How fast is fast?

How fast is fast?

The Thrill of Riding mostly lies in the rush that one gets when one is fast, but can a number really define the idea of ‘fast’?

Words by Aninda Sardar

How fast is fast? No, really? How quick do you think you need to be going to be able to claim that you’ve been fast? There was a time when I would have quickly thought of a number in my head and spat it out before even sparing a moment’s thought. Now I’m wiser and will tell you what it means.

It all started when I was watching this Eddie Lawson (four times 500cc GP World Champion) interview on YouTube where the interviewer tells he seemed to be riding slower than the pack. To this, Lawson says that if he seemed to be riding slower and was still winning, what does that say about the other riders? So were the other riders slow then or was Lawson too fast? That got me thinking and what you read here is the distillation of those many hours of letting the mind wander. Bossman Adil’s discourse to fellow colleague Anand a couple of weeks ago also helped matters.

Back to the question then, so how fast is fast? Should you mention a speed as a response to this question please remember that the number you mention may be faster than (in which case there is no problem), or slower than (a problem) somebody else’s idea of fast.

To me, fast is a sensation brought about as a result of the environment I’m in. As a result, 30 in my parking lot is plenty fast while 100 on a flat and feature-less expressway is too slow. It is also the absence of haste. I have frequently found that I arrive at places later whenever I’m trying to be hasty. Instead if I step back a bit, assess my environment and then act (as opposed to react to my surroundings) I have found that my travelling time shortens. I suppose that too should qualify as fast?

The idea is to get you all to think about what definition you’re giving to words like ‘fast’ and ‘quick’. If you tie that description down to a number then you’ll end up chasing that number instead of enjoying all the other aspects of riding a motorcycle. Instead if you broaden your horizon and start focusing on the sensations of riding a bike then rest assured the Thrill of Riding is guaranteed.

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