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
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.