play with a safety net

my life has always been lived on the bleeding edge and that's just my innate nature. no braggadocio. just matter of fact. even then i'll remind myself and others who dare, to stay safe no matter what. no nuance needed here. there's no more adventure if you're no more. and when you're solo, you got nobody watching your back but you.

the ride: your steel steed

knowing your motorcycle is vital if you intend to sustain your adventure and play the long game. doesn't matter if you're riding out for a couple of hours or couple of months. if your ride is not in tune, and you're not in tune with your ride, you're simply a disaster waiting to happen.

make yourself an off-road pre-ride checklist and run thru it in your head before you hit the road. if you need to actually tick off an actionable checklist on paper, no shame in that. i'd even say it's better cuz you're reminding others of their own responsibility towards themselves.

oh yeah, you'll need a correctly equipped toolkit, medical first aid box, and bare minimum spares. so get yourself handy with packing and using 'em to save yourself and/or others. even if you ride solo, you'll likely bump into others along the way who might need your help.

wear all the gear all the time

safety is a mindset. safety is a skillset. safety is also a set of riding gear you wanna always wear no matter what. remember off-road terrain is unpredictable and you can expect to fall in awkward angles and positions. for off-road and adventure riding, it's crucial to prioritize safety by wearing appropriate riding gear, following the principle of all the gear all the time.

adventure and off-road riding requires different gear from road riding or track racing so kit up accordingly:
1. helmet: high-quality, properly fitting helmet is most important so don't lowball yourself. it should be certified by safety standards and designed specifically for off-road or adventure riding, offering protection to your head, face, and chin with enough ventilation to breathe easy.
2. off-road/adventure riding boots: sturdy, knee-high boots with good grip, ankle support and shin protection are essential. they ought to protect you against impacts, abrasions, and offer waterproof or water-resistant features to keep your feet dry (especially on long excursions).
3. riding pants and jersey: purpose-built off-road or adventure riding gear offer better flexibility, durability, and protection - reinforced panels in high-impact areas and ventilation to keep you cool during rides. staying cool is more important than looking cool.
4. body armor: off-road or adventure-specific body armor provides additional protection for your chest, back, and neck. this gear is designed to absorb impacts and distribute the forces, reducing the risk of injury in case of a fall or collision with other riders.
5. knee and elbow guards: you're gonna need all the protection for your knees and elbows you can get so wear purpose-built guards not something designed for something else. these guards should be comfortable, adjustable, and cover the vulnerable areas effectively.
6. gloves: off-road gloves should offer a good grip, protection for your hands, and be breathable. they should have reinforced knuckles and palms to safeguard against impacts and abrasions. you'll also want them to be thin enough to transmit feedback from your handlebar grips.
7. goggles or riding glasses: protecting your eyes from debris, dust, and wind is crucial. off-road goggles offer shatterproof lenses and a snug fit to shield your eyes while maintaining good visibility. remember even a slight scrape by a thin twig at high speeds can be deadly. ensure they fit right with your chosen helmet.
8. hydration pack: staying hydrated during off-road adventures is necessary to stay at the top of your game. if you're not alert, attention will waver and you'll make mistakes you normally wouldn't. wear a hydration pack that allows you to carry water conveniently, helping you stay refreshed and sharp throughout your rides.

⚠️ these are essentials, and depending on specific conditions, climate, and duration of rides, you may need to adjust accordingly. prioritize your safety and invest in high-quality gear (you're worth it) that fits properly to maximize protection and comfort.

buddies not bullies

humans gather in groups to feel safe. but groups can also be harmful when players are more hostile than friendly. select a group in which you feel more safe than challenged. if the average skill level in the group is far higher than yours, you may feel demotivated to ride. similarly if everyone's aggression level & risk appetite to ride hard is higher than yours, you'd do well to exit the group and look elsewhere.

do you know what is more important than intelligence? intelligence is considered an individual trait and intelligence quotient is measured in isolation. but the greatest progress we’ve made as humans has been together.

history may selectively remember only the men at the helm but then stories are always biased towards the hero. so i don’t expect any better. that still don’t change the reality that progress depends on many.

if we’re to change the world, up the game and upgrade our future, we must learn to play together. i therefore propose interaction quotient as the new IQ. collaboration and co-creation are the skills we need and the heroes we deserve must be capable of interaction and not just action.

safety is the foundation

first we need to build playgrounds where people can gather safely to play and become playmates. the key factor here is safety, which is what differentiates a playground from a battleground. such spaces must provide physical (if offline) and psychological safety (both offline and online).

