Author Topic: Motorcycle Quote of the Day  (Read 234525 times)

Offline Biggles

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2875 on: September 29, 2019, 01:03:48 PM »
My Dad collected me and drove me home to Portarlington. I dropped my bags at the door and went up to bed to catch some Zs. I lay on the bed on the verge of sleep, my eyes held open by the realization that it was all over.
About two weeks later, Sam Gamgee arrived at the airport, I unpacked him and drove home and put him in my conservatory never to be ridden again. Sitting on top of the motorbike as he was the whole way with me through the trip is my pet rabbit cuddly toy named Mr Fluffykins, a gentleman rabbit if ever there was one.
Adjusting to life back in Ireland was hellish. The economy was in turmoil and it seemed like the whole world was imploding. I was back in my original job and it was like I'd never left. I finally understood why people were telling me to enjoy every last second of the trip. People's moods in Ireland seemed to be very low and lots of my friends had lost their job, in fact there were few if any whose jobs seemed to be safe. It all seemed a million miles away from the splendid isolation of the Ruta 40.
All in all, was it worth doing? Absolutely, I rate it as the best thing that's ever happened to me. As to whether I'd do it again, well, as it happens I did, but that story is for another time. My strong advice to you if you are considering doing something like this, just do it. Don't live your life saying, "If Only".
That I May Die Roaming  Oisin Hughes  pp318-9
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2876 on: September 30, 2019, 09:37:42 AM »
I'm often asked whether the trip changed me, and the answer is definitely, although not in the way I was expecting.
I have always been a very social animal, very outgoing and happier with groups of people rather than being on my own. After the amount of time I spent by myself on the trip often going weeks without having a conversation with anyone, I'm now completely comfortable with my own company, happier in my own skin I guess. I look back now and realize that I was on that road searching for what we are all searching for- happiness. I didn't find it, but I know now, you have to bring it with you.
I often wonder how I survived so many near-death experiences on the trip; I can only guess that someone was looking after me and that friends and family were praying for me. A final thought. Were you ever driving down the road and saw a guy riding an overloaded bike and thought to yourself, "Where's he off to I wonder?" Well, maybe it was me, and now you know!
That I May Die Roaming  Oisin Hughes  pp319-20
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2877 on: October 01, 2019, 10:06:08 AM »
We passed markets where trays of live fish flapped and gasped at the roadside, zipped down side streets, and dived into boy racer shops bustling with gelled heads and chains. When the tyres eluded us I bought the Hero a Sex Pistols sticker instead, the closest thing I could find to a Union Jack. In the fusty offices of an insurance company, where plump workers typed idly under Krishna calendars, Manash encouraged the woman with 400 rupees, around four pounds, to insure my bike. Had he not, it would have taken a week, instead of an hour, for her to do the job.
It was dusk before we found the right tyres, and two thin, grubby boys squatted barefoot in the street to fit them by the light of a mobile phone torch. I crouched on the pavement beside them, keen to see how it was done, only to be distracted by a pathetic, limping beggar who appeared beside me, babbling and holding out his hands for money. It was impossible not to feel sorry for him, so I handed over some notes and watched him hobble away, a poor pitiful creature, the sort you sadly see so many of in India.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  pp19-20
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2878 on: October 02, 2019, 09:03:24 AM »
On top of this was the small matter of the 2016 South Asian Games, the cycling events of which were being sweated out on the concrete of Highway 37 that day. Without warning, all the eastbound traffic was funnelled to the other side of the carriageway and I found myself riding through a corridor of cheering, brightly clad spectators, paunchy policemen and haphazardly erected bamboo fencing. Pumping and panting in the opposite direction was a straggling peloton of cyclists, finalists in the men's 40km individual time trial. One of them, a Pakistani, was closely followed by a moped, on the back of which perched a lady in an emerald-green sari riding side saddle, imperially upright, clutching a spare bicycle wheel. Behind came the follow cars, their official stickers pasted wonkily onto the doors as if stuck on late the previous after too much whisky. If Basil Fawlty had organized the Olympics, I imagine they'd look a bit like this. Soon the clamour passed and I was back on the eastbound carriageway, bemused by the surrealism of it all.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  pp31-2
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2879 on: October 03, 2019, 09:18:19 AM »
Since it's impossible to apply for a permit for a single person to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Abhra's contact had added a mysterious Englishman called John Carter to my application. For all I knew John was fictitious. But as far as the soldiers were concerned John was real, and John had absconded without permission.
