Kolkata played host to some tough guys and their mean machines this weekend, as they rode into the city to kick some dust.
Have bike, will ride! At least that’s what the mantra had been for the 550-odd bikers, who gathered in Kolkata for a bike fest, aptly titled Rider Mania, during the weekend. Originally conceived in 2003 by Vernon Dias, a member of the Chennai-based Royal Enfield (RE) Motorcyclist club, this event has been happening every year, ever since. This year’s event was held in Kolkata and went on for two days before concluding in a party at a suburban resort. Says Sumanta Roy Chowdhury, member of Eastern Bulls, the host club that organized the event, “In its present form, members of more than 60 RE Motorcyclist clubs and numerous individual bikers meet every year at a location decided in the previous year’s meet for two days of celebration of the spirit of brotherhood that exists among the members of such clubs and also among all riders of RE motorcycles. Participants share stories and experiences about their rides in the past year, plan future rides, share technical knowledge about the machines they ride, try to outdo each other in aesthetic modification of their bikes and generally feel comfortable in the knowledge that everyone shares the sense of freedom that riding provides.”
The event took a year’s time to prepare. Once the host club, Eastern Bulls, arranged the meet, riders from all corners of the country reached the chosen venue on their bikes. “New friendships were made and old ones renewed, during the ride and the event,” says Sumanta. The event was flagged off by grand entries made by members of various RE clubs at the venue followed by competitions that tested riders on their riding skills and how technically sound they are about their machines. Bikers also took part in a fashion show before they tested each others’ guts at a beer guzzling competition. The day’s events were rounded off by a party where popular DJs spun hot numbers. Leading bands Hip Pocket and Jihad threw in some powerpacked performances. We’d like to see more such joyrides, for sure!