They believe they can fly

Mean Machines

They believe they can fly

Here is a bunch of enthusiastic men who love their machines and what binds them together is their passion for riding. Around 220 Harley-Davidson bikers, including those from Tuskers Bangalore Chapter, headed out of the City in the wee hours of January 15 on a road trip to Goa.

This was as part of the second edition of the ‘National Harley Owners Group Rally’ at the India Bike Week, which is being held in Goa. Close to a 1000 Harley-Davidson owners and their families,  from across the country, are participating in the rally. Sharing their experiences with Metrolife, a few riders from the group say that it’s not just about the freedom and thrill that they experience, it’s also about the test of their commitment to biking.

All the riders, who are a part of the rally, say that a lot of planning goes on before they take off on a long journey. In addition to building their strength — both mental and physical — most of the riders take a lot of safety precautions. Not all of them are professional bikers. They come from different backgrounds. Zubin Major, an avid biker, was a pilot before he began to ride his Harley 20 years ago.

“Riding long distances on a Harley gives me the same thrill as flying. A lot of planning, involving safety measures, routes, food and refuelling stops, is done before the ride. What’s also under test is your endurance level,” explains Zubin. Shaik Firdos, a businessman, says he developed a passion for riding only after he bought himself a Harley.

“I don’t like racing on bikes. Long rides offer you a comfortable and peaceful journey. Nothing comes easy. It’s all risky but every journey can be made memorable with better planning,” he states.
 The route is tried and tested before the bikers set out on the journey. Mohammed Rizwan, another businessman, thinks long-distance riding offers him a sense of freedom. “You have to be extremely fit. In fact, biking inspires you to take up fitness and one can’t compromise on safety when on the road,” he reasons.

Mohammed adds, “The longer you go biking, the younger you will look and feel.” Vinayak Nayak, a professional, has been riding the Harley for the last one and a half years and this also happens to be his second year at the rally. “There is no other rally that gives you the opportunity to meet 800-odd bikers. You meet new people and make long-lasting friends at such events,” he notes.

Talking about the safety aspects, Sridhar Shetty, a safety officer, explains, “We make sure the riders don’t venture out without helmets, jackets and protective gears around the elbow and knee. The riders are also taken through a session on first aid and road safety before they head out.”

Salamth Sharieff, secretary of the Bangalore Chapter of ‘HOG’, informs that this year, five women have joined the rally. “This is how every long-distance biking works. There is a lead biker who controls the group. There is a marshall who coordinates the biking act and the last guy’s job is to ensure that no biker falls out. The bikers stagger when the road is free and on a crowded stretch, they ride in a single line. Riding entails a lot of discipline,” he concludes.

The bikers will return to the City after January 18. 

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