An MBA by education, a technology strategist by profession and a petrol head by passion, Rishab Gulshan hails from New Delhi, India. These short stories are his way of expressing his love for all things 2 and 4 wheeled and the joys of wanderlust.
Adrenaline. /əˈdrɛnəlɪn/ a hormone that is secreted by the adrenal medulla in response to stress and increases heart rate, pulse rate, and blood pressure, and raises the blood levels of glucose and lipids (basically something that gets your mind and body in a state of high alertness). Sense./sɛns/ a faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus; one of the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. AdrenaSense is thus Adrenaline for the Senses
Humans are gifted with 5 magical senses – to see, hear, touch, taste and smell. They are like input signals to our CPU, the brain, and have the ability to shape our mental state in real time. How many times has a good movie lifted your spirits? How many times has a good meal made you feel positive about life? How many times has a certain smell of a perfume completely captured your attention? How many times have you seen a superbike or a supercar go back and gazed with fascination? That’s the real magic of the 5 senses.
Now there are some experiences in life that can turbocharge your senses to create a whole different mental state. For some it’s cooking. For some it’s gardening. For some it’s playing music. For some it’s adventure. For some it’s travel. And then there are folks like me for whom the biggest source of AdrenaSense is something with an engine and either 2 or 4 wheels.
Two wheels or four
A motorcycle is man’s greatest creation if you ask me. It is something very simple – an engine, a frame and 2 wheels….so what is so great about it? Well for 99% of people in this world, NOTHING…it’s just a cheap and reliable way to get from point A to point B. But for the remaining 1%, those who own and ride a large capacity motorcycle, it’s a totally different story.
For them, their Motorcycle is a symbol of Freedom. The freedom to get away from the chores and stresses of daily life. The freedom to explore new places. The freedom to have new adventures. The freedom to be who you want, with who you want and do what you want. Not just that, it’s also an expression of who you are. It’s a symbol of your identity, you passions, your hopes and dreams. Ask any motorcycle enthusiast and they will tell you two things – 1. There is no greater joy than the joy of being on two wheels and 2. #1 cannot be rationally or logically explained….you either get it and become a biker for life, or don’t get it and remain a bystander always wondering what if ????
I think the same paradigm also applies to cars. For most of us cars are utility items. Comfortable and reliable things to get from point A to point B – get to office, take our kids to school or their friends place, head out to a mall or restaurant with the family etc.
But then again there are the 1% for whom their cars are more, they are Spaces – spaces to hear the mechanical symphony of a delicious engine and exhaust, spaces to feel a fraction of the G forces that formula 1 racers and fighter pilots experience, spaces that make you feel like a million bucks by the way they look on the outside and their luxurious interiors on the inside, spaces to switch out from the external world and relax, spaces to enjoy your favourite music, spaces that can take you to exotic locations. Ask any carnut and they will also tell you two things – 1. Your car is an extension of who you are, and 2. A supercar does not drive fast, it flies low.
So why are the 1% of us addicted to motorcycles as symbols of Freedom and cars as Spaces. Well I think AdrenaSense has a lot to do with it.
When I get on my motorcycle for a ride, be it the weekly Sunday ride or an outstation trip, I am super excited. I’ve been riding for over 10 years now and I still find it difficult to contain my excitement and sleep well the night before I’m heading for a bike trip. I get up early, put on my riding gear like a soldier would his/her uniform, shine my bike like it was the only thing I owned in this world, start the engine, let her warm up for a bit, put on my helmet, start playing some Coldplay through my scala, sit on her, pull in the clutch, engage first gear with a reassuring click and give it some throttle. Every single time I go through this sequence, it feels like I’m incharge of a space craft and starting it’s launch control sequence. AdrenaSense starts to flow in my veins. I love it !!!
Then the ride starts. I start slow and cautious. Zig zag on the road for a few hundred metres to warm up the tires. Get my body comfortable on the bike. And then I start to push her. The revs start climbing. The mechanical symphony of the engine and exhaust start building. The G forces start to gain strength. The smell of fuel, rubber and fumes mixed with the crisp and cool morning air starts to seep in. AdrenaSense starts to take over every part of my mind and body. I love it !!!
Finally I hit the open road. The bike is fully warmed up. My mind and body are one with her. Paradise is playing on the scala. Finally It’s time to have some fun. I gun the throttle and she launches like a rocket. The sound of the engine and exhaust is intoxicating now. I constantly shortshift to make the most of both the sound and the G forces at play. I start cutting through traffic like I was playing a video game. Every part of my body is connected to the bike and my brain is the control centre. Now AdrenaSense has taken over and I’m it’s humble slave. The next few hours are for me. I love it !!!
The same happens to me everytime I get into a supercar. But it’s different. A motorcycle is minimalist. The damn engine is under you and it’s 2 wheels are a hyper extension of your body. You are 30-40% of the combined system. A supercar is very different. There is a whole different sense of drama in a super car. The way the steering feels in your hand, the way the dash lights up, the way the seat hugs you into place, the way the gearstick or paddleshifters feel in your hand, the fact that you can play your favourite music on a pretty awesome sound system, that you are surrounded by exotic materials like carbon fibre, brushed aluminium, alcantara, rich nappa leather adds to the sense of occaision and drama. It’s its own thing and you are just one cog in the wheel. But when you start her up and head out, the way AdrenaSense starts to take control of your body is no different from a motorcycle – atleast for me. I love it !!!
This is why the 1% of us love our motorcycles and cars. It’s AdrenaSense. Everytime we think or talk about them, look at their picture, walk past them, clean and polish them, install an accessory, take them for service and most importantly ride and drive them, it’s at play with varying intensities. It forms a sort of mystical bond between our physical bodies and these inanimate mechanical objects where they become an integral part of our very existence. Our joys and sorrows, our hopes and dreams, our passion and creativity, our friends and families.
That’s when you know you are a PetroHeadNerd and that AdrenaSense flows in your veins.
I certainly am one and know many others. I’ve always wanted to write about my experiences of these magical machines and am dedicating this blog to that. I will keep writing small pieces and hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them. Please feel free to give me your feedback.
To all the PetroHeadNerds out there, may your AdrenaSense always be with you !!!