Sunday, 23rd November 2014, 09:15 am, Day 3
We slept late and woke up by 1pm. We headed towards RM by 2pm. We were starving so we went straight to the food counter, chomped on some quick food and were joyful to click to our first beer for the day. Today being the last day, the crowd increased. Interestingly the organisers had kept the best for last. Today, were four competitions lined up – cleanest bike, best custom bike, arm wrestling and last but not least – beer drinking competition. The first two competitions were not very thrilling for me. Cleanest bike competition would just make me feel guilty for not keeping my bike that clean, and I’m not talking about showroom clean – I’m talking about something beyond! The chrome on the bike could act like a mirror and everything on the bike was shined to perfection! A separate section allocated to Custom Bikes showcased some unique designs although I would really question their practicality. I’m not sure if I would be able to ride one of those comfortably for long rides, but I must admire the craftsmanship, designs and techniques.
By early evening the arm wrestling competition began. Both men and women participated, each showing off their biceps, so I got inspired and challenged Pranav. Now if you meet him, he looks like a guy with perhaps not so much strength, so you would think I could totally take him in seconds but it turned out both my hands were not sufficient. So conveniently not accepting defeat, I informed the crowd politely that I let him win. It was the right thing to do!
Immediately after the arm wrestling competition the beer drinking competition started. Again both men and women participated. In the all-women round I noticed this one lady rider who I had seen earlier, she must have drank the entire pint in five seconds. She left all the men participants to shame. But she could not win, because the rule stated that you could not leave any froth. But the crowd cheered for her anyway. We encouraged one of our friends to participate. He did but sadly he lost. It’s not easy to gulp down a pint of a chilled Kingfisher beer.
By late evening the crowd had gone berserk. Everyone wanted to make the most of the last day and make every minute and second count. We got into the zone of taking back to back pictures with the oddest pose. We all sat on top of each other to fit the frame. Plus with a DSLR camera the zoom lens didn’t help! We all stepped out to get some food as we were bored of all the food inside the venue, so we quickly googled a joint nearby, ordered burgers and assorted sausage plates, ate and went back to the festival.
Immediately after the arm wrestling competition the beer drinking competition started. Again both men and women participated. In the all-women round I noticed this one lady rider who I had seen earlier, she must have drank the entire pint in five seconds. She left all the men participants to shame.
That’s when the sad part began We were all saying our goodbyes and trying to plan our ride for the next morning. By the time we said our goodbyes it was 12.00 am. We had to wake up at 2:30 am to drop Sana to the airport which was 45kms from Anjuna and then we had to ride back to Mumbai – a 650 kms journey.
Monday, 24th November 2014, 03:15 am, Good Bye Goa
Feeling sleepy and gloomy, we geared up to leave. After Sana checked in we left, finding our way towards Chorla, only to grasp a road diversion due to St. Francis Day, so it took us a while to get to out of Goa. By about 7am we reached Belgaum. Mandhar and I switched places. This time I intended to ride all the way till Lonavala Ghats. As we hustled up on the highway we saw the breath-taking view, a remarkable scene of nature. It wakes you up from inside. As we throttled our way into the tunnels, I was on a different high, the sound of the exhaust echoed, intensifying every feeling in my body giving me goosebumps. Suddenly I was not tired or sleepy any more. This very moment I felt “ALIVE”.
We passed by other rider groups and each one we passed gave us a thumbs up as a sign of respect for fellow riders. When we ride, we always have a lead rider to guide us through the way or warn us about any obstacles on the road. We communicate via sign language, each explaining the situation so that necessary precautions are taken. This is a common language among riders and most of the signs are universal. Now we would not ride in a straight line however we would always be behind the lead rider, so in our case Pranav was the lead, and somewhere along the highway, I lost his sight due to a road diversion, so I instead followed the convoy until I spotted him. Thanks to the common language I was warned about a road kill and a horrible pot hole. Throughout our journey we spotted four animal road kills and an accident that turned fatal for the driver. An important lesson learnt during this ride was the fact that you cannot anticipate what can go wrong on the highway. It may seem like an easy ride, but it only takes a split second for things to go wrong. Even one tiny negligence at break-neck speed can be lethal.
Get out there and see what the world has to offer and trust me, you will not be disappointed. Everything you have ever desired is right in front of you. All you have to do is reach out.
We maintained an average speed of 100kmph. As exciting as it sounds there were instances where I feared passing those huge trucks but all that keeps you going is the confidence you have on your bike. A Royal Enfield is a machine designed to adapt, to listen to his/her rider, to follow you wherever you go. People often ask me, why I bought an RE? The only way I answer that question is by making them feel the pace of my heart beat when I see an RE versus other bikes. I bought an RE to ride, travel, explore and importantly to LIVE. At 28, I work with an amazing firm, I have great friends and colleagues, I have a beautiful family, and I enjoy my life and would not want to change anything about it, but somewhere something was missing. A spark, which enlightens the very core in you. I found my spark when I bought my thunderbird 350. Owning a bike and knowing how to ride her is easy, but what is different with a Royal Enfield? To answer this I had to meet some 100 plus riders and be a part of Rider Mania 2014. Royal Enfield means more than owning a motorcycle; it’s a sense of belonging to an exclusive community with unfading passion, interest and emotion. A community that promotes brotherhood and belongingness with love and respect. A community that welcomed me with arms wide open. There are no barriers, there are only untraveled roads and there is only you and the bike.
We reached Pune by 2pm. We thought we should try and push ourselves till we reach Lonavala, so we did. However, the boulevard from Satara till Lonavala is horrible. We seemed like drunken penguins riding as we were dodging all the potholes. I started feeling tired as the sun got brighter and the roads were clearly not helping, but we managed to enter Lonavala by 3pm. This was my queue to switch places with Mandy. The Ghats greeted us well until we entered traffic. Disappointed about the reality of life I snapped out of my dream land and basically watched people around me while waiting in traffic.
By late evening the crowd had gone berserk. Everyone wanted to make the most of the last day and make every minute and second count. We got into the zone of taking back to back pictures with the oddest pose.
We reached home by 8pm which made me value the journey even more. As soon as I got off my bike, I could no longer feel my back and I was pretty sure the shape of my bike seat was imprinted on my bottom. I looked like a person working down the mines – my white t-shirt was black and my face and hands had layers of filth. I stood in front of the mirror, exhausted and a bit out of proportion, I closed my eyes to reminisce about the last three days in a flash. I wished to go back in time and make it stop. I grabbed on to the déjà vu effect until I shut my eyes to start my next day.
To all those who read this post, it is my utmost request to chase your dreams. It may not be riding a bike but it definitely is something or the other. Get out there and see what the world has to offer and trust me, you will not be disappointed. Everything you have ever desired is right in front of you. All you have to do is reach out. Take the step! Take it now!
Click here to read Day 2.