Gauri Lokare joins a gathering of 660 Bullets for Rider Mania 2009
Photography by Gauri Lokare & Aditya Bedre




All of us know that light travels faster than speed. A certain variety of motorcycles is an exception to the rule though. The sound from Royal Enfield motorcycles reaches you way before the sight of these heavy duty machines. The thump of more than 660 Bullets echoed in the dense Nilgiris in January this year. The reason for this rumble? Rider Mania ’09 was about to commence.

In its seventh season now, Rider Mania is a Bullet congregation coined, owned and executed by Bullet riders across the country to elevate the culture of biking brotherhood. It was the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club (RTMC) from Bangalore who staged the most yearned for biker party of this year and that too in true RTMC style. The preparations for being a part of this two day fest commences months before the scheduled event. There’s a lot these diehard bikers have to take care of right from shopping for new riding gear, polishing, servicing and revamping the bikes to applying for leave from work and in some cases, even resigning from work. That’s how serious this event is to the Bullet fraternity. And why wouldn’t it be? Rider Mania is for Bulleteers what Essel World is for 10-year-olds. It’s where hardcore bikers become kids again. You see professionals, youngsters, bachelors, workaholics and even senior citizens unleashing their inner child and doing what they do best – taking it easy and having fun.

Prashant from RTMC presenting a burnout

This year, a host of kids were also seen running around showing signs of being promising bikers

Roadshakers bagged the first place for the ‘Overall Trophy

At the 2009 fest, the only role I had to play was that of a hardcore Bulleteer. And given the circumstances of the event, it was hardly a task. With great music, food, location, chilled beer at throwaway rates, old buddies, new friends, eye-candy Bullets, more beer, mindless chatter about motorcycles, riding experiences, biker events and competition parties throughout the fest; it is quite normal for anyone to act like a complete maniac. The highlight of the event was the spectacular group ride where a pack of 660 Bullets rode in a two-by-two formation through the hilly and twisted roads of Ooty. The entire small town was bedazzled, first with the sound of thumping motors and then, at the sight of these torquey machines themselves. Adding more delight to the ongoing festivities were the host of individual and team events such as riding on the figure of 8, slow race, arm wrestling, ‘The Pusher Man’ (won by team RTMC) and ‘Pump it up’ (won by Roadshakers). Mad Bulls from Chennai who rode in a pack of more than a 100 bikers bagged the special trophy for making a spectacular club entry. In the race for ‘Overall Trophy of the Event’, it was Roadshakers, Pune who claimed the first place followed by Inddiethumpers, Mumbai.

Apart from the regular Bullet clubs in the country who were present, this year interestingly saw a host of new Bullet brotherhoods coming to light even from far off places like Latur, Kolkata, Chandigargh and Shillong. The country’s largest biker fest attracted a few international guests as well. In its first edition, the event which attracted just 150 riders has escalated to over 660 riders this year with many more gatecrashers. This in itself is a testimony to prove just how popular Rider Mania and biking brotherhood have become in this country. I need to take a moment here and thank RTMC for the painstaking effort they put in to host such a brilliant Rider Mania 2009 and more so for executing it perfectly.

There is something remarkable about us Bulleteers. How else can one explain over 660 riders from 42 cities across the country taking time out of their respective busy lives and quotidian activities to be present at a single designated time and venue? The commitment they showed by just making it to Rider Mania speaks volumes about the strong bond between Bulleteers. It’s amazing to witness the intense passion and respect which these riders have towards their steeds as well as fellow bikers. They come together for two days and act as if they have known each other for ages. A smile, a hug and a Bullet is all it takes for them to bond forever.

Mad Bulls Chennai came in a count of more than 100 Bullets

Abbhas from Inddiethumpers poses for the camera

Big hugs to all the sponsors who made this event possible


Bike India Team – who has written posts on Bike India.

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