Biking. There many legends of the 2 wheeled adrena-lane who have painstakingly penned down their thoughts on the subject. Generations of petrol heads have been following them. However what is not quite evidently seen or even talked about subject is the “pillion”. I seek to explore the less travelled road (at least India) on this subject.
Thus drawing from the headline pillion riding with a helmet, is something that is not practised let alone any other so called best practices that we tend to take from the proverbial wild-wild West. We Indian men try to enforce everything else upon the fairer sex except get them to wear a helmet. On the flip side they emphasize on the hours sent painstakingly at the salon and how vain it would be to wear a helmet.
Little do we realise that when grey cells meet tarmac there is no salon in the world that can put that back again.
With the evolution of biking heading in from just stunting or drag racing, there are but a handful of bikers who have their pillions wear a helmet. It’s easy to side line this feature and move on but for these two incidents;While on the way to work in the company cab, a rider whizzed past us with his lady’s locks dodging the wind. His riding skills apart we noted how precariously she dangling on to the ride and rider. On this the driver related and anecdote of a college students riding down on this R15. While the beast was giving off a lot of after burner heat this lady spread her arms out much to her dismay animal crossing their path cut short their joy. Being known for its agility this bike came to a dead stop while she flew over the rider’s head and touched down to the tarmac. The rider out of panic sped away while the cabbie and other I believe got her to the hospital to breathe her last and received by her grieving father days later.
Unlike most European countries and the US, primarily for economical and convenience do Indians ride to work while part of the junta rather wade out the snarls in the comfort of their air-conditioned 4 wheelers there are others who’d rather dart across to the ambience that welcomes them. Yes each of us has a reason why we ride, be it circumstantial of just sheer riding pleasure.
This year’s budget cut us some slack to owning out dream machines however I wish helmets became tax free, the least that can be done to ensure not just riders but pillions too don the helmet.
Sad to say the way laws are formulated in various parts of our country there is little emphasis laid on the fact that pillions too should wear a helmet too. Sad it was while researching for this write up I came across the reasons given. All I can say is Google and be amused, in the mean time ride hard ride safe.
Attached is a small photo caption feature for bikers of all ages [legally] and not limited the engine or category. In its first ever endeavour to provide its readers with this message on pillion rider safety
Ø Riding Gear Supplier and “Helmet Sponsorship”: Probiker Helmets, Pune
Ø Bike Maintenance: The SERVICE team at Krishna Bajaj Fatimanagar, Pune
Ø Volunteers featured in this photoshoot: Utsav Chs and Nishiganda Sarolkar
Ø And last but not the least, 2 very special ladies who have been the best pillion riders in my biking lifetime. Their poise and discipline till date is unparalleled. Having said this I would like to thank my best friend Hemangi and my wife Meghana for being the yardstick of this initiative.