"Where John?" they kept asking, pointing to his name on the permit.
"Not here," I replied hesitantly, unsure whether admitting to travelling alone could land me in the nearest clink.
They looked around the bike mistrustfully and glanced up the empty road, as if checking I hadn't secreted John in a pannier, or hidden him behind a nearby bush. Only when they were satisfied I wasn't holding poor John hostage did they allow me to go on.
At the next checkpoint the soldier was ushered away by a plain-clothes gentleman in Ray-Bans and a leather jacket who was evidently "The Boss". But after a brief cross-examination about the whereabouts of John, he again waved me on.
"How many foreigners do you get through here?" I asked, before I left.
He looked confused, so I tried again. "When you last see English person here?"
"No, no!" he laughed. "You first Britisher I see. I only on TV before."
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  pp62-3
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2880 on: October 06, 2019, 09:26:49 PM »
In an attempt to discourage me further he warned me that last year Huawei, a village near Walong, had been cut off for eight months due to landslides. But I didn't want to take the manager with me or be passed from man to man like some breakable foreign object. Although I was riding into increasingly remote and unknown territory, I wanted to travel alone. Solo travel is like a drug- it has its risks, but it also has the potential to unlock rare feelings of euphoria. Only when I've been totally alone, miles from anywhere or anyone I know, have I experienced its pure, unbridled joy. I wanted to eschew guides, to embrace the risks and the fears and go solo in this little-known land. I still had no idea if I could legally travel alone in Arunachal Pradesh, or what would happen if the police stopped me, but I wanted to at least try. Like Freddie Mercury, I wanted to break free- although in this case my longing didn't involve a Hoover and suspenders.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  p99
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Offline Biggles

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2881 on: October 07, 2019, 01:24:19 PM »
It's funny how when you travel alone help often appears when you most need it. How fortunate I was that fate, or the universe, or whatever you want to call it, had put the young man and me on the same road at the same time.
In Tezu, Anilso led me to a small hotel beside the muddy marketplace, where I rode my dripping bike into a passage and squelched up the stairs. I would imagine Jacques Cousteau stayed drier on most days. Soaking clothes, mushy books, soggy porridge sachets and damp pack of pills were soon spread and hung over every surface of my tiny room, dripping onto the stone floor like a pack of wet dogs. As infernally rattly as my top box was, at least it had kept my laptop and camera dry. What I would have done for a hot shower, but the bathroom had only a squat loo, a cold tap and filthy net curtains.
Later I took Anilso out to dinner to say thank you. We sprinted through the shuttered marketplace, leaping over puddles, purple fingers of lightning streaking across the night sky. In a one-room shack where Mijus and Tibetans huddled around wooden tables, we ate hot, greasy, delicious chow mein by torchlight. Afterwards I lay on my hard, narrow bed with a celebratory Kingfisher beer, too tired to write my diary but elated to have made it through the storm and to be here, alone, in this grotty hotel on the far side of the world. As wet and filthy and horrid as today had been, I felt stronger for having endured it.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  p109
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2882 on: October 08, 2019, 10:29:58 AM »
By the time I reached a junction at the edge of town Edi had long ridden ahead of me and was nowhere to be seen. Confused as to which way to go, and distracted by a man on a motorbike who'd stopped abruptly to stare at me, I dropped my bike, swearing as it bashed my left shin and began to pour petrol into the dust. The man, whose rifle, leather jacket and black face-mask had been the cause of my distraction, immediately rushed over to help me, firing a series of questions at me as he did so.
"Where your guide? Why you alone? Where your permit?"
