Melaka initiation ride for ‘5am Dhaba Club’ newbie

In my opinion, there are four types of individuals when it comes to motorcycles.

Type 1 – the gung-ho daredevil who is willing to ride any bike anywhere, any time, and any distance. He or she is simply fuelled by the passion and the urge to ride. I fall in this category.

Type 2 is the individual who has always wanted to ride a bike but is still working on the courage to commit, and will do so only when the opportunity arises, and the correct stimulus is provided.

Type 3 are those keen to enjoy the unbridled joy of the open road – albeit only as a pillion, while Type 4 is one who is simply petrified of motorbikes and doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.

My missus falls into the Type 4 category and I hope to convert her into a Type 3, at least, in the near future.

I recently met a young surgeon, Dr C.S. Kishen Raj (main image), his wife Dr N. Shailini, and their angelic little girl Tara, at a birthday party. While the young kids enjoyed the clown act and games, the “big kids” ended up talking about motorcycles.

From our discussions, I gathered there was a biker spirit in Dr Kishen that was waiting to break free and hit the open road. I mentioned to him about my articles in Twentytwo13 and he was keen to read them.

Sure enough, about two weeks ago, Dr Kishen started asking me about a particular motorcycle brand, model, and my opinion of it.

I gave my two sen worth and asked what his plans were. He said he wanted to get a bike to commute to work daily, as traffic in the Klang Valley was getting horrendous. Days later, he purchased the bike he wanted – a BMW GS 310, aka the Baby G.

My missus rolled her eyes when I told her the news. She always says that I’m guilty of being a “bad influence” by enticing and baiting others to take up biking and to go for rides. She also says I romanticise riding.

I would like to think I am putting the romance into riding, but then again, all these individuals, who have reached out to me, are grown adults who make their own decisions. I merely guide them along the enlightened path.

And Dr Kishen, being an early morning person, is the latest member of our small riding group – the ‘5am Dhaba Ride Club’.

We rode to Melaka for toast and eggs last Sunday. It was an initiation ride for Dr Kishen into the club.

My pillion for the ride was supposed to be my good buddy, oil and gas engineer, K. Selvan (clearly a Type 3) but unfortunately, he was unable to join us.

There are in fact two other pillions waiting in line for their rides, one a sports physician (who is a Type 2), and the other, a senior business development manager at Telekom Malaysia (another Type 3).

The last time I took a pillion was five years ago, when I took my 60-year-old uncle on a 900km, round trip, to visit his brother up north, and returned the same day.

The other usual suspect for the ride last weekend was Dr Harjeet “Tourin” Singh.

We arrived at Dr Kishen’s doorstep to escort him for our breakfast ride to Kedai Kopi Kheng Juan in Kampung Limbongan, Melaka.

The tyres rolled at 5.30am and the journey was via the highway to ease Dr Kishen’s Baby G into the ride. We were well spaced out for safety reasons.

The ride from the Simpang Ampat toll to the eatery was covered by a thick morning mist. For Dr Kishen, it brought back memories of his childhood in the estates of Serdang, in the northern state of Kedah.

Arriving at the kopitiam, we were greeted by the owner with a big, glowing smile of familiarity, as I would like to think that we have become regulars there.

It was a simple breakfast of toast and eggs, accompanied by happy conversations that further strengthened the biker brotherhood.

Sure enough, you will make new friends, even if you just nodded and said good morning to a fellow patron.

We were fortunate to meet Roland Goh, a retiree from Melaka. He used to work at Tan Chong Motors in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, for many years. He was a real jovial man. He wished us a safe journey home.

The return was uneventful. Dr Kishen was first to exit the highway, followed by Dr Harjeet, who signed off at Kota Damansara.

I got home, had a quick shower, and changed into something more formal, as I had a wedding to attend. As the reception ended, I was referred to an emergency case for review. My ever-supportive wife drove me to the hospital, and I reviewed the patient, provided treatment, and then, off we went for the family’s Father’s Day lunch rendezvous.

My four daughters gifted me personalised beer bottles. They know their dad well.

Biking is not just a passion; it is a lifestyle. No other pursuit on the planet can compare to the joy of hitting the long winding highways on a bike.

Welcoming a new rider and bringing him safely home to his family after a 300-odd km first ride, was satisfying.

It was an eventful day, full of passion, as social, professional, and familial commitments were fulfilled in equal, and strong measure. Three fathers rode out last Sunday and returned home safely to their families. It was a perfect day. Three cheers to that!

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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