The Vadodara meet was going to be the second meet in Gujarat for #roadTripUnited. We arrived in Vadodara 3-4 days in advance, so it gave all of us a much-needed break to reenergize ourselves for the remaining days of the trip as well as to catch up with some pending work. And our hotel in Vadodara, Treebo Yahvi, was perfect to comfortably spend these 3 days in the city.
We also utilized that spare time to do a quick photo shoot at the magnificent Laxmi Vilas Palace of Vadodara, which was built in 1890 by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the then rulers of Baroda.
Our host for the Vadodara meet was Café Appetito – Manjalpur, which is run by our biker friend from the city, Probal Sen, who had taken it upon himself to organize the meet, and we knew that we could rely upon him.
Meanwhile, Sunny had also returned from United States and re-joined the team. On the other hand, Avinash had to return to Delhi to close the xBhp magazine issue.
The initial gathering point for the meet was right outside our hotel and the meeting time was 7 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2018. So, the team had kind of a relaxed start. There were already 50+ riders at the meeting point by the time we got ready and reached there. Another 30-40 riders joined in a matter of few minutes. We rode in a 2 x 2 formation towards our destination, Café Appetito – Manjalpur. It was a sight to behold as around 100 bikers rode in formation with full discipline inside the city of Baroda for around 10 kilometers.
Upon reaching the venue, Probal kicked off the proceedings by introducing the xBhp team and welcoming us to the city. Then Sunny took the stage and shared his experiences, especially from his most recent US trip and our #powerTrip360 in Australia.
Then we asked the clubs present to introduce themselves to the other bikers present and also to the viewers on Facebook who were watching the G2G through a live video. The clubs were then presented with a ‘Note of Thanks’ for their contribution towards motorcycling. A few riders from the gathering also shared their stories of becoming a biker and pursuing their passion of motorcycling.
Present in the attendees was a young biker from Baroda, who had joined the xBhp ride in Baroda last year during #theO2Ride. Then, he was not wearing a helmet and was just riding in the morning when he saw a group of bikers riding together. So purely out of curiosity and excitement, he started riding with us. This video was being broadcasted live on Facebook and a lot of viewers commented there as to how xBhp could allow bikers to join xBhp riders without wearing proper riding gear. So after the ride was over, Sunny talked to that young chap about the importance of wearing a helmet. He was genuinely feeling sorry and made a promise on the live video that he will never ride again without wearing a helmet. And true to his words, he joined the #roadTripUnited wearing a good quality full face helmet.
After a group photo of all the present bikers, it was time for a Café Appetito special breakfast for all the bikers. When it was time to present the ‘i, the bike’ momento, it was decided unanimously by all the bikers that this be kept at the Café Appetito itself as it was the favorite hangout for all the bikers in the city.
After a lovely G2G with the motorcyclists of Vadodara, it was time to bid adieu to them and get ready for our onward journey to Ahmedabad.