A loud rumble breaks the silence of the dawn, as Indirapuram resident Pankaj Singh kick starts his 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle to set out on a 300km adventure ride.
He is joined by other enthusiastic Bullet riders from Ghaziabad.
A club called ‘Reborn Riders’ was started by Singh in 2012 and has more than 150 members at present who regularly go for long road trips to find solace from the bustling city and professional life. The group members go on up to ten road trips each year, mostly from September to November and February to April.
“We have touched all the places within a 300km radius of Delhi. The visit to the Lahun-Spiti valley in Himachal was one of the most exciting and challenging trips due to the difficult terrain. Some places had no roads while others were rocky,” 29-year-old Singh said.
The members said that the experience of road trips becomes more memorable when crisis hits them on their journeys.
They said that there has not been a single trip when their bikes did not break down. Moreover, accidents are also a part of their adventure.
“I broke my shoulder bone last year on our way to Bilaspur. We were 12 riders in all and we were going to a village near Manali. It became all the more challenging because I had to get back home the next day and could not leave my bike behind. Hence, I had to ride the bike all the way through the rough patches with a broken shoulder,” said Nitin Kamboj, a member of the group who owns a 350cc Thunderbird bike.
Kamboj said that the longer trips mostly entail lesser members while shorter trips have more number of riders.
“The minimum number of riders was on the ride to Spiti valley, as just eight members travelled. We recorded the highest number of riders on a trip to Karnal, which had around 50 bikers,” said Kamboj, who works as a styling expert in a reputed cosmetics brand.
These mean machines cost well over Rs. 1 lakh but owning a Bullet bike is a source of pride for the riders.
“I was introduced to the Bullet in 2009 by a friend. It was love at first sight and I decided to buy one for myself. I had to save up and also had to get finance for the bike. But the wait was worth it,” said Singh, who is a businessman.
All the members not only share the passion of being bikers, but also a special bond caused by the rattling machines. They said the bike and rides are their addiction and passion.
“I cannot express the passion I have for my bike in words. In a year, if I don’t go on at least six 300-400 kilometre road trips, it feels like there is something missing in my life,” said KK Gautam, an IT professional.
“Majority of my close friendships are through the Bullet riding club only. Whether we are on breakfast rides to Karnal or on eight-day long trip to Leh-Ladakh, the bond gives us an exhilarating experience,” said Priyank Joshi, a freelance writer.