After the fun-filled ride with the Indian Motorcycles Riders Group (IMRG) to the Queen of the Hills Mussoorie a couple of months ago, we were eagerly waiting to repeat the same and clock some more miles on our sofa on wheels – the Indian Chief Vintage.
Text & Photos: Sunil Gupta/xBhp
The good folks at IMRG didn’t let us wait too long and sent in an invitation to join them for a ride to Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. The idea of riding to Rajasthan in the month of June didn’t seem like a very convincing one initially due to the hot weather, but saying no to it would’ve been even worse.
So, on the D-Day, Friday June 29, 2018, at 4 a.m. sharp, we were there at Indian/Polaris dealership near Arjangarh Metro Station and there were a dozen odd Indian bikes waiting to be flagged off. The destination was a Rajasthani palace turned into a hotel, called Castle Bijaipur in the Bijaipur Village, Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. The distance to be covered was approximately 565 kms. But what was thought to be a moderate and uneventful riding day was made interesting by intermittent rains throughout the ride, which was followed by a short spell of heavy downpour with almost zero visibility. The icing on the cake was that 3 kms shortcut through the villages and riding on the water logged muddy roads before our final approach to Castle Bijaipur. But we made good progress through the day and reached the destination before the Sun could set in the horizon. There, a few more bikes and bikers from the Ahmedabad, Surat, & Vadodara chapters of IMRG were already waiting for us.
And it was party time! Biking chit chat sessions with live music in the background went on till midnight.
The next day, Saturday, started lazily and the first thing on the to-do list was a visit to a girl’s school in Bijaipur village to distribute school bags to the students. Indian Motorcycles India, under the guidance of Mr. Pankaj Dubey, as part of their CSR activities, has taken up the cause of promoting girl child education and it is commendable as how they integrate at least one such activity in almost all their official rides and events. Needless to say, the girls were ecstatic not just for getting a new bag but also for getting to see those big and beautiful Indian cruisers up-close and personally. I am sure that that the small encounter of the students with those monstrous machines must have left a big and positive impression on their minds and hopefully it will ignite a spark in their minds to study hard and achieve something as big and as desirable as that beautiful Indian Roadmaster when they grow up.
After the social responsibilities, it was time to take care of the biking responsibilities and that was taken care of by a small ride to the majestic Chittor Fort, which is one of the largest forts in India and is spread over an area of 280 hectares. The earliest known history of this fort dates back to 7th century. Since then, this fort has seen the rise and fall of many dynasties and kings. Some of the bloodiest battles have also been fought here to take control of this fort. The famous Rajput monument, ‘Vijay Stambha’ or the Tower of Victory is also located within the premises of this fort.
We spent a couple of hours exploring the fort and the surrounding area before heading back to the hotel via a narrow mountain road passing through some of the picturesque vistas this place has to offer. The locals from the villages en route were bewildered to see those big bad cruisers from Indian Motorcycles passing through their villages. The ladies and the men watched in awe while the kids waved their hands and screamed and high-five’d the riders.
Back in the hotel, after a dip in the swimming pool to rejuvenate and recharge our tired souls, it was time to party again. The boss man, Pankaj Dubey, also joined us this time. The highlight of the evening was a small motivational talk-session by the former Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lt. General A.K. Singh (Retd). This was followed by presenting badges to the riders on completing certain milestones on their Indian Motorcycles. And then it was party full on, which went on till late night. Indian Motorcycles accessories and riding gears, etc., were also available for sale for those who were interested in buying.
Next day, by the time Delhi guys showed up at the breakfast table, the Gujarat guys were already on their way. Needless to say, the return journey for Delhi chapter started a little late than what was planned originally. The hot weather coupled with the realization of going back into that same old mundane life from a wonderful weekend did dampen the spirits a bit. But as they say, every sunset is a promise to a new dawn. Cheers to the new friendships that were formed and the old bonds between the riders that were strengthened by this ride, we look forward to ride with the IMRG again.