Rider Mania 2004 – Mumbai – Goa – By Prem Joseph

Every good thing in life has to come to an end, but the good thing about that is we know that its not the end of the road and we’ll have these days again. Rider Mania 2004 was one of those experiences. After a lot of hue and cry the Chief was finally declared Road worthy for the Goa trip and that too at 2300 hrs on the 7th.

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DAY One 08/01/04
All set to leave at 0545 hrs on the 8th from the Leela’s and then from Chembur at 0620hrs. The group had been given strict instructions that those who were not on time would have to catch up later on as there would be no waiting business this time. So at sharp 0445 hrs on the 8th I’m up to check my kit one final time. Never had prepared so much for a trip before. New leather jacket, new bungi chords and net, spark plug, chain lock, new camera and not to mention the new retro silencer I had put on the Tbird (Chief). Man I was so excited that my room mate even commented that I was behaving like a teenager going on his first date. Hah what does he know what RM is all about and above that what the InddieThumpers are. Anyways with a full tank I’m at Leela’s at 0530 hrs 15 min before schedule to meet Sunny at 0545 he doesn’t turn up and at 0550 I decide to move on. Reach Chembur along with Rasik and the customary yelling and hugging goes on while a few irritated crows decided to leave their nesting trees, guess they never thought they would be disturbed like this before sunrise. Leave the place at 0645, late but none the less a marked improvement from the usual IST. Picked up a couple of guys from Vashi though there was no stop and then proceeded to Panvel where Gautam, Dino, Rose and Calvin joined us. The grp (21 bikes) decided to stop next only at Mahad. And so we thumped ahead. 50 odd kms down the line where the turn for Alibagh and Pajim comes Rasik who was leading the packdecided to stop for a cig I guess but waves on those behind him which was me and Vijay. So we both rode on oblivious that there was no one behind us. The roads at 8 in the morning with a thin fog and the slightly chilly weather was paradise. The new thump of the Chief with the retros were music to my ears. Vijay and I ripped at an avg of 100 to 110 till 0900 hrs. When we decided to stop 4 the others. The first bike to arrive at the spot was Rasik at 0945 hrs and we waved him along. By 1000 hrs majority of the grp had passed us and we decided to move again, after a light breakfast.

Ripped again to our hearts content again. Anthon and Hemal had decided to ride along with us by then with Anthon in the lead. It was pure pleasure driving with these guys especially Anthon in the Ghats. I just had to follow his path and I we were clocking an avg of 90 km/hr even on the Ghats. Have never done such speeds on the Ghats before. Vijay and Hemal had a few close escapes with Hemal nearly racing off the road on the Ghats. Anyways by 1200 hrs we touch Chiplun and decide to wait 4 the others and have lunch. Sunny, Pritam, Anil and a guy whose name I believe was Ameen turn ! up by around 1230 hrs. We get the bad news that Gautam had a fall just b4 Chiplun and his bike has been taken to a workshop close by for repairs. Me and Vijay get there relieved to find that Gautam ok though the shocks of Whispering Thunder would have to be changed which would take a couple of hrs. Anthon, Vijay, Hemal, Pritam, Ameen and I decide to move on at 1400 hrs as there’s no point in all of us waiting. With Anthon at the lead again we go ahead ripping to glory. Man! Anthon made the group do something like 200 odd kms before we stopped. Mid way Ameen’s bike stalled and we find theres no engine oil. I stopped along with Vijay and Pritam but couldn’t wave down Anthon and Hemal. Vijay went ahead and picked up oil and rode back. Its a pity I must say some people aren’t grateful enough coz after that we never heard of this character. Apparently he decided to stay else where and never decided to meet us again.

Anyways we reached the Goa Check point at 1930 hrs and catch up with Hemal and Anthon who had reached half and hour back. By 2030 hrs we reach Calangute to be greeted by Bruce and the gang ( Bilal, Yash, Dilip, Zenosh, Amith and his fiance) They were supposed to reach on the 7th but stayed overnite coz a couple of the guys found it too tiring. The 8th nite was pretty relaxing. Spent sometime at a shack on the Calangute beach. While on the beach got news of the others on their way. Abhishek, Menon, Vishy, Bozi decided to stop some 100 kms before Goa as Vishy was nearly falling asleep on his bike. Sir DJ had a fall and had to keep his bike at a hospital at Ratnagar and carry on in a car. The flat was pretty congested with just 3 rooms and 30 odd people. Hemal, Bruce and I pile into a double bed and call it a day.Bilal did try his luck to pile in but was thrown out of the bed by the three of us.

