To inspire and to live your passions is what the series #IamLivingit is all about! For Sigmund Quadros, a Live Sound and Production Engineer who gets paid to listen to music, biking is a passion which allows him to be one with the wind. He doesn’t have a Motorcycling Hero, as he believes that everyone astride on is a Boss and quite a Hero themselves! Rachana from team Livingit gets one on one and here’s the story that will inspire the ones who are passionate about biking!
RJ: When and how did you start Riding? Tell us something about your journey?
Sigmund: I started riding at an early age of 16 which I not so fondly call the “No Helmet and Chappal, Macho” era. I got my hands on an uncle’s 1965 Standard 350 Bullet which he wasn’t too keen on using anyway. Straddled it, got some basic lessons from an older friend who insisted I ride, on not more than the 2 nd gear and absolutely not above half a throttle. I wasn’t in the mood to listen to him and rode off into the distance to never return to find out if he was still waiting for me at the corner. That’s pretty much how it all started. As much as I’d like narrating this incident I’m not too proud of it. I was immature and stupid with no regards for my own safety or for anyone else’s. Well, that soon changed as I rode further with folks from the riding community and observed how they take safety seriously.
RJ: What struggles did you encounter when you started?
Sigmund: As I mentioned earlier; I was a noob and boastfully skipped those preliminary riding lessons that the friend could have imparted. I found myself dearth of any skills to stay on two wheels, struggling with motorcycle maintenance and things as simple as basic controls. For the first parts, it was just sheer luck that kept the shiny side up.
Another struggle was finding the right people to ride with. The clubs were/are too fundamentalist for my taste. Those organized rides were too up tight and took away the joy I felt from, what I then believed and still do from Riding. So I found myself mostly looking for like-minded folks who did not care what I rode or what number I started at in a sequence of riders as long as I made it to the next regroup without killing myself or anyone along the way.
RJ: What was the first motorcycle that captivated you as a kid?
Sigmund: I can’t seem to remember any such motorcycle that caught my attention as a kid. What I know is after the first few circles around the block on whatever set of two wheels I could get my hands on back in the days, made me smile inside that helmet. Let’s just say Motorcycles captivated me!
RJ: Did you have a mentor/guru who you followed? And how did it help?
Sigmund: After a stint of riding alone over weekends on short trips around the city, I gave in and decided to join “Helmet Stories” on one of their Breakfast Runs, that was when I met the Mighty Vir Nakai and the ever so suave Harsh Man Rai. These two blokes straight up represented what motorcycles were to me. They are by far the coolest duo on the grid right now. No Macho Bulls*** attached to their names, other than waking up really early and riding out towards the sunrise. Simple, Ride and have Fun. “See you”, at the next rendezvous point. In case you’re slow, we’ll wait for the last rider to show before zooming out again. It helped me gain confidence on the highways as I knew I’d be looked out for. Harsh has some nifty tips to share about safety. Vir is a mad cap monster who you have to watch and learn and keep up, that is; if you can.
RJ: How adventurous has the journey been till now?
Sigmund: From failed fuel pumps on the highway in the middle of nowhere to fixing punctures because the highway tyre repair fellow refuses to take the wheel off. Having totalled a bike beyond recognition because, well, going really hot into a corner and over shooting the left-hander does not end pretty.
There has also been spanning the whole west coast of India on a Classic British Twin, riding up the Mountains and getting myself kicked due to AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and over-smartness. Got slapped in the rains as we rode through Tiger Reserves and Hills across the Western-Ghats, the journey has been a blast, and this is just a fraction of what holds, the engine’s still running and the ODO continues to click.
RJ: Tell us about your bike?
Sigmund: A few years ago I got myself a new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500, let’s just say I did not know better. I call him Vantage, he’s not too bad, he could just have been way better behaved, remember the failed Fuel Pump I mentioned?
RJ: Why Enfield?