now that the baseline is catered to, let the games begin. the lesser the interference, the better the interaction and lesser the friction. more often than not, the collective wisdom will prevail and the conflicts will be resolved automatically.

most conflicts are actually challenges in disguise, designed to initiate a deeper level of intimacy in interaction. however for it to be recognised thus, a wiser energy most preside over the playground. such a spirit encourages aggression without letting it spill into violence.

principles above personality

we humans love to worship. no other species on the planet has gods, religions and places of worship. and ironically enough they live in harmony while we struggle to relate without being torn apart by constant conflict.

so while we can adore and worship our heroes, let’s stand together for the principles that guide us.

every group, every community must be guided by principles that will determine both the present path we walk on and the future we walk towards. yes, there will be leaders who will exemplify the principles but their time is short, and they will depart, whether by death, disease or disinterest.

sometimes the force is strong in the individual who leads, sometimes it is strong in those that follow. whatever the truth, let’s lay down a manifesto to guide us when either of us are weak.

playfully yours

the best laid plans can disappear without a trace with the slightest of breeze. in the playground, in the moment, playmates are the only reality. no guiding principles and no strictly enforced rules can really save the day.

which is why the spirit of play must percolate down to the lowest common denominator if we are to succeed in our goal of collaboration over competition. i always like to challenge the common belief that only competition can foster growth.

sharing and caring or collaboration and co-creation can do more for collective growth than pursuits of individual hubris. each one, each one. share your affection and appreciation with just one other playmate in the playground and watch it spread like wildfire.

improving interaction quotient

now that i’ve waxed eloquently for so long, i’ll now share my simple model for understanding and increasing interaction in groups and communities. let’s break everyone into these groups on the basis of their involvement.

0 - ground zero or the core group
1 - self initiated active involvement
2 - peer pressure induced passive involvement
3 - obligatory activity only when pushed/pulled
4 - voyeurs without active interaction


the core inner circle comprises founders, teachers, instructors and community managers. should anyone be bold enough to experiment with a spiritual guide, they would fit in there too.

the active members in the first circle are the fire starters. who will create their own games and even drag others to play. they are not dependent on others but will need to learn to support others. note that traditional deviants are best suited for this role. so back benchers in the classroom get first class seats.

the passive players are happy to play but shy to kickstart the game themselves. they depend on others to drag them in to play. once they come to life, they are great at maintaining the energy when the fire starters tire out. they also act as the buffer between inactive and hyperactive players.

the obligatory members are rarely involved in the game but sit in the stands and clap to support the players. they are hesitant to play themselves but make good fanboys. their energy can infuse the players with enthusiasm when most needed.

voyeurs who don’t offer feedback are actually not actively contributing to the community. while haters are actually offering valuable feedback even if it appears detrimental at first. one way to bring both kinds of players into the closer orbits is by encouraging them to offer gifts to the community

oscillating between orbits

people can move in and out of these concentric circles of community based on many factors. work burdens, personal difficulties, social anxiety and pandemic induced circumstances can make interaction difficult.

if people are unconscious of their involvement and influence within the community, they will feel lost. but becoming aware can help someone from the outermost orbit become a core group member by taking relevant action. just as the most active member might be the naughtiest and sometimes less likely to be an asset to the community. let us not discount or disregard anyone at any given moment, but gently nudge everyone to play.

people are driven by purpose and the community or playground acts as a magnet that not only attracts but holds playmates together. we’re here in this world to learn to play. and play is best with playmates. but we mustn’t forget to play nice. for we’re all in this together.

playmates are more important than either the playgrounds we play in or the playbooks we want to takeaway from the games we play. so think about how you can ensure that playgrounds are filled with the kind of playmates we would all enjoy playing with? the answer is actually quite simple actually - be the kind of playmate you want to attract ❤️

there's nothing inherently wrong in pushing your limits and constantly challenging oneself and others. but this sort of competitive environment is not everyone's ball game. finding that sweet spot between safety and danger is unique to every individual. once you know what yours is, look out for like minded riders and gather together a group or community.

on the flip side if you think everyone around you plays too safe and aren't challenging you or themselves, you might want to get out and find more wascally wabbits to play rough with. there are however first principle concepts of safety that are fundamental even when riding on the edge. in fact the closer you ride to the edge, the more keenly aware you are of danger and the need to temper it with safety.

playing with your fear is like playing in the friction zone between the clutch & throttle of your motorcycle. play too safe & you'll never experience any adventure. let go of fear entirely and you'll crash n burn sooner than you know.

be a buddy not a bully

whether you ride solo or in a group, whether you ride wild or play safe, you're not the only one on the road (or off it

this is my journey with motorcycles and mud, wanna ride with me?