painting, trying to understand the philosophy of Nietzsche. We can’t get drunk, no matter how hard we try, and getting high is an activity strictly meant for indoors.

I think another reason why I didn’t enjoy the race was because I had seen the Isle of Man TT a few months before. The TT is just so good that anything after it feels rubbish, you get to be so close to the track, the bikes, and the riders. Your expectations from an event become unreasonable afterwards.

I didn’t even bother to take a single photo throughout the event, that should tell you a bit about how disappointing it was. The whole event cost me about 300 pounds, I don’t have much to show for it.

I would like to verify this result though, which is why I would like to watch a European round of MotoGP, maybe Aragon or Mugello. If those races bore me as well, then I’m just a boring person. If I happen to enjoy them, then Silverstone takes the blame. I’m sure they can make things a little bit more interesting by adding a few more screens, and their grandstand speakers could also use an upgrade to a higher volume.

I think Silverstone is a place better enjoyed when you are on the track, rather than sitting by it. I’ve been planning to do one of the Ferrari drives there since last year, I think I’ll do it in the summer to really understand why riders call it one of the scariest circuits around.

Until I do, Silverstone MotoGP remains a weird memory inside my head of something that was supposed to be epic, but didn’t live upto the fame.