Riders Rage 2012 was a skill development exercise for the participants

The busy Workshop Road in Simmakkal was yet to get out of the Sunday morning slumber. And suddenly it was abuzz with activity. The area reverberated with the heavy ‘thudding’ noise of 50-odd Enfield bullets. The vehicle owners, all members of the Royal Pandiyas Madurai Enfielder’s Club, were zipping down to Alagarkoil for a get-together and sharing their experiences.

Named ‘Riders Rage 2012’, the occasion was a culmination of an eventful year for the club. “We hardly miss an occasion to come together,” says K.G. Athilingam, president of the club. “Every month we have driven to places like Megamalai, Kodaikanal, Udhagamandalam, Sirumalai and Kolli Hills. The Riders Rage is an opportunity to express ourselves. We also see this event as a training ground for the competitions conducted by the Enfield Company,” he says.

The club organised competitions such as Slow Race, Lemon with Spoon, Figure of 8 and Carry your Bike. There was a celebration of the relationship between man and his machine and it was a delight to watch the communication between them. “Every time I get on to my bike, I am overwhelmed by an inexplicable feeling,” says Vignesh Murali, who is into agro food business. Performing different stunts on the bike, Vignesh showcased his love for the bullet. “It is a childhood craze,” he says. “When I rode the vehicle for the first time, I fell down and got hurt. At that time the bullet’s brake was on the right side and the gearshift was on the left. . Finally, when the Company reversed the positioning of brakes and gearshift, I bought the vehicle,” says the winner of Lemon with Spoon and Figure of 8 events.

He also won the second prize in the Carry your Bike contest. Everyday, he travels from Singampunari, where he resides, to his office in Madurai. He was inspired by a club member from Dubai, who used to perform stunts with his bullet during his visits. “All along the drive on the four-lane road, I tried and perfected my stunt skills,” says Vignesh.

A. Senthil Guru, a share broker, won the first prize in the Slow Race event. The amazing control and concentration helped him in good stead to win the contest. “I am floored by the vehicle’s majestic presence,” he says. “I bought the Enfield Thunderbird 350 cc a year ago and from that day onwards it has become a part of my life,” he adds. For 18-year-old G.A. Rajkumar, the youngest member of the club, the bullet is trendier and livelier than the earlier editions with plenty of value additions like digital metres, sensor based engine, self starter and ergonomic design. “I am a valid driving licence holder,” says the student of I year Mechanical Engineering, Oxford Engineering College, Tiruchi.

“The day when I got my licence, my happiness knew no bounds. For, all these days I was dependent on my pillion rider. Now, I feel independent. See, I rode the bullet from Coimbatore to Madurai after participating in ‘Riders Mania’, a Company organised event at Uthagamandalam. I covered the distance in four hours,” he beams with pride.

Set against the backdrop of Alagar Hills, the event attracted members from Chennai, Tiruchi, Cumbum, Theni, Thoothukudi and Singampunari. The camaraderie the members shared by exchanging pleasantries made the event more entertaining.