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Bikers’ club rides back into town

entertainment Updated: Jul 12, 2010 13:27 IST
Naomi Canton

A community group of bikers, whose lives thrive on the thrill of the open road, have reformed after a two-year break and are set to take off on weekend getaways again.

The Mocha Bike Association (MBA) wound down its activities in 2008 after being founded in 2006 by Amit Jambotkar, head of operations (fine dining), at Impresario and Riyaaz Amlani, CEO of Impresario, which owns the Mocha outlets. The relaunch happened at Mocha Mojo in Bandra.

“We never shut it down, we were just inactive for a while,” Jambotkar, 33, says. “At first we wanted to be a close-knit group, but now we plan to be the biggest in the city.”

The group currently numbers 40 and has members ranging from 25 to 65. Its aim is to create a brotherhood and space for bikers to interact, discuss bike-related problems, promote safety and plan trips together.

“People prefer riding in groups outside the city,” Jambotkar says. We always go at the speed of the slowest in the group and we always have two mechanics riding with us.”

The group has structured rides on the second Saturday of every month, that depart from Mocha Mojo.

The most recent trip was to Nashik on July 10 when they visited Sula Vineyards. Sooraj Keswani, 39, a marketing professional, is one of the members. “I joined because the people come from good backgrounds,” he admits. “It’s all about bonding with other bikers. It’s never about the destination,” he says. Plenty of women are also in the group. Jessy D’Souza, 32, who runs her own finance business, is a pillion rider.

“I enjoy the thrill of being on two wheels, but I feel I’m too small to ride myself. I like this group because they are not rough and ready bikers, but a decent group that you could introduce your family to,” she says.

Manisha Fernandes, 24, a financial analyst, owns a Thunderbird and a Yamaha motorbike, which she rides in the club. “I like this club because the atmosphere is like a family. I have been riding for six years,” she says.

The group regularly holds workshops on caring for and repairing bikes, which take place at Mocha Mojo. Amlani is a biker who owns three motorbikes. “If I don’t go on my bike at least once a week, I get withdrawal symptoms. Nothing clears your head more than a bike ride,” he explains.