Road Call

Riding on five high-end bikes,seven riders will undertake a journey of 16,500 kilometres across India.

Written by Rohan Swamy | Published: March 22, 2012 2:46:20 am

Riding on five high-end bikes,seven riders will undertake a journey of 16,500 kilometres across India. Their aim? To unite biking communities in the country. Titled the Grand Indian Roadtrip,this initiative is the brainchild of Sundeep Gujjar,who has an online portal called xBHP.com. In 2006,he had

organised a similar ride to understand the biking culture in India. This time,he has on board,apart from himself,

six riders — Sunil Gupta,Himanshu Gupta,Shivanshu Singh,Aashish Guliani,Sandeep Goswami and Abhishek Bhatt.

The trip that began in Delhi on March 11,was reportedly flagged off by over 200 bikers. “Since then,we have travelled through Jaipur,Ahmedabad,Mumbai and Pune. En route,we have had 17 bike groups ride with us,” says Goswami. “We have completed 3,000 kilometres till now,” adds Gujjar. To invite participation from people in different cities,he is documenting the ride on a day-to day basis on http://www.thegrandindianroadtrip.com. While this has details of the route followed by the team,riders from across India can also showcase their support by clocking their own kilometres in their respective cities and posting them on the portal. Lucky winners from each city will get a chance to ride along with the team for a set distance.

In addition,at the end of the trip,on April 25,the group plans to come out with a commemorative United Motorcyclists Jacket of India,which will have logos of all the motorcycle clubs of India. “This will then be sent to the various biking clubs as a souvenir. More importantly,it will unite them as bikers,” says Gujjar. Also documenting the ride will be a book,The Bikers Code of India,which will feature “the thoughts that race through the minds of bikers when they take to the roads”.

“In the coming years,the book will be like a constitution for all bikers in India. It will aim to capture the freedom associated with biking,” says Goswami.

The feedback received by the bikers will be recorded in a DVD,as part of the project titled Reasons to Ride,where bikers will ask riders in different cities to describe,in 30 seconds,their reason for wanting to ride a bike. The importance of the helmet,meanwhile,will be promoted through the campaign Helmets of Change. “We are taking along 20 white helmets through 30 cities,which will be signed by the riders. We are doing this to promote safe biking. I know it sounds clichéd,but the truth is that people do not follow basic road safety and that results in accidents. We want bikers to know that there is a way to enjoy it in a responsible fashion,” says Goswami,who has taken ample security precautions during the trip. Two riders are always in the safety car,a Mercedes SL-350. “The heat across the north has been terrible,hence when a rider gets tired,he rests and the other one picks up from there. As a result,we have not had any mishaps on the road and have not lost valuable time. The bikes are regularly checked for vital parameters and are repaired whenever needed,” says Gujjar .

The event is being sponsored by Castrol Power1 and the retinue of bikes include the likes of the high-powered Suzuki Bandit and Yamaha FZ-1 and the lower-end KTM-200,Honda CBR 250 and Kawasaki Ninja 250 superbikes. “The reason why we chose to take bikes that range from the 200 cc category to the 1250 cc category was two-fold — first,we wanted to prove that these bikes perform as well as the higher-end ones; and second,we wanted to test their road credibility when we travelled across the varying topography of the country,” says Gujjar.

From Pune,the bikers will travel to Goa and then down the south,before returning via the eastern coast to Delhi. “We don’t know when we will repeat this trip,but what I can say for a fact is whenever the roads call out,we will travel again,” says Gujjar.

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