If you happen to be in North Goa in the month of November, especially during its second-last weekend, don’t be startled by the presence of hundreds of motorcyclists on loud motorbikes. It’s that time of the year in Goa, where you throw a stone and are assured of hitting either a Royal Enfield rider or their steed. This year, Goa again witnessed the wildest riders in all shapes and sizes, at Vagator beach. Enfield enthusiasts ride down all the way from cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Bangalore and Chandigarh, to mention just a few, and they pay homage to the cult of motorcycling at the annual gathering (pilgrimage, even) of Royal Enfield riders.
This year, over 4500 riders from all across the country were part of the gathering, and the folks at Royal Enfield went out of their way to see to it that everyone was well looked after. During the siesta hours, particularly, you could sense the true spirit of the attendee. The dirt track race, for example, had racers in their tuned Bullets competing against each other while the sun blazed away at them. Don’t think for a moment that it was an all-male sausage fest, by the way – women riders were aplenty, and they took part with as much enthusiasm, if not more.
Guy Martin, an Isle of Man racing legend, was present to enthral attendees with his racing skills and also to compete with them in the 500cc category – needless to say, he won. Rohan Patil and Urvashi Patole took the top honours in their respective 350cc categories.
Someone once said “We all are like motorcycles, customised a bit differently”, and at Rider Mania, this was taken very seriously. The custom bike competition saw several amazing entries, and this year, the winner of the Best Custom Bike went to the Gunner 540, from Bulleteer Customs; the Most Popular Custom Bike award went to the Squadron, from Road Rage Customs.
Any biker meet would be deficient without music, and every year, Royal Enfield makes sure that the riders go back with music coming out of every pore. This year, the audience saw the likes of Papon, Vir Das and DJ Pearl, to name a few performers. With every successive year, Rider Mania is growing, and so is its fun factor. The three-day extravaganza provides the perfect platform for Enfield lovers to bond over motorcycling, and it should be on your to-do list.