It’s said no road is too long when you have good company. The city’s biking community headed out this New Year’s Eve for a long ride, enjoying the company of their groups and taking in the joys of nature.
Groups chose destinations suitable for an extended weekend getaway from Bengaluru.
Bikers see many advantages to ringing in the new year away from the city. They get to see nature and avoid traffic snarls and mad crowds.
Some biking enthusiasts took advantage of the long weekend and set out earlier. Others joined them at convenient points on the trip.
Arun Kumar, aka GoPro Man, is a YouTuber who regularly explores new places. The group camped at a coffee estate in Madikeri on December 31. The bikers reached two days ahead, on Saturday, and spent New Year’s Eve in the middle of a quiet forest. In fact, they took grills and cooking equipment along and cooked their meals there as well.
“One day, we checked out Mallali Falls and rode to one of the hilly areas. It was a bit of a challenge as the roads are in a bad shape because of the landslides a couple of months ago. We had to be careful when riding, but we managed a speed of about 40 km,” says Arun.
The group of 12 is happy it ushered in the new year away from the hustle and bustle of the city. “We didn’t want to make a big deal of January 1, to be honest. We came here for four days and each day has been a celebration,” says Arun.
Another group, The 5th Gear Riders, travelled to Varkala, Kerala. Their to-do list included forest camping and chilling at a beach for five days. They rode from the city via Thenmala.
Anish Singh, rider and admin of the Bangalore chapter, told Metrolife that Varkala had been on the group’s bucket list for a while. “We were spellbound when we saw pictures. We chose to go via Thenmala dam as it’s a crowd puller,” he says.
Most riders who joined the trip were meeting for the first time. “Over the course of two days, it was great to see everyone getting closer and having a great time. It was really special to share New Year’s Eve with these amazing people,” says Anish.
A total of 22 went on the trip and came back with the impression that the Ponmudi trek and the hairpin bends were strikingly memorable.
Another group took out a ride on Sunday to protest against the reduction of the Bannerghatta National Park eco-sensitive zone area. Shylesh M, chairman of the Association of Biking Community, says the awareness campaign was a success.
“Due to mining and construction near the Bannerghatta zoo, the animals have been moving away. They are unable to tolerate the sound. Also, because of lack of water, the animals and trees are slowly disappearing,” he says.
The group began its ride from Town Hall and went via Bannerghatta Road, with 50 bikers collecting 45,000 signatures from various associations to spread awareness.
“There’s a general notion that bikers are rash and only want to have fun. It’s the exact opposite. We always ensure we are safe and riding gear is a must. We always follow single or two-lane discipline and use our love for biking for more than just feeling the wind in our hair,” says Shylesh.
They are hoping that their awareness ride brings about a change and this year will be a good one for all.
Where they went
The 5th Gear Riders
Thenmala, Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram.
About 1,800 km.
Departure: Dec 29. Arrival: Jan 2.
Join the group? Call 9019422763 or email email@example.com
Association of Biking Community
Town Hall, Bengaluru, to Bannerghatta.
About 21 km.
Departure: Dec 29.
Cause: ‘Stop mining and construction in eco-sensitive areas of Bannerghatta.’ Join the group? Log on to www.abcbangalore.com
The GoPro Man
About 265 km.
Departure: Dec 29. Arrival: Jan 1.
Join the group? Follow GoPro.man on Instagram