With their Pulsars and Avengers, they zoom off to the destination of their choice. That’s the Bangalore Biking Club (BBC) for you. The BBC was started by Shabri about two years ago on Orkut. With over 700 members today, the current moderators of the community are Nikhil, Sharan, Niranjan, Krishna and Vijay. “From an Activa to a Bullet, we have all types of bikes. That’s the beauty of our club,” says Nikhil. Despite the busy schedules of college and office, the bikers manage to meet twice a month for rides. “We ride to places nearby such as Mandya and Nandi Hills,” he adds.
Krishna, a software engineer always loved to go on long rides but didn’t have company to do so. “So when I found out about this club on Orkut, I was extremely happy,” he says. “Many people ignore their passion to pay attention to their profession. But I am not one of them.”
For Niranjan, biking means freedom. “We can go anywhere we want at any time,” he says. “If we spot a beautiful lake on the countryside, we can always stop and take pictures which can’t be done in case of other vehicles.”
The bikers have enjoyed many rides out of Bangalore. One such ride was the South India tour in May 2008. Sreejith, Niranjan and Deepak started off from Bangalore and went on a five-day journey, where they covered the coastal belt of South India. “We drove to Kerala via Coorg and Madikere. From there we went to Kanyakumari. Though we reached past midnight, we woke up early next morning to see the sunrise,” says Sreejith.
The trio then proceeded to Tuticorin, Velