I love touring on a motorcycle and never let such an opportunity slip me by. So I was all packed with my saddlebags and togged in riding gear in a jiffy after receiving Royal Enfield's invite to the Rider Mania 2010 in Goa. My ride was a Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500 that only sweetened the prospects of the three-day Bulleteers do at Goa, the paradise that spells beaches, beer and... er you can add your own epithets with 'b'. The Royal Enfield Rider Mania brought together throngs of Royal Enfield riders from clubs all over India.
This year was the eighth edition of Rider Mania. This was the cue for passionate Royal Enfield aficionados to unwind with beer, music and biker events and to bond. There venue was the splendorous Vagator beach and the 300 plus Bulleteers were soon amingle like long lost friends swapping stories about their bikes and rides. The organisers had chalked out various competitions. In the bike trials, riders had to navigate past obstacles on a closed track and of course the quickest round the track was the winner. The 'figure of 8' challenge had four-rider teams ride around two points in a figure of eight - the trick was not to put the feet on the ground. The dirt track event featured a specially designed track and the riders were grouped into 350cc and 500cc categories. As the sun went down, we were regaled with a mix of rousing music by rock bands and DJs. Need I mention, the party lasted long into the night.
The highlight next morning was the bike fixing event where teams disassembled and assembled Bullet bikes, and the quickest team won, of course. The slow race had the rider finishing last without placing his feet on the ground win. The ever popular custom bike competition was won by the proud owner of a bike from Kerala. Though he won by a huge margin, all the customised bikes were a treat to see. The beer drinking and arm wrestling contests also spelt loads of fun and intense competition. Imagine winning a prize for quaffing the most beer - for free!
Other highlights were screening of motorcycle documentaries and videos. The beach venue was strewn with stalls selling biking gear and memorabilia, multi-cuisine food counters and even some tattoo artists.
The three-day event came to a close much too soon. Every rider was given a Rider Mania T-shirt, a perfect souvenir.
The Royal Enfield Bullet is the longest running production bike in the world and Royal Enfield aficionados are growing exponentially. Whichever way you look at it, Rider Mania is an annual pilgrimage for the Bullet rider that has assumed cult status and it's an event no Bullet rider worth his salt will miss.
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