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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Travelogue: Delhi to Manali on a Royal Enfield Continental GT

Royal Enfield hosted the ‘Reunion North’ weekend-long event at Manali from August 1st to 3rd.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: August 12, 2014 9:43:39 pm


The Royal Enfield Continental GT on the way to Manali. The Royal Enfield Continental GT on the way to Manali.

Royal Enfield hosted the ‘Reunion North’ weekend-long event at Manali from August 1st to 3rd. The event took place at the Citrus Manali Resorts set few kms before the city. The event that was to be held on Saturday was expected to attract more than 100 participants from North Indian cities of New Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Ludhiana amongst many other cities. Organized at one of the best hill stations of Northern India, the town is surrounded by beautiful green mountains and landscape, serving as the perfect setting for the event.

The ride to Manali began after a short briefing at the Royal Enfield’s Saket, New Delhi dealership at 4.30 am in the morning. Riding out of the cramped city of Delhi proved to be easy but it took us some time to negotiate the ring road to get onto the NH1. The first stop came at the Rasoi Dhaba for some morning ‘Chai’ before a planned breakfast stop at Karnal. We were aboard the Continental GT Café Racer for the ride to Manali and it helped us cover the distance fairly quickly. After the breakfast stop at Karnal, the group proceeded further towards Manali.

At Ambala we took left towards Ludhiana to bypass Chandigarh city via Ropar town. By noon we had crossed Rupnagar and Kiratpur Sahib to start the arduous journey through Swarghat and Bilaspur. The roads were in terrible shape resulting in a very uncomfortable ride but we kept moving forward. Through rains, mud and some slush we managed to reach Mandi. As the average speeds had dropped due to the poor condition of the roads, exhaustion crept in.

By 7.30pm riders started reaching the Citrus Manali Resorts and by 9.30pm everyone had settled into their rooms and ready for dinner after the registration process was completed. Royal Enfield announced the plans for the following day and the day ended with a party, dinner and some music along with a bonfire that kept everyone warm as the cold wind blew over the city from the Himalaya.

Day 2

The day began on a slow note as many riders who were tired from the previous day’s ride remained asleep till late in the morning. Those few who were up and about early in the morning decided to head to Rohtang Pass for a quick ride up the mountain pass situated at an altitude of 13050 ft. There were also some new riders who reached the venue in the morning for the events taking place. The breakfast was sumptuous and left a smile on everyone’s face.

People signed up for the ‘Krav Maga’ session once the breakfast was over. Krav Maga is a form of self defense taught to the military in Israel which has its techniques derived from various forms of martial arts. The session on self defense lasted 2 hours at the resort lawns and the participation was limited to 20 people on first come first serve basis.

By the time Krav Maga was over with several riders who were exploring the city were back at the hotel for Lunch. Post lunch the events began and it started with the ‘Slow Race’. The event saw a large number of participants trying to cross the finish line in the slowest way possible. Some participants had excellent balance while others went across their line and were disqualified. The excitement amongst the crowd grew with the first event as it set pace for the rest of the competitions to follow.

Next in line was the ‘Carry Your Bike’ event which saw many participants and a crowd that cheered them on! The teams consisted of groups of four members each in it. When the event started some members made a dash for the finish line carrying their heavy Enfield motorcycles with them. It was one of the toughest events as the participants had heavy machinery to carry through the finish line. The crowd cheered them on throughout the event and onto the next one.

‘Figure of 8’ was the next event and in that the participants had to expertly maneuver their motorcycles without putting their foot down or running their bikes on the line. It was a tough event and many participants failed to do it. However there were a talented few who managed to do it in very little time. When this event concluded everyone moved on to the ‘Arm Wrestling’ event.

The ‘Arm Wrestling’ event attracted a massive crowd of onlookers and observers from the Royal Enfield fraternity. Some of the bouts lasted a while as the participants were equally powerful while the others didn’t for more than a few seconds. The crowd cheered wildly and motivated the participants to do their best. It was an event that brought out the best from everyone present there.

‘Beer Drinking’ competition followed Arm Wrestling and saw a lot of enthusiastic participants entering the event to drink the most beer in the shortest period of time. Once the final event was over the prize distribution was held after a short break in the evening. The prize distribution showed the camaraderie of all the riders that rode to Manali to be part of the Reunion North. The prizes were given to the runner-ups and 1st place winners.

Royal Enfield had tied up with ‘Ride Inn’ – a new Biker Café and Guesthouse at Shanag Village, Manali to serve some delicious starters on both the nights. The new Biker Café serves as a destination for bikers in Manali as it is made up of motorcycle parts and offers a peaceful abode for travelers. Apart from serving starters from its stall at the event it also hosted staff at its guesthouse from Royal Enfield.

Once everyone was done with the starters, the main course began but not before the DJ had the beats flowing and had everyone’s foot tapping on the dance floor. Once the music stopped, the rider stories began and continued late into the night. Next day however, everyone rode back to New Delhi and their respective cities. A few stayed back to explore Manali, ride to Rohtang pass and onwards to Ladakh.

Royal Enfield Reunion North was a great success and brought together several enthusiastic Enfield riders from across the Northern part of our country in a single location. It showcased the best motorcycles that the brand has on offer along with its ability to put together exciting events for motorcyclists. It was well organized and a lot of fun. The next major event is the Rider Mania scheduled to take place in November and will bring together thousands of Enfield enthusiasts and owners in a single place.

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