Andrew James receiving the Biker of the Year 2011 Trophy
What started with thousands of passionate and committed motorcyclists from across the country submitting their profiles on-line to the Biker of the Year web portal CEAT presents Biker of the Year 2011 culminated in the biking brotherhood crowning two of its brothers as the Biker of the Yaer 2011 and the runner’s up for that title. Of the thousands who added their profiles on-line, post-screening, a select 195 of these were put up for public voting for 3 weeks. Of the high vote grossers, the choice was whittled down to the top 20 by a panel of xBhp judges. These select 20 again put up their video-profiles on-line for another round of voting and the top 6 were selected for the final round that was held today, on the 7th of August 2011, at the Big Wheels Motoring Café near Lonavla.
xBhp has been evolving as a universal platform for the ‘real’ biker, for motorcyclists sans celebrity status or exceptionally spectacular portfolios. It is a microcosm of the true spirit of motorcycling that resides, flourishes and evolves within both the ordinary and extra-ordinary among the bikers. The forum, the on-line and off-line bonding and sharing of ideas and knowledge, the magazine and those global level road-trips are all facets of motorcycling that reach out and inspire the everyday biker as much as it does the specialist. The Biker of the Year contest is one such facet that was aimed at inspiring and inviting the passionate and committed bikers amongst us, to give them a reason and an opportunity to share and highlight the meaning motorcycling has for them and the influence it holds over their lives and those of others close to them. It was aimed as a canvas that each rider could paint in his/her own way and share it with the world. And they did it all with a gusto. The response was overwhelming and the personae that came forth from the profile evoked respect, inspired the soul and highlighted the passion that riding two-wheels gave birth to. It was a momentous day that culminated with Andrew James and Jean Daniel being crowned the winner and runner-up respectively for the Biker of the ear 2011 title. The response that this maiden effort has evoked encourages us to make this a bigger and better event each coming year and for many more that will follow.
The contestants started arriving a day before at the venue which also had boarding and lodging facilities for them. All six finalists were in by late evening and so were the xBhp team and members of the jury. It was truly a biker’s dinner on the 6th August night at Big Wheels Motoring Café.
The big day dawned to overcast skies and a light drizzle. Monsoon was in full swing in the area and the verdant greenery was a testimony to the abundant liquid sunshine that the region had been blessed with over the past few weeks. We were expecting a good turnout of bikers from both Mumbai and Pune but began to have doubts as the rain seemed incessant. But the were glad to be proven wrong when riders started arriving in numbers and soon the huge hall and arena of BWMC was full of jacket-clad and helmet totting homo-sapiens, a universality in purpose and passion without regard for gender, age or other differentiating factors.
The six finalists made life really difficult for the jury, each one being as talented and unique as the next. And even though the judges did pick out 2 from the six, they were left with the universal feeling that the real choice would have been an amalgam of the qualities displayed by all six of them put together. The award ceremony was not the end of a momentous day but the beginning of a new epoch run that promises to encourage and inspire more and more hidden gems amongst the considerable motorcycling community in this country to come forward in the limelight and spread the message of positive and safe motorcycling as far and wide as the skies and earth lay spread out.
Jean Daniel (JDan) the first runner up
The Winners with the prizes...
The Ceat xBhp Pulsar 220
Mr. Harjeet Singh Makkad, Bunty, from Dream Sporting Gear
Dr. Arun Thareja
words of wisdom
tense moments, even for the jury
Zig-zag slow ride on planks
Chithra during her stage presentation
Abhinai, the PPT man
Merwyn Coutinho lost in thoughts
Mr. Evergreen, Ashok Naidu
Our emcee for the event, Kalyan....