There are just a few times in the year that the quaint bylanes of Goa are filled with the rumbling exhaust notes of motorcyclists that flock the beach state from all over India. One of the biggest motorcycling events in the country and one of the most authentic as well, the Royal Enfield Rider Mania 2016, has come to a close on the sunny sands of Goa.
This year's event has grown substantially from the first Rider Mania eight years ago. In fact, the parking lots were larger than before and still managed to be completely filled up and turn rather noisy. Of course, all that noise could be attributed to a few testosterone-fuelled patrons who tend to forget that the full-throttle position is for when their motorcycles are actually in gear and the clutch is out.
Once inside the venue, visitors were greeted with the custom motorcycles that pitted against each other in the custom Enfield competition. While most of these models did appear quite stunning and innovative, riding them would presumably be a rather contrasting experience altogether. There were the cafés and food stalls positioned all over the venue that offered some pretty scrumptious menus.
This year the venue also witnessed a lot of motorcycling-inspired art. Helmet art, tank paintings and 3D canvas creations were a few of the ways artists showcased their creativity to communicate a motorcyclist’s lifestyle and expression. There were also film and photography workshops, as well as a motorcycle travellers' session during the day.
The evenings at Rider Mania transformed into a music festival that would make you forget this was a motorcycling event. There were electrifying acts like Sapta, Nucleya and The Reggae Rajahs that kept the crowds enthralled. The stand-up comedy acts ensured the patrons stayed light-hearted as well.
Activities such as the trials, carry-your-bike, slow-race and maze chase were put in place for riders to showcase their skill-sets and compete against fellow Enfield riders. Of course, for the adrenaline-inclined few, there was the dirt race. With more of a flat-tracking setup, some of the best riders pitted their almost stock machines against each other in a battle for victory. There were the 350cc, 500cc, women's and an all-new Himalayan, Novice and Expert categories. The highlight of all this was the 'Race of Champions', where the winners from all categories from this year and last were pitted against each other in a final showdown. With the Himalayans not performing so well on the track, Suhail Ahmed from Bangalore took the win on his 350cc Royal Enfield. All-in-all, this year's crowd seemed to have a pretty exciting experience. We can now only wait for the next year to see what RM 2017 has in store.