Royal Enfield bikers from clubs across the country come together to share their own experiences and learn from the others

If I say Biker, what are the images you would conjure up in your mind? For most of us it would be a brusque, reckless, devil-may-care hulk astride a mean menacing machine. But when has a book been judged rightly, merely by its cover? Quite so one would concur, on seeing the participants of RM 12. The fraternising bonhomie between the ‘biceps and beards straddling Royal Enfield bikes' was indeed nothing short of a revelation. Yes, it's true that at this annual nationwide biker conglomeration in Panchgaon near Manesar, organised by the Royal Beasts Motorcycling Society of New Delhi (RBMS) , these hardened souls flexed their brawns and machines on the dirt track, towed their bikes, tried beating each other in arm wrestling, drew figures of eight by manoeuvring around posts, even guzzled unascertainable quantities of beer to beat each other in just that and all this before head banging in a rock concert till the sun shone next morning!

But then, let us put matters into perspective, after all 700-odd bikers had come together at the Best Western Country Resort near Manesar, “to pursue their passion and priority”, as G. Subhash Chandra Bose of Mad Bulls, a Chennai based club, would describe. Further Bose, who at 61, is perhaps the veteran in the lot explained, “Here you would find doctors, lawyers, teachers, businessmen, artists and other people from a lot of different backgrounds, but in these two days they are here just as bikers, doing and sharing among themselves what they love best.”

In fact when Harish Tyagi, a photojournalist with the European Press Agency and a keen biking enthusiast with the Royal Beasters reels back about the origins and evolution of this ten year old fiesta we learn something more about these gatherings, “It started in 2003 with just 60-odd guys but since then the networking and bonding has been growing stronger. There have been more and more bikers who take a break from their daily lives irrespective and join their club mates to ride to the destination which is different every year.” But one may wonder how such a high voltage get together is managed and organised? Tyagi tells us, “Actually managing the event though not an easy job by any standards falls upon the hosting club. The members of the club pitch in and things start to gradually materialise.” And one has to say that pitch these guys do, RBMS from the Capital which had the privilege of hosting the fraternity coinciding with their own tenth anniversary extracted voluntary service from all its members right from zeroing in on the venue to designing the biking tracks and managing the food, accommodation and recreation of the pan India bikers. The enthusiasm and camaraderie may be gauged by the fact that some of the bikers had actually taken leave from their jobs abroad to fly in and take part.

The venal tags of ‘hooliganism' and ‘bad attitude' are perpetual and unequivocally seen as unjust. Jojo from Chandigarh refutes it. “We do not in any way promote any recklessness, even if there are some stunts or flourishes once in a while we always make sure that it does not turn into any kind of nuisance or hazard.”

But was this two day event only about the sharing of road trips and other biking experiences? Apparently not technical and safe riding workshop has been a de rigueur at all the meets. Bose tells us, “I have had a fairly long association with the automobile industry by working with UCAL and Enfield and accumulated a trove of technical expertise. So whenever events like these happen I am flooded by questions from all the other bikers.” Along with the exceptional camaraderie and gutsy revelry even a social cause in the form of Narmada Kidney Foundation was espoused at the event. So how correct are, our stereotypes?

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012