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All roads lead to Vagator

A scene from Rider Mania 2015 photo: special arrangement  

Want to catch some biking action this weekend? Head to Goa. It’s where all the Royal Enfield enthusiasts are converging with their bikes in tow. With over 5,800 registrations already clocked in and several more on-the-spot ones expected, the Royal Enfield Rider Mania is going to be huge this year. Slated to be held from November 18 to 20, the event promises 72 hours of Enfieldom.

According to Sachin Chavan, head, rides and community at Royal Enfield, most participants start off by riding to the venue from their cities. “That is part of the fun. Some are even accompanied by their families. On D-Day, everyone converges at Hilltop Vagator. While participation in the races is only for Royal Enfield riders, bikers who own other brands do join in for some of the other fun activities.”

The popularity and size of the event is growing year on year. While the event was originally started in 2003 and held in different locations, it was converted to its current format in 2009. Last year, the biking festival saw about 4,500 registrations, and this year, the organisers expect anywhere between 6,500 and 7,000. “We usually see a lot of spot registrations as well,” says Sachin.

The event features racing events such as dirt bike track races, obstacle chase and slow race. Biking enthusiasts can also showcase their skills in rounds such as assembly wars and ‘carry your bike’. “There will also be fun events such as arm wrestling and beer guzzling on the side,” says Sachin, adding that biking enthusiasts can also participate in some off-road training sessions conducted by professional coaches.

The event, which has seen over 400 women bikers register this year, will also feature a special riding school for them at the venue every morning. One of the highlights of the bike festival, according to Freddy Koikaran, city-based biking enthusiast and this year’s emcee at the event, is the custom bike arena. “I wanted to participate in it as well, but my family is accompanying me this year, and so, I could not ride down. But it’s still nice to be a part of the high-energy, biker-driven event. It is all about bikes, and perfect for die-hard biking fans. There’s a lot of camaraderie and biker brotherhood,” he says.

While most events go on for as long as daylight permits, the evenings take on a more social twist with live band and DJ performances. The artiste line-up for this year’s event includes names such as Sapta, Nucleya, Reggae Rajahs and Papon Live. Stand-up comedians such as Angad Singh, Varun Thakur and Kenny Sebastian will also perform.

With Royal Enfield clubs from different cities heading to the venue, one can expect a lot of regional flavour at the arena. “For instance, last year, the Royal Pandiyas from Madurai were spotted wearing their club Tees and veshtis,” laughs Freddy.

For details, visit https://royalenfield.com/ ridermania

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 11:35:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/All-roads-lead-to-Vagator/article16643759.ece

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