Riders of a feather – RE RIDERMANIA

Saeed Akhtar visits Rider Mania in Goa and witnesses the common thread that binds Bulleteers together
Photography: Saeed Akhtar

Saeed Akhtar visits Rider Mania in Goa and witnesses the common thread that binds Bulleteers together
Photography: Saeed Akhtar

Every year hundreds of Royal Enfield faithfuls, or ‘Bulleteers’ as we fondly call them, converge upon Goa for a two-day carnival, a more impressive bikers’ meet compared to any other in the country. This year Royal Enfield graciously provided me with a Classic 350, the possession of which would make me a Bulleteer and thus enable my entry into this elite echelon comprising solely Bullet riders. To get there, I teamed up with Pune’s famous Bullet club, the Roadshakers.

Upon reaching Vagator in Goa I followed Praveen Sathaye, the Royal Enfield chap, who took me to the Cochicos resort, a quaint little resort that had been booked for the media. After a quick dinner with other members of the media, I turned in early in anticipation of an exciting day ahead.

The next day began with a sumptuous breakfast, after which I went for my first view of the main Rider Mania venue. A huge area enclosed by red and black banners, the venue was divided into five main parts – the eating area, the stage, exhibitions, screening area and shops selling various Royal Enfield merchandise.

At the far end, glistening chrome beckoned and I made my way over there to feast on some exquisitely modified Bullets. It was uplifting to see the creativity of these Indian builders, who, despite being handicapped by the unavailability of custom parts, have carved out a niche for themselves in the second largest motorcycle market in the world.

As in previous Rider Mania editions, there were a host of events designed for the people to showcase their riding skills. The first one was the ‘figure of eight’ wherein a team of four riders were to carve the aforementioned figure in a small area without putting down their feet even once. Local lads Faizal, Sunil, Arun and Prajyot from Café Bullet Goa clinched the event.


In the ‘slow race’ event, Café Bullet Goa kept up the winning spree with Arun dominating the event, followed by Junaid from Bengaluru. As evening descended, Bengaluru-based Indian rock band Thermal and a Quarter took the stage by storm, belting out one chart-buster after another from their considerable repertoire of hits.

For those who had honed their riding in the dirt, Rider Mania 2010 didn’t disappoint. In the  dirt track event the next day, Roadshakers (Pune) dominated the event in its totality-Baljeet Gill in the 500cc category and and Pravin Patil in the 350cc category respectively. the armwrestling competition for both the sexes was another huge draw,being the ideal platform for the hardened Bulleteers  to flaunt their carefully chiseled brawn. Tejas Dutta from Delhi won the men’s event while Shannon from the host state itself utterly ruled the women’s round.

The camaraderie and joy and jollity at this superbly orchestrated event has to be seen to be believed. Events like these are a regular occasion in foreign countries and Royal Enfield deserve to be commended for not only concentrating on selling bikes, but also endeavouring to provide the riders a common platform where they can come together and mingle. And now, if you will excuse me, I am off to the gym to pump some iron for the next year’s event!


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

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