He was internal security, he explained, once the bike was upright, and I wasn't allowed to be in Anini without a guide. But it soon emerged that he was Edi's uncle, and Jibi's cousin, and related to Tine Mena, and before long we were chatting about how Jibi was, and my time at reh. Afterwards, he escorted me back to the Inspection Bungalow through Anini's confusing tangle of roads, and Edi- who'd ridden ahead to mend a puncture- was given an avuncular ticking-off for having left me.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  p160
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2883 on: October 09, 2019, 11:59:55 AM »
While the two men talked, Kabsang explained some of the vagaries of Indian road construction. The total length of the planned new road had been agreed as 90km, and was supposed to take six years to complete. But all along the route the actual kilometres constructed were inflated by various contractors so that they could make more money. Not to mention the numerous locals who popped a few rupees in the contractors' pockets to add a little loop here, avoid that patch of forest there. Already we'd seen evidence of numerous unnecessary 'zigs'- an insane waste of land and resources in the name of making more coin. It used to be a 30km walk from Tuting to here, but by the new road it was 60km.
"This is India!" chuckled Kabsang, noticing my shocked expression.
In response to renewed Chinese claims on Arunachai Pradesh, in October 2014 Modi announced a plan to build a 1,800km trans-state highway hugging the Chinese border. The Indo-China Frontier Highway, as the paper project is known, will supposedly cut from Tawang to Vijaynagar, across the currently impenetrable, unexplored northern rim of the state. Quite apart from the obvious environmental concerns of such a project, if the Pemako road was anything to go by, there'll be bowling alleys on Pluto before it's completed.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  p216
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2884 on: October 10, 2019, 10:54:14 AM »
It seemed only fair that my Hero have some attention too. It had been spluttering on the ride down from Yingkiong and the waterlogged horn had now given up the ghost completely. I wasn't in the mood for mechanics, so readily handed the keys to a lanky, enthusiastic teenage porter at the hotel when he offered to help, watching as he sprang onto the Hero and careered off to the local mechanic, my "Be nice to my bike!" falling on absent ears.
Feeling like a duchess, I retired to my room to sit on my chair, at my desk, and write. But I was disturbed five minutes later by a knock on the door. It was the porter, wide-eyed with urgency and panting slightly.
"Madam. I need one hundred and fifty rupees for oil change." I handed over the notes and, with a brisk head-wobble, he was off, dashing down the corridor like a terrier after a ball.
Five minutes later there was another rapid knock at the door.
"Madam, bike need new horn. Need extra four hundred and fifty rupees." I dug around in my pockets for a 500-rupee note, passing it to him without question.
He returned fifteen minutes later, breathing heavily and flushed with success. As evidence of his good-doings he held up the ruins of the old horn and handed me the bill, then off he galloped, happily pocketing his tip.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  pp253-4
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2885 on: October 11, 2019, 02:14:04 PM »
As he ate, Tapir told me about various other meats he was partial to. Being an Adi, the list didn't exclude much. Crow, snake, elephant, bear, porcupine, barking deer, his friend's dog- he'd eaten them all.
"Your friend's dog!" I exclaimed, appalled. "What did your friend say about that?"
"He bring dog round for us to eat- he eat it too!" he laughed. "Oh, and many cat too. But I no like cat."
His favourite was a particular type of poisonous beetle the Adi literally go wild for. Eating these was a bit like a game of entomological Russian roulette; you popped the crunchy little morsels in your mouth whole and hoped it wasn't the one in a thousand that would kill you, put you in a coma or send you crazy. On telling me about this, Tapir shook with laughter.
"Sometime the poison make you think you beetle and many Adi hurt their heads trying to get under rocks. Doctors very angry and not treat people." It was a ludicrous vision.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  pp285-6
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2886 on: October 12, 2019, 11:30:29 AM »
I stopped at the first place I came to in Dirang, a simple wooden lodge on a hillside overlooking the town, and immediately set to work on how to fix the Hero. Marley had told me that by stuffing electric wire inside the main jet of the carburettor and removing the air filter, I should be able to alter the fuel-to-air ratio sufficiently for my Hero to wheeze over the Pass. While the wire would restrict the fuel flow, removing the air filter would allow more oxygen to reach the engine. It was the equivalent of putting the bike on a homemade respirator.
