Motoring

A look at the just-concluded Rider Mania 2019

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At Rider Mania, the sense of camaraderie always seems to ride pillion with motorcycling

Motorcycles are so much more than two wheels, a handlebar, a seat, and an engine. For many, motorcycling is a way of life and their bikes mean much more to them than just machines for commuting.

Rider Mania, which is an annual event organised by Royal Enfield, brings together Indian Royal Enfield motorcycle owners from across the country. The event, which began in 2003, celebrates the romance of motorcycling and all the attributes that go with it.

The 2019 edition of this yearly jamboree drew to an end last Sunday in Vagator, Goa, and while the residents might heave a sigh of relief that their eardrums can now have a rest, the event was quite a happy and lively affair in a quiet area of North Goa.

A look at the just-concluded Rider Mania 2019

One of the main verticals of this year’s event was sustainability, hence each participant was given a metal canteen on registration, and at the centre of the venue was a huge drinking water station where canteens could be refilled. The station never ran out though there were almost 7,000 people at the event over the three-day festival. I did not come across any single-use plastic at the event. Every cup, plate or cutlery was either paper or multi-use plastic.

There were motorcyclists arriving in droves from every corner of the country, some from as far away as Himachal Pradesh. A gang of girls called The Dauntless Royal Explorers rode in from Thiruvananthapuram, and a rider with physical disabilities rode his motorcycle to the event with his wheelchair strapped on it.

It was a treat to see and hear the motorcycles come thundering in, many of them uniquely customised with fantastic paint jobs, shiny chrome and after-market exhausts.

A look at the just-concluded Rider Mania 2019

The venue was divided into two parts: The Hilltop where the food and drink stalls were, and the competition area. There were concert stages at both, where bands such as Soulmate, Parikrama, The Royal Enfield Collective and The Local Train performed, besides a battery of popular DJs who kept the crowd on their feet.

During the course of the three days, there were talks about rides, and fun events such as arm wrestling and beer drinking competitions, all intertwined with the festive Goan spirit. At the competition area, there were dirt track races for men, women and the media.

A look at the just-concluded Rider Mania 2019

I own a Royal Enfield motorcycle, and have always considered it a piece of machinery, but here at Rider Mania, I felt that I was a part of an extended family. It was happy and heart-warming to see how a motorcycle means so much to most owners. They wear the brand with pride — be it with custom-painted helmets, T-shirts or tattoos.

Long-distance motorcycling is a popular passion. On a wish board called ‘Before I Die I want to Ride to,’ there were destinations ranging from the popular Ladakh circuit to destinations such as London, Alaska and Patagonia.

A look at the just-concluded Rider Mania 2019

After the last concert was done, the party continued at the many quaint cafés that North Goa is peppered with, till the wee hours of the morning. Riding through the little lanes in and around Vagator and Anjuna, I would see Royal Enfield motorcycles with outstation number plates parked outside these places and happy laughter and music emanating from within.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 3:30:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/a-look-at-the-just-concluded-rider-mania-2019/article30096385.ece

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