Sigmund: I just happen to own a Royal Enfield, but I am an absolute equal opportunist. Have two wheels, have Engine, Will Ride!
RJ: Do you like to customize your bike too?
Sigmund: I haven’t customized my motorcycle or modified anything on it. It’s stock. I believe the designers who’ve worked on the motorcycles have designed these bikes with form, function, and purpose in mind.
RJ: Has riding helped you in your work life in any way? Has pursuing your passion ever conflicted with your work? How frequently are you riding now?
Sigmund: Riding has most definitely helped me with the discipline aspect of life. Motorcycling teaches you patience which also is easily the most important virtue of life in general. Pursuing Motorcycles has come off age for me – from riding alone, to riding with friends, to riding as a content creator, to riding representing the motorcycling community and brands. In due course, I have managed to get paid to ride motorcycles too. So that’s become work and I have never seen a conflict coming my way.
Sound’s been keeping me extremely busy lately, I have managed to miss this riding season by a mile but I do try and make it to those Weekend getaways with my buddies.
RJ: Tell us about your best & worst riding experiences?
Sigmund: Riding motorcycles is inherently a dangerous activity. If you keep your head on your shoulder and motorcycle in check, all your riding experiences would be a blast. A bad riding experience is just a series of events that you’d wish would have happened differently. You’ll come out learning a bunch from it nevertheless.
RJ: Do you have any tips for people starting out?
Sigmund: Ride. Just ride for the fun of it. And most importantly, respect everyone’s space on the road and take safety extremely seriously. It goes a long way in building character.
RJ: Tell us something about your gear – your current collection/brands you use. What is your favourite piece of equipment?
Sigmund: I use a fully armoured all weather jacket and touring boot by Rjays (Australia), Rynox Inferno long format touring glove, Knox Cross Max Bionic Knee Guards. I also have a couple of helmets but the one that I am regularly seen is in my Daijya Full Face Lid.
RJ: How much would you have spent on riding till now approximately?
Sigmund: I would not like to put a number to how much I have spent on Riding. But I can assure You that every penny and every moment spent has been worth the rush.
RJ: Tell us about your favourite events that you cannot miss?
Sigmund: Well, as much as I have kept myself away from most Bike Fests, Rallies and Clubs – IBW (India Bike Week) is something I like to attend. It’s that once a year trip to Goa where I end up partying and meeting pals from all walks of life.
The Royal Enfield Rider Mania is also another event I like to attend as I have way too many friends at the brand and meeting them all at one location makes it so much more convenient than having to ride with some of those clubs and juicing the life out of the experience. Just kidding, they’re not that bad, they’re even worst!
RJ: What has been your most memorable moment till now?
Sigmund: Every time I ride I know I am ought to come back with a tonne of memories. All of them are really special to me. But if You ask me the one that stands out – there would be 3, one would be riding along the Virgin coast line on the Konkan Belt and the other would be riding through amidst heavy Rains around the western ghats as I made my way up to Ooty from Bangalore with Vir Nakai. And finally, the ascend from Salem to Yercaud has been one of the most spectacular experience on two wheels ever among many more like crossing the Tungabhadra River on a dingy boat hoping not to capsize.
I would have said Leh too but I had to bail after 3/4 th of the ride as I suffered from AMS and could not finish the last leg, nevertheless, that was another memory that’ll stick, because everything before that headache kicking in was incredibly stunning.
RJ: What do you feel has been your biggest achievements/accomplishment?
Sigmund: Learning to ride would be the biggest achievement ever because everything that followed after that was nothing short of Fantastic.
RJ: What are top 3 things on your bucket list?
Sigmund: – Ride across Nepal and Bhutan; Ride more often; infact Just Ride.
Wishing Sigmund Quadros a great passionate biking journey ahead!
We’ve covered more Rider’s if you’re interested, such as software engineer by profession but rider by passion Rohit Upadyay , 29,115 km across India long distance tourer Ali Mehndi and the Australian couple across the world on one Bike, Sam and Stew .