A story of how someone can overcome fear and learn to love the essence of biking
For the past decade, the import of bikes increased massively. We can attribute this uptake due to the introduction of ride-sharing in Bangladesh. After that, we could see many bike enthusiasts had come out of the woodworks. We started seeing better bikes coming into the country. I saw my friends and family really get into the scene and why wouldn’t they? With a bike, the country's traffic could most of the time be bypassed.
Ever since I was a boy, I realized that motorcycles were a symbol of fear. I have watched my family and friends get hurt and worse, death. My uncle had to put iron rods in his leg after his accident, my friend lost his life while enjoying a ride on the highway. But out of all of this, when I was about 6 years old, my mother ran into an accident. This one shook me to my core. Although she escaped without major injuries, it could have gone the other way very easily. She got lucky that when she had fallen off there were no other vehicles coming her way or else she could have been dangerously hit. That day, I realized how frail a life is. This accident had put the fear of life in me at that age. From that day onwards motorcycles were for death-rides to me. I would always avoid bike rides from my uncles and friends because I just couldn’t get myself to trust this mode of transport. To me only crazy people rode on bikes. When I hit the age of 15, my friends started buying bikes and they would try many ways to get me on their bikes, but of course, would always fail. The most ridiculous aspect of bikers to me was watching my friends come back after crashes, barely being able to move, their skins ripped off by the asphalt while they bleed. The most upsetting thing was after all of this they would come up to me with a satisfied grin on their faces. I would always ask them “is playing with your life really that satisfying to you?” They will almost always answer with “you wouldn’t get it unless you experience it" and I would have no comeback to that.
When I joined university, the ride-sharing apps took the country by storm and I was still scared to get on bikes. But after a few semesters, I came to the realization that bike-sharing is cheaper than any other transport and I really got to save money. During my second semester, I gathered up enough courage and called a bike to get to university and that changed everything. I reached university in 40 minutes where it would usually take me at least an hour and a half; it cost me half of what I usually pay. That semester I started trying to deal with my fears, started getting on friends' bikes to their utter surprise and started experiencing bikes. Now I would even try to pick up my friends' bikes for no reason to figure out if I could actually do it on my own instead of staying 20 feet away from them. This is when I realized, motorcycles aren’t a symbol for fear. Yes, it can be scary but it does not symbolize fear. The wind blowing through your hair and body, the vibrations of the engine spreading throughout your body, the ability to zoom passed the traffic and the ability to just go out and cruise with nothing but the road and wind around you. This is no symbol of fear- this is a symbol of freedom, independence, and being in control.
Learning more about bikers and bikes, I realized it all about control. Bikes are like iron steads. If you can control it, it will give you experiences that no other vehicle can compete with. The pure freedom of just going a mere 50 km/h could make you feel like floating in the air. If you’re having a bad day, a small ride could lift up your mood. The feeling of controlling so much in between your legs was a rewarding experience. The confidence it drills into you is something very valuable and rare. This is how I got over my fear of bikes and learned to enjoy the freedom it provides. The feeling of controlling so much power in between your legs is an empowering feeling that I have learned to understand and appreciate. So yes, I do have fear of crashing and being hurt. But right passed that fear, lies unyielding freedom. Specially being a Bangladeshi, I know for a fact, you can’t put a price on the feeling of freedom.