DAY Two 09/01/04
Got up lazily to find Gautam and Rasik in the room too. Apparently they reached pretty late and were chilling out at Tito’s from till the wee hours in the morning. By around noonish we move to Brittos at Baga. After the customary beers and oogling at the scantly dressed firangs we decide to test the waters of Baga. By now Saxena had also joined us and we ( Bruce, Saxena, Vishy, Vijay, Rasik, Subbu and I) have a gala time in the water. Dipesh decided to do show off his muscles in the Bhaga water after some time only to be attacked by Bruce, Vijay, Saxens and myelf. The poor guy was first immersed in water and then subjected to a sandstorm. Was great fun to see Dipesh in his white Jockeys run for his life. After some lite shopping we move to a fav joint of mine on Calangute beach for lunch. Ok guys heres the menu – Prawn Vindaloo, Chicken Cafreal, Stuffed Crabs, Roast Pork, beef chops, Grilled Kingfish, Crab Curry, Port Wine, Beer, Irish Cofee and banana split. Man those who weren’t there what can I say……. there are some things in life that u just cant miss.With such a heavy lunch we decided a couple of us decided to crash out for sometime. Spent the evening arranging Sir DJ’s air ticket back to Mumbai on the 10th and a drop. Plus we got the patches made from Mumbai stitched on to our brand new leather jackets. Man they really looked cool. Rasik and a couple of guys took the initiative of arranging a booze party in the evening. Goa and booze……. take a wild guess guys on how it must have been. The party went on in its usual flow with booze and the laughter all around. That when Goli (Sameer) and I for some reason had a discussion. Before u know it Goli and I cleared the centre table and decided to end an argument with an arm wrestling match. Man that created the whole atmosphere. Soon there was an official InddieThumpers arm wrestling match. Who was the winner? Well overall Zico defeated me once and in a rematch I defeated him. Otherwise we lost to none other. Zenosh was definetely one of the hot favourites and when I had a match with him the guy proved to be stronger than I thought.

With all the Daru over and arms aching we moved on to Calangute beach for Dinner. Had a huge table set on the beach and placed the orders for everyone. Bilal I guess had a few too many drinks and lets say was feeling a bit too generous, throwing his wallet all over the beach. But hey, then these are the things that make a party complete. Way to go Bilal! On the way back Dilip uncle met with a small accident with a Kinetic and broke the bikes headlight. Nothing major but it hurts when its on a new bike. The rest of the nite was pretty peaceful except for Subbu’s Snoring.

Day Three 10/01/03 – RIDER MANIA
The reason why we are here has come. Everyone was visibly excited. Helmets and bikes were being cleaned, jackets were being donned, guys were actually going to a near by saloon for a shave!!! Bruce and I put up the two flags that were made the previous nite on sticks and had them put on the bikes. It was decided that Bruce and I would lead the pack and there would be no overtaking and the speed would be 50 odd. Guys the feeling is one Im sure anyone who has ridden with us would know about. And I was feeling xtra proud coz I was leading the pack. Thanx to all the senior members who let me do so. Tony and his friend met us mid way and lead the pack with their Honda City in front. It was a sight to see. 34 bullets and the honking mania. A couple of passerbys even started to honk the Thumper honk. And the entry we made was amazing imagine all the honking with the bikes riding down the slope to Riva resort.

Once in the resort we did what we did the best. The moment we heard free Beer the waiters had a tough time. Saw a couple of cool looking bikes modified, new and old ones. The best part was the ideas we got for future changes we may want to put on our bikes.Couple of bottles down and majority of us moved to the beach with our bottles to check out the firangs and the rate the stock. The best part was when Goli man decided to use Calvin (3 yr old) as a pretext to get close to the dames on the beach. By evening Sachin (REM) called us for a beach football match. From the Inddie Thumpers Bruce, Vijay, Abhishek and I decided to play with me and Abhishek on one team and the other two with others on the other. Sidhartha Lal joined us after sometime and made the mistake of joining the other team. Poor fellow came in front of me and got the kick of his life that kept him on the sand for a few mins and finally retired hurt. Hehehe..No guys it wasn’t intentional.

The rest of the evening was as usual with beer and guys rocking the dance floor. Must admit the Rolling Thunder made the loudest noise but the Inddies horn was also playing on the floor courtesy Zico, who had bought one of those hand horns. By around 2330 hrs we decided to ride back as it was a good 30 km ride and quite a few of the guys were pretty high. The ride back was ok till at some place we got stuck in a major jam of some Sat nite market and were stuck there for a good 30 mins. The only good thing about that was the dames we got to check out there. Looked like the doors of Dame Land had opened up and they too were staring at the leather clad bull hoisted guys. Once we reached the flat found out that Bozi had blown up a tyre and had to leave the bike back. Decided to pick up the bike the next day.

