The Royal Enfield Bullet is undoubtedly the most iconic bike of our country. Celebrating their 10th year anniversary, The Road Survivors, a group of bullet riders in Chandigarh, play testimony to the craze.
Welcomed by about 25-odd guys on their bullets, an intimidating sight at best, one is quickly put to ease by their warm and friendly nature and the camaraderie they share. Formed 10 years ago, The Road Survivors brings together an eclectic mix of people ranging from army men to investment bankers to artists, belonging to the age bracket of 22 to 50. With only one female member in the fold yet, they are willing for more to join them.
So, what is it that makes the bullet such a quintessential bike? “It just is,” chorus the members. With a strong emphasis on safety and riding correctly, member GPS Waraich states, “We are cruisers/riders, not high speed bikers. That is what this bike is basically built for.” With most of them being family men, he further adds that the wives and children ride pillion with them or sometimes travel via car while they cruise through. And what about the kind of rides they undertake?
According to club moderator Jojo, there are two official rides, Ladakh Beckons — which he himself has done every year since 2004 — and Rider Mania — a gathering of bullet clubs from all across the country with over 1,000 riders converging in one place. “We are planning for Rider Mania in Chandigarh for 2015,” says he.
They generally take time out of their busy schedules to plan rides on weekends, with club member Sohi keeping everyone in the loop via Facebook (page Road Survivors) and text messages. A ride starts with two members, and can include up to 28 members.
With doubts about who the oldest member is in the group, the oldest bike definitely is a 1968 model belonging to Anurag Khanna. “It was born before I was,” he says laughingly.
Having an open mind, willingness to explore and a lot of endurance is what goes into making a rider, so seems to be the general group consensus. “After all, you have to be prepared to sleep in a dhaba in the middle of nowhere,” says one of the members.
With family barbeques and constant get-togethers, the Road Survivors is a close-knit group of friends who are always on the lookout for more members to join them. Brought together by their common love for the Bullet, and wanderlust strong in their hearts, it is heartening to see the spirit of adventure still alive in people. “Join us and we might tell you of places secreted across the country, serving food like you have never had before,” says Jojo, temptingly.