Not very long ago, East Coast Road (ECR) was an automatic choice for most bikers seeking a short motorcycling adventure.
Now, it has to compete with a raft of roads that have come up in the suburbs.
The increase in roads suited for pleasure rides has influenced the way these bikers ride and bond with one another. It has led to more breakfast and night rides, which are short trips squeezed into brief breaks between busy schedules.
Bharath, a member of Nathari Sangam, a motley group of motorcyclists that swears by various two-wheeler brands, has noticed the Vandalur-Kelambakkam Road spur an interest in such rides among many of his comrades.
According to this 30-year-old software engineer, this road combines many advantages a biker can hope for. “It is wide and safe, free of traffic snarls, cut off from the bustle of city life, yet incredibly connected to arterial roads,” he says.
This stretch, which metro watchers count among roads that will trace the course of development in the suburbs, enables easy access to GST Road, OMR and ECR, and most importantly, ‘the new roads on the block’ — namely Vandalur-Walajabad Road and Outer Ring Road (ORR).
Only a portion of the 62-km ORR project is complete and open to motorists, but weekend bikers are already drawn to the motorable stretch. Subhash Chandra Bose, a 63-year-old Bullet rider with 46 years of motorcycling memories with him, recently went on a group ride down the completed section of ORR from Vandalur to Nazarethpet. He thinks having an option of such roads adds zing to day trips.
Forty-five-year-old Sathish, a member of Roaring Riders, a Jawa and Yezdi group, has ‘discovered’ his stretch. “After travelling down GST Road, take a left at Singaperumal Koil and you have a road that seems made for quiet moments with your bike,” he says.
David Ebenezer, who rides with the Madras Bulls, enjoys night rides down OMR, but his adventure culminates in a cruise down the Chengalpattu bypass, which begins at Thiruporur.