Something to think about this weekend.
This one's for Hrishi in India. I don't usually put videos in here but this one really got me thinking. It's a clip of about two and a quarter minutes in length. Someone was in an upper level room recording activity at a busy intersection. It may be from Bombay, but I don't know for sure. The guy who sent it to me said it was but I haven't verified it.
We have an exercise at the end of our Basic Rider's Training that is called "Traffic Interaction". Basically we set up a course for the students to ride. There's an East-West street and a North-South street. Where they intersect is a four way stop. The perimeter is a one-way path counterclockwise with no stops. Riders can merge into the perimeter path of travel at any of four intersections with a stop sign. With twelve new riders it can look pretty busy. The purpose of the exercise is to give the students a taste of interacting with other traffic. They can use their powers of observation and judgement to stay out of trouble. It's exercise number 20 for us.
Another instructor sent this clip to me. He called it "Exercise 20 in Bombay". Looking at the intersection, I can see the similarities to our students. That's the background for my having the video.
At first I thought it was a crazy scene. My first reaction was "Thank God I'm not riding there. These people have no rules. This is insane. I'm sure glad I commute on a bike in a so-called civilized area!"
Then it occurred to me that nobody crashed into each other. Even though you can hear horns beeping in the background things seem to get worked out. People are assertive but not obnoxiously so. Wait a minute. There's another way to look at this.
Maybe we have too many rules. Is it possible that we don't really need what we have? Are we more civilized because we have so many rules? Or are the folks in the video more civilized because they sort of look out for one another? There's a lot of smaller bikes in the video. In fact, almost all of them are. Should we look down on them for being too poor to buy big, impressive, bikes? Or should we consider them worthy of emulation? Maybe they're the ones who've truly learned how to practically incorporate motorcycles into everyday life. That can't be anything but smart. Interesting to think about, isn't it?
Anyway, you can watch the video here and decide for yourself.
Miles and smiles