Gar­den City to Beach Town

While the main Bike In­dia team left for Goa from Pune, I got into the saddle from Bengaluru, rid­ing on some of the best roads in the coun­try

Bike India - - FEATURE INDIA BIKE WEEK 2017 - STORY: GIRISH SHETH PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: SAN­JAY RAIKAR

This was for the fifth year in suc­ces­sion that I at­tended the IBW and I must say that this unique festival is grow­ing big­ger and better by the year. Our ride from Bengaluru com­menced on 23 Novem­ber. This time we were astride the Kawasaki Ver­sys 650 thanks to our ride part­ners, Wicked Ride. The Wicked Ride lux­ury bike ren­tal founder trio — Vivek, Anil, and Varun — have al­ways been very sup­port­ive.

All the rid­ers where fully geared up for this 680-kilo­me­tre-long ride from Bengaluru to Goa. It was seven o’clock in the morn­ing when all the IBW-bound rid­ers from Bengaluru con­verged at the Peenya toll gate, the ren­dezvous de­cided upon ear­lier by all unan­i­mously. How can one for­get the sight at that early hour as more than 1,000 rid­ers con­verged there? Name the kind of bike and it was there — sports, tourer, cruiser, sport tourer, and ev­ery­thing else be­sides.

We never re­alised how we where cover­ing kilo­me­tre af­ter kilo­me­tre. Every now and then we would en­counter one of the rid­ing groups, each of whom had a own rid­ing style and for­ma­tion of their own. Amid all this fun and ex­cite­ment our first break came af­ter 380 km at a place called Varur for a quick break­fast. It was 10.00 am. With­out wast­ing too much time we rode on to­wards Be­la­gavi (erst­while Bel­gaum) that was an­other 120 km away.

Now it was time to exit the high­way and head to­wards Chorla Ghat which in­ter­sects the state borders of Goa, Kar­nataka, and Ma­ha­rash­tra. Travers­ing this zigzag sec­tion, about 50 km long, was great fun mainly on ac­count of the scenic beauty all around. The road was nar­row and full of twists and sharp bends. One has to be fo­cused while rid­ing up or down Chorla Ghat, es­pe­cially in this sea­son when many stretches of the road tend to be un­der re­pair. Soon we were at the IBW venue in Goa and the clock read 2.30 pm.

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