Rider Mania 2018: For the love of riding and its brotherhood
Headlined by the much-awaited Royal Enfield Twins, the Rider Mania 2018 was a celebration of the spirit of RE
While most of Goa is busy prepping for Christmas, made visible by the lit lanterns hanging colourfully from almost all the houses, North Goa was bustling with activities coupled with a familiar ‘thumping’ note. All roads near Vagator Beach led to Hill Top Goa. Why? Because that’s where the Royal Enfield Rider Mania 2018 was held, an event that attracts riders of REs from across the globe to gather along for three days of music, party, food, drinks and of course, lot and lots of bikes.
This time, the event happened in various locations, out of which two were in Hill Top Goa. While one among this is where the dirt track arena and evening events took place, the other, right opposite to the tracks, is where the parking space was allocated, along with different stalls including Royal Enfield’s. Post registration and getting a yellow wrist-band, riders parked their machines in the massive open parking lot that was manned to make sure only REs were allowed inside. Despite that, the insane level of modifications that the riders have done for their bikes made them all unique in their own ways.
Right past the parking was where the custom bikes were proudly displayed. After seeing an array of these man-made beauties, we were welcomed by a group of artists, right from those who do hand-made paintings of Royal Enfields to those who do custom helmet designs. Post that, a narrow passage, made of whiteboards that were graffitied by riders were present. The messages on these boards varied from mentioning their club names and their bike numbers to even sending messages to their friends who they had lost to the roads. Past the passage, there were a number of kiosks and a stage where a few events happened over the three-day event, was present. Royal Enfield’s own kiosk was also selling custom-made tees where, we get to choose the printing and tags that we ask for, from a catalogue of options, in a wide variety of colours.
On the first day, November 16, the day kickstarted with a Heritage Ride followed by the Men’s 350cc Novice and Expert races commenced. Meanwhile, the two bikes which made a huge difference to this year’s Rider Mania, the Twins - Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 - were unveiled to the riders, some of whom were lucky enough to test ride them too. While the Hill Top stage saw events such as Beer Drinking Competition, in Royal Enfield’s Garage Cafe at Baga, there was a detailed walkthrough of the history of the Twins. As the sun began to go down, one of this year’s biggest events happened. For the first time in Rider Mania, Maut Ka Kuan (well of death) was staged at the Night Market in Arpora. Six Royal Enfield riders rode their bikes one after the other on a near vertical wall as the audience got a birds-eye glimpse of the action from the top of the well. The rest of the evening saw the crowd moving towards the main stage where several artistes such as Paraphoniks, Divine and Indian Ocean, giving the audience a power-packed performance.
The next day’s ‘kick’ started with MotoBall - a sport similar to football but played with a larger ball while seated on a Royal Enfield bike. This was followed by the Slow Race and the ladies’ track race. At the same time, in the Hill Top, the Cleanest Bike Competition was held where the most sparkling clean bike of them all was crowned the champion. This was followed by Women’s Beer Drinking Competition, Carry Your Bike Competition and Assembly Wars where the team that assembles a bike the fastest, wins. Once again, the evening was studded with performances from the likes of Grain, Azadi and SU Real.
On the final day of Rider Mania, the last leg of races was conducted. There were also the Arm Wrestling Competition and Ring Toss Challenge. The last of the performances of the night were from Maati Baani, Prateek Kuhad and BLOT! who got the audience to a frenzy.
It was yet another fantastic Rider Mania and though the sun was unapologetic, that didn’t stop people from not getting out at the open and witnessing the event. An event that does not only bring in the best of riders beneath a single roof but also celebrates the joy of riding and the brotherhood. Riders from different clubs of different cities who had made friends in the previous years and finally got to catch up with others bid goodbyes, only knowing that the next time they’ll meet is two days short of another year.