Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ride to Big Banyan tree and Manchebele dam - Bengaluru Jawa Yezdi Motorcycle Club

25 January 2009 -

On a cold Sunday morning, I and Lokesh had organized a breakfast ride to the Big Banyan tree. We sent out invites 2 weeks prior, to all the bikers. We awaited this day for a long time and both of us wanted to ride very badly. The recession and all other day to day activities had frustrated us to the core and I know that many riders too wanted to ride very badly since a long time after our last ride.

The day before the ride, I was very enthusiastic and got my Yezdi Roadking cleaned, serviced and polished for the big day ahead. I had to pester the mechanic to give my bike back as soon as possible. I finally got the bike at around 8PM that day, and I took the bike for a small ride and it was perfect. My mechanic Shannu had done a perfect job. At times I feel he has magic in his fingers. I got back home early that day, ate dinner and slept.

I woke up at 5:30am on Sunday; I already had the butterflies flying in my stomach about the big day. I got out of my bed in a jiffy, hurriedly took bath and put on my Jawa day T- Shirt with some warm clothing over it and set out after having a coffee. I had to be careful not to wake the neighborhood so had to push the bike till the end of the road to start it. Stunningly the bike started in just one kick. so I hit the open road on my “Yezdi Roadking”. I had to meet Lokesh near Devegowda petrol pump on the Ring road. I reached the Devegowda petrol pump in flat 12 minutes from Koramangala. Lokesh was already there more eagerly waiting and told me- do not stop lets us go. We were supposed to meet the other riders near Rarajeshwari Arch on the Mysore Road. I and Lokesh reached the place at 6:35am, to our surprise we found three more riders on their Yezdi and Jawa already awaiting us.

We introduced ourselves to them, meanwhile all the riders started ringing up to find out where we had assembled and bikes started pouring in one by one, by 7:15am we had 19 Bikes and around 25 riders. There were bikes ranging from 1962 to 1996 and also its riders ranging from all generations. There was a small photo shoot with all the bikers together with the JAWA flag. Then we hit the high way sharp at 7:30am. On the road the onlookers gave us a surprised look and also few of them stopped us to find out if the company had started and if these master pieces were still available.

The riders were so enthusiastic that they just took off and there were small diversions that had to be taken on the way, so I had to ride faster and take the lead. We had to take a diversion after the Rajarajeshwari Dental College which is about 15 kms from our assembly point. The diversion was indeed a very small one so we all had to wait for a short while for all the riders to join us. The road was bad initially, but just a few meters from the entry it improved and got better. The entire stretch of the road was neatly tarred with a lot of curves; this made the ride a more pleasurable one. We all felt our bikes were talking to the wind. We reached the Big Banyan tree in about half an hour’s time. One of the Co- riders Manish wanted to take a few snaps of the bikes and we explored a place there which was at the end of a dusty road but a very nice place with beautiful scenery. The bikes were all lined up in a row, there were totally 20 bikes. We also assembled accordingly with our bikes in the order of their seniority. The older bikes stood at the first and the new versions followed. A lot of photos were clicked by many and a few were taken with all the bikers with their respective bikes. There was a small huddle of riders who wanted a photograph with an old Jawa in the foreground and with the Jawa flag.

By then we were all hungry and wanted to refuel ourselves so that we could match the rigor the bikes were in. We found a small hotel on the main road where we treated ourselves with some yummy tatte idli and vada. We then thanked the hotel guy and our bikes roared again heading towards the Manchenbele dam.

The ride to Manchenbele dam also was a very pleasurable one, the roads were not as good as the ones near the Big Banyan tree but the best part was we had to ride through a village. A few village boys who were playing on the road stopped to watch us ride and waved at us. They were happy to see so many bikes at once roaring on the road. All the people in the village were just finishing their daily activities, there were a few people who were getting ready to go their field with a plough on their shoulders, ladies in the village were busy heating up water, a few of them were cleaning the front yard of their houses, sprinkling water. A few were in the process of worshiping the Tulsi plant in front of their houses. Many were decorating their front yard with Rangoli. They all stopped their work to see us riding through their village. They saw us in excitement and smiled.

There were a few old men in the village who were observing our bikes closely and had a smile on their face and the look on their face communicated to us. There, a particular old man who twitched his mustache and felt proud that the bikes of this age are again on the road and the look on his face said that yes I know these bikes.

The village roads were dusty and rocky, and they reminded me of the first ever billboard advertisement of The Ideal Jawa Company; it said “Bad Roads?... Switch to Yezdi! These bikes are indeed made for such rugged roads. I was observing a Bajaj pulsar that came along with us; the rider had a tough time riding on these roads unlike our bikes that easily zipped past.

We reached a small steep curve as well as a steep down hill; we had a very short stop over there. This was an elevated place and gave a very beautiful view of the Arakavathi Reservoir. We had to travel a bit more to reach the dam and the reservoir. All the bikers started again and reached the reservoir. There was a very small passage where only one bike could pass and all the Yezdi and the Jawa made through the passage with ease. We again assembled there for some photos and lot of fun. We exchanged views about maintaining the bike. A few riders wanted to restore their bike so they made enquires about good painters and tinkerers. There were a few riders who were not satisfied with their mechanics so wanted to change their mechanic. There were a lot of discussions about the availability of spares and good maintenance of the bike.

We all had a huddle again and I, Lokesh and Sam announced to the team that the International Jawa and Yezdi Day would be celebrated in 2009 too and we wanted people to help us organize the event this year. We then thanked the riders for their overwhelming response and accommodating time on a weekend morning to ride with us.

After all the fun we rode back to Bangalore and decided that we would head home and end it with a nice shower and lunch.

This was indeed a very splendid ride we all had, I would like to end this with a small saying which I do not know who said but is real “ We believe that the Machine you sit on can tell the world exactly where you stand and we do not care what every one else believes”.