Day Four 11/01/03
Guys got a bit grogy and it was unanimously decided not to go to RM for the proposed ride. We were planning to go to Paloleim beach which was some 80 odd kms from Calangute, when Zen, Bruce, Vijay and Abhishek decided thay were moving on to Jog Falls Shimoga some 180 kms from Goa, and return to Mumbai on the 13th nite. Dilip, Yash and Kumar decided to move and stop mid way for the nite and reach Mumbai on the 13th. So after the usual hugging, farewells and promises to meet at Carter took place and at 1330 hrs the rest of us decided to move to Porvorim circle to another fav joint of mine called O’Coquiero. Here goes the menu again-Pork Chops, Roast Piglet, Grilled Pomfret, Kingfish Curry, Chicken Cafreal, Pork Chops, Beef Steak, Grilled Crabs, Butter chicken, Beer, Wine, Margaritas, Tequilla shots et al. Only poor Hemal looked lost with his veg curry and rice. Well as to how good the food was?……….. I guess it’s evident that all the guys went back and crashed for a good two hours. Allwyn’s sister joined us later on with her friend. Man she must’ve been frightened with the way we were hogging away to glory.

The evening was spent quietly on the Baga beach with a few drinks and a very lite dinner. It was planned that Gautam, Anil, Subbu and Myself would be the first batch to leave at 0430 hrs and the next batch would Anthon at 0500 hrs and Rasik would bring along whoever was left by 0600 hrs.

Day Five 12/01/03 – Bye, Bye, Goa
Up at sharp 0400 hrs and was all set to go by 0430. The other guys were also ready and we left by 0445. Before leaving Subbu asked me if it would be very cold. Little did I know what lay ahead of us when I said it would be slightly chilly. After and hour or so of riding my fingers were so numb that I could’nt feel my fingers. Thats when I decided to change my half gloves for the full ones. I waved the guys ahead and stopped to take out the gloves from the bag. Guys Im not exaggerating. my fingers had become so numb that I was struggling to open the bag for 20 mins and I couldnt even open my jackets zipper. Luckily a local came along and helped me out. Caught up with the gang after 45 mins. We stopped at this place called Ratnaghar or Rajaghar where Yash and the guys had stopped for the nite. Kumars bike’s battery was giving him some problems and they had a mech working on it. There were 4 firangs on bull who were on their way from Mumbai to Goa! Well guess what they had heard about The Thumpers and knew what we were all about. They couldnt believe their luck when we told them Anthon was on his way behind us, coz as per someone recommendation they had gone to his garage only to be told he had gone to Goa. Anthon arrived half an hour earlier with Hemal but the firangs were luckless coz Anthon true to his nature zoomed by and failed to notice us standing there. Rasik joined us by 0930 hrs with Dipesh and Bilal. At 0945 hrs Rasik and I with Gautam decided to carry on. The ride was pretty much eventless but it was nature at it best and Ghats were simply superb, except for the fact that there was a trail of oil on the highway for a good 30 kms. Rrasik and I actually skidded a couple of times over it. We finally caught up with the culprit, a truck as expected with a Transformer on it whose oil was spilling. We stopped the guy and forced him off the highway. After giving him a piece of our mind the guy took the truck to a nearby pertrol pump and started to fix the problem. From there on the speed became full throttle with no stops except once when me and Amith had to stop to remove a pup from middle of the highway. reached Chiplun at 1200 hrs and had a lite lunch we moved on. Lost the group midway coz my clutch cable broke. Was feeling a bit sleepy durin the day with the heavy lunch and early morning but managed to do speed of 80 to 90 . At 1700hrs reached Panvel to find Rasik arguing with a cop coz he didnt have his papers. The Dick actually convinced the guy to let him go by saying he’d arrange a loan for him the UTI branch of Panvel hahahha!! Anyways, bid him good bye at Belapur and reached home at 1815 hrs.

When I look back at this trip………guys I dont know how to say. Was it faultless….. definately not, could it have been organised better….. probably, Was it worth it…………. anyday, would I do it again……………. WHEN DO WE LEAVE. Signing out with memories that would last for a long time and with hopes the next trip is round the corner.

Written by Prem Joseph of Inddiethumpers


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