Two hours later the amiable Nepali manager of the lodge had called a local mechanic and the three of us were squatting around the Hero, studying its carburettor by torchlight. I'd explained what I wanted done. Instead he'd checked the sparkplug and battery, listened to the engine and poked around the bike for other explanations for its sickness, while I hopped around behind him in frustration saying, "No- carburettor, carburettor!" But I was a woman, I couldn't possibly be right. Only when he failed to find anything else wrong did he reluctantly follow my instructions, screwing apart the carburettor to poke a length of thin copper wire inside the main jet.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  p303
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2887 on: October 13, 2019, 01:24:07 PM »
The memorial is a paean to one man's bravery. A bronze bust of Singh stands on a marble plinth in the middle of the temple-like complex and, beside it, in a glass box, is his immaculately made-up bed. The army treat him as if he's still alive, stationing six soldiers here at all times to attend to his every need. They serve him bed tea at 4.30 a.m., breakfast at nine and dinner at 7 p.m. His boots are polished every day, his bed made, his uniform ironed. He's even still awarded promotions. Every passing soldier stops here to pay their respects and legend has it that Singh can be seen guiding military convoys over the mountains in dangerous weather. The Monpa worship him too, believing him to be a local protector spirit. Whatever the truth, Singh's bravery provides the army with a useful diversion from the embarrassing reality of that thirty-day war. And for passers-by, it's a welcome chance for a free cup of tea and a samosa, lovingly baked by Singh's attendant soldiers.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  p306
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2888 on: October 14, 2019, 04:12:36 PM »
The gompa flickered in semi-darkness, the light of yak butter candles falling on silk banners, golden icons and rows of shaven heads. Sitting cross-legged between Tenzin and Phurpa, on one of the low platforms that ran at right angles from the altar, I watched the nuns rub sleep from their eyes, yawn and pull their woollen shawls about them, their breath rising in the gloom. It was just above freezing now, but even when it was minus twenty they were forbidden to wear warm coats over their robes during morning prayers. It was a form of mental training, Legpe had told me the older nuns used a type of meditation called nenjurma that generated internal heat.
"But you have to control your mind first. It's very hard."
It sounded just like tumo, meaning warmth, an advanced form of meditation used by Tibetan monks and ascetics to raise their core temperature. The great traveller and Tibetologist, Alexandra David-Neel, witnessed new initiates of tumo proving their abilities by drying freezing wet towels on their naked bodies in the middle of the Tibetan winter, and Tibetan hermits surviving winters in freezing caves with nothing but tumo to keep them warm.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  p326
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

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Re: Motorcycle Quote of the Day
« Reply #2889 on: October 15, 2019, 11:18:20 AM »
So near the end of my journey, my mood fluctuated as frequently as the weather. At lunchtime I pulled over a roadside shack for rice and dahl and found three young Dutch motorcyclists inside, two women and one man, the first independent travellers I'd met. Bonded by two-wheeled camaraderie, we crowded around a small table piled with helmets, gloves and maps, stories bubbling out of us excitedly. They were riding around the world on 250cc trail bikes visiting Tawang before crossing India to Pakistan and riding home through China, Central Asia and Iran. It was a brief but high-spirited meeting, and we parted ways with warm hugs and photographs.
Finishing a journey is always like this- a tidal bore of emotions raw with elation, exhaustion, wonder, relief, sadness, nostalgia and gratitude. I didn't want it to end, to leave behind the wild mountains and all the exceptional people I'd met here. And this journey had meant more to me than any other. It had healed me. I was a different person to the one who'd nervously boarded the plane almost three months ago. I felt alive, happy, restored to the essence of myself, as if the real me had emerged from the diminished shell I'd become. I'd been reminded that the only way to beat fear is to face it head-on, to look it in the eye and see it for the gutless bully it is. Fear itself can't hurt us. Only our reactions to it can.
Land Of The Dawn-Lit Mountains  Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent  p335
For the modern man who lives in the city, riding a bike might be one of the only ways to escape the humdrum monotony. To take off and ride. To be both at one with nature and one with the bike. To feel masculine. Adam Piggott

OzSTOC #16  STOC #6135  FarR #509  IBA #54927