A group of riders on the way to the bikers’ meet. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
Members of 15 city motorcycle clubs rode to Azad Hind Dhaba on NH2 and talked two-wheelers over pakora and chai, making the biggest bikers’ meet in the city a vrooming success.
The breakfast run on December 16 was a precursor to the India Bike Week in Goa, scheduled for February 2 and 3. Over 10,000 bikers from across the country are expected to take part in the event. The city ride, in which 180 riders took part, was organised by India Bike Week’s ambassador in Calcutta, Irfan Ahmed.
“We decided to get together and work out the logistics of taking part in the India Bike Week. Most of the bikers here are going to ride to Goa for the show. It’s going to be India’s first ever and largest bike meet,” said Irfan, who is among the first Harley-Davidson owners in the city.
The Sunday morning meet saw the participation of 30 Harleys — including the Fatboy, Superglide, Street Bob, 48, Iron 883, SuperLow, Street Glide and the Softail Heritage — mostly because of the efforts of Navin Sehgal, the secretary of the Harley Owners Group (HOG), Bengal Chapter.
Superbikes were fewer but most of the participants made up in enthusiasm what they lacked in horsepower. There were 10 bikes with top speeds of more than 300kmph and some of them were capable of doing 0 to 100kmph in just over two seconds.
No wonder, as the bikers rode down the highway, even truckers gave way and much of the traffic stopped.
“Lots of people were standing by the road, watching us and waving. The two-wheelers zooming ahead was a spectacle,” said Irfan.
The bikers started the ride individually or in groups from a specific point decided earlier. Bikes of similar make preferred to stick together through the journey. For instance, the Bullet owners rode in a bunch, making a statement and showcasing their brand loyalty. The moderator of the Enfield Bullet Group, Arijit Bhattacharya, was among them.
Apart from the HOG, Bengal Chapter, the bikers’ clubs represented at the meet included the oldest, Eastern Bulls, World on Wheels, Falcon Motorsports Club, Born Free Riderz, K Bikers, Xmph, Kolkata Riders, Knight Krawlers, Caravan Biking, Royal Riders, Adventure Ahead and Wild HGs.
Shankar Murarka, who’s studying to be a chartered accountant and is the moderator of the Falcon Motorsports Club, helped Irfan organise the event. The compere was another Harley owner, Zubin Songadwala, ITC Sonar Calcutta general manager and director of the HOG’s Bengal Chapter. The moderator of the event was veteran superbiker Ved Dhote, who turned up in a full leather suit.
Eastern Railway will run 12 more trains from Sealdah to Bongaon, Gobardanga, Habra and Naihati from Wednesday.