Nah, this post is not about Neo or the R1 but it might be of Neo astride an R1.

Pune – undoubtedly the two wheeler capital of country, a city where you can witness people breaking traffic rules at the drop of a hat. If one fines all the violators just for one day, it won’t be a surprise if millionaires count goes up by one.

It was just another morning ride to office when I approach a traffic signal, glowing red. Though the faster vehicles in front of me simply turned a blind eye towards the red light, I somehow didn’t feel in a hurry and instead of going with the flow of violators, I slowed down and stopped. Standing standstill while a couple of more vehicles went by, drivers of them probably had early morning laughter at my expense. Then suddenly one car driver applied brakes and stopped right next to me and few second’s later vehicles started to stop for the red light instead of ignoring it.

After a tiring day, I was headed back to home. Like everyday, it was a sea of vehicles of road. As I approach a traffic signal, which is always ignored by people as it is on a ‘T’ junction with the traffic coming only from right side of ‘T’ arm; I saw the light glowing red. I decided to stop, vehicles suddenly started to stop.

It seems most of people in city likes to go with the flow. Not many look at traffic signal (not their fault because many time either the signal is not working or the light bulb are fused), they just follow the flow of vehicles. So for them to stop on a traffic signal, which is easy to break, either due to low traffic on junction or being on a ‘T’ junction it probably needs someone to take the initiative and STOP.

Just like they need someone to take the initiative to STOP, it just needs one person to jump a red light to have a group of vehicles follow him, as if they all were tied to the first vehicle. Looks like most of people on road don’t have the intelligence to take the decision as to what is correct and what is wrong for them.

I have decided to be the ONE who is going to STOP at the red light; there are many ONE’s who jumps the red light. So which ONE are you? I know it is very easy to say that no one follows the traffic rule in my city but that’s a very lame excuse of one also not following it.

Just remember if you want to be the ONE who stops, people who are following you are not expecting you to stop. So make sure you don’t apply brakes suddenly. Your brake light is in working order. Keep an eye in your RVM’s before you slow down to making sure you are not going to be plastered on the road by the vehicle behind you. In the end, do not stop in the middle of road but stop on the side.

Slow Sync …

Pug-OT, a yahoo group I’m a member of have started a very useful thread TOTW (Technique Of The Week). As you could have guessed now, Slow Sync was the first topic of TOTW. As a beginner with photography, it was a nice learning experience for me.

Slow Sync – A technique in which we fire the flash along with slow shutter speed. One use of it, as shown in the above image, is to increase the illumination of background.

Following are some of the links I read to learn about this technique
Flash Photography Made Simple

Slow Sync Flash

In the above image, the top picture is clicked in Full Auto Mode and the bottom picture is clicked in Manual mode. Following are the details.
Top Pic: Auto(1/60sec, f/3.5, 18mm, ISO400, Pattern Metering).
Bottom Pic: M(6sec, f/3.5, 18mm, ISO400, Partial Metering).

Camera: Canon 400D
Lens: 18-55

Agent Smith was right …

Today morning I replied to a post by a friend who in his car, ran over a dog. Thankfully he could see the little pup limping off the road, so he was spared by the murder of an innocent living being. Yes, the little pup was in the middle of his extended sleep and forgot that the traffic on his bed, which is referred by humans as “road”, is going to go up.

While I was talking about the same with my friend suddenly we realized that instead of animals, we humans are to be blamed to an extent for such accidents. Why? Most of the animals like dog, cat, donkey, cow, horse, etc are domestic animals. Ideally its our responsibility to keep them in a controlled environment and when we fail to do that, unaware of what development humans have done, these animals venture out on their own and often land up on road hitting our vehicles.

We are to be blamed for another reason. These animals would have been living happily away from civilization in jungles but the way we humans are replicating and consuming natural resources, including jungles, these animals are made homeless by us as we cut down jungles.

So when Agent Smith in the popular movie Matrix compared humans to virus, a disease organism (that replicate uncontrollably and eventually destroy the environment). The comparison isn’t too wrong. So like he said, has the time come for machines to take the control from us?

When bigger vehicles made way for a Bike …

It was a much awaited Saturday (1 March 2008) for me. No, not for the Speed Run 2008 being happening in Mumbai but for the ride I was going to make to Mumbai with the aim of attending the Speed Run and get some work done on the bike so that my life becomes a bit more safer. Nah, not getting a bullet proof cage getting build around it. :-)

As destiny would have it, somehow I managed to carry on the flyover, which I was supposed to miss, to turn off for the Speed Run event. I got to know only after I went ahead by around 15km’s that I have come a bit too far ahead. The plan was quickly revised and I headed straight to Goregaon where my life was about to be transformed.

Just after 6pm, I started back towards Pune and by the time I managed to crawl past all Mumbai traffic it was 8pm when I refueled at Panvel. What was going to follow, I had not even dreamed off.

It’s a nice stretch of road with mild traffic all the way till Khopoli. I was cruising at my pace when I catch up three trucks traveling in left lane, as I was thinking of passing them, the last truck driver decided to make a move on the other two trucks. From my past experience, I knew I had to start slowing down as there is no way the truck driver will change his plans even if he is able to hear my bike’s horn. Few seconds later, as the truck driver was half way into the right lane, he decided to abort his plan (probably he saw me coming) and went back to left lane giving me a clean chit to overtake them. This move came to me as a shock.

Few kilometers down the road I catch up with a car overtaking two trucks. While I was waiting for the car to go pass, I was also getting ready to pass the car from left lane as I have not come across too many car drivers who care to move to left side letting the faster traffic pass them. Once again, I was made to change my plan as the moment car went pass the trucks, driver simply ducked to left lane, giving me once again a clean run to go by.

Well the above mentioned were just two of many instances where I must say I came across so many “nice” people who just simply allowed me go pass them with ease though I was on a much smaller vehicle (in size) than theirs. The count of such people I meet in one night can easily out number such people I would have meet in my 10+ years of riding.

I used to think that on Indian roads, jungle law is followed. Bigger vehicle has right of way. But how badly I was proved wrong on Saturday night; I just could not believe myself.

Telling half truth is as good as saying a lie. So what all I have said above is though not a lie but I have also not said complete truth as well.

What I have not told you guys is about the “life saver” I got installed on my bike. Well it’s not a bazooka (which I wish to get installed some day – may be once I turn dictator and take over the country. ;-))

Though I can post millions of pictures of the life save and write pages and pages about it still I might not be able to convey proper message so let me try to compare it with something, most of us would have experienced.

Illuminate your room with a 35W electricity bulb. Now put on a 100W tube light. Can you see any difference? If not then replace the tube light with the bulb after sitting in tube light for few minutes. Well that’s the difference between the stock 35W halogen shod head lamp and the HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamp.

HID lamp – the life saver I got installed on the bike. More detail about it later on.

Well, I still believe to what I said above, “I used to think that on Indian roads, jungle law is followed. Bigger vehicle has right of way”.

What made all those people turn “nice” that night was not just the nice nature (which I don’t discount that there are some nice people on road – Me for one ;-)) but the HID lamp’s power which was creating the similar discomfort which one would have faced thanks to the oncoming traffic with head lamp being used on high beam.

So what I have done is it legal? Morally should I have done it? Etc etc. These are some questions on which I’ll share my view points in my next post but for now I’ll just say one thing, if you have to ride in night on Indian roads on your two wheeler, dump those pathetic 35W head lamp unless, either you are willing to stick to a max speed of 40-50km/hr (that’s what I find is a safe speed) unless it is a well illuminated road or consider your life to be cheaper than those few hundred $’s one need to spend to get HID lamp fitted on the bike.