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Scope for Officially Backed Street / Hill / Canyon Racing in India

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by , 05-15-2016 at 11:32 PM (1040 Views)
Dear All,

In India there is a severe lack of proper race tracks and given the government apathy towards motorcyclists in general and specially towards people willing to participate in Racing, I don't see more race tracks coming up too soon in future.

Currently the only choices are
a) Buddh International Circuit (BIC) - Near Delhi - Way too far and very expensive but world class - nearly impossible for people to go there and race from North East/East/South/West regions

b) MMSC Racing Circuit near Sriperumbudur - Chennai - Considerably cheaper but of a lower class - again here people from East and West have difficulty. This place does provide many options from smallest moped class all the way to super bike racing.

c) Kari Racing Circuit near Coimbatore - Again accessible mostly for South folks.

So what can people in East/North East and West regions do?

I do have an idea.

Taking example of Maharashtra because I am from this state:

For people from Pune and Mumbai, there are 2 locations accessible:

Lonavla (Aamby Valley Road) and Lavasa.

Both these places have some really challenging ghat stretches that if used properly, can prove to be a good training ground for up coming racers from the region. Already a lot of bikers visit these places and especially on Sunday mornings, you can see really good experts going boom boom at really good leaning angles and all that..

There are also fairly good riders on relatively smaller but capable bikes like KTM, Bajaj etc.

BUT THERE ARE PROBLEMS

a) Officially these are just normal roads. So speeding bikers face all the normal hazards like cows, dogs, jaywalkers etc

There are small villages lined along the approach roads to these places. These villagers either have no idea or actually may resent all these bikers coming and disturbing their peaceful lives. Apart from the business they get through providing tea/coffee/snacks to bikers, they are not really benefiting from all these relatively rich people visiting the place


b) Since there are no official racing zones or safety measures or any other care taken, bikers are entirely doing things on their own risk. There have been events of some bikers having accidents and if any villager gets hit, then it causes very severe reactions from them. There have been instances of anyone with a bike + helmet + proper riding gear getting beaten up by villages since they think he is going to ride fast and cause danger to them (or somebody similarly attired person already caused some crash/injury etc). So totally innocent riders who have not caused any problems can also get beaten up.

c) There is no point in asking Police help in these cases. They have no sympathy for bikers and are more likely to assume that fault is on biker's side and can impose heavy punishment to the bikers.

d) Random speed breakers which have no regulation of height and slope are sprouting all the time on approach roads simply to kill the speed of bikers coming there through brute method. Anything more than 5-10 kmph on those mountains called speed breakers can totally break your back and damage your bike! Low ground clearance bikes can actually scrape or even get stuck on these!


Possible Solution:

a) Instead of current random access to these places by bikers, convert this to regulated events

b) Plan a 4-6 hours window every Sunday morning (except rainy season) as BIKING TIME on these places

c) Let there be allocated time slots for different categories of motorcycles

d) In each time slot, let there be time based races held (not head to head - as that can cause more crashes which can result in death also as these are not race tracks - are hill roads)

e) In time based race let us take example - if there is 600-800 cc category and 10 bikers - then numbers are randomly drawn. First biker starts, after every 3 minutes, next biker starts. This will test the skill of the biker yet will be much more manageable as there is no MotoGP like first corner commotion

Before starting point and after end point places, local villagers should be allocated variety of stalls to feed the hungry spectators and bikers both.

f) Erect some sort of stands at few good corners in such a way that spectators can see bikers in action and be able to take photo etc without getting into situation where a biker can actually crash into the spectators.

g) At every severe turn, install temporary tyre walls or other protective padding which can save a biker's life in case of a crash and won't allow him to fall into the ditch or valley

h) The spectators should be charged a nominal fees and the collection should go towards all the temporary arrangements and also few improvements in the villages lining the roads or can even be donated to local school/hospital etc.


Benefits
a) Happy motorcyclists - as their need for speed and racing is addressed - I am sure many will be ready to pay decent amount. Believe me, there is a lot of pent up frustration in India that we don't have many good roads and can't satisfy urge to go fast. This is resulting in rash riding/driving by people causing danger to themselves and others. This will not entirely solve the issue but will reduce the problem if each region has some local place to officially race and satisfy yourself - even if there is no major monetary reward involved.

b) Good business for insurance - as there should be racing specific insurance for each biker

c) Good business for villagers - Through food and beverages for bikers/spectators + fees collection

d) Good business for automotive racing association of the region (part of fees will go to them)

e) Many more things on the side lines of such event can be arranged

f) SAFETY will be far more than current situation.

g) Since local villagers will understand value of bikers coming to the place, their grudge won't remain

h) Since bikers will understand the cooperation from villagers, they will not think of those people as sheer trouble makers or as low life form to be ignored

i) Tourism can increase a lot through this - even foreigners will appreciate this sort of biking culture in India - even if there is no race track, we still will be able to have races without too much danger


Do let me know your thoughts!

Regards,
Jeevan

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Updated 05-19-2016 at 12:53 AM by jeevan.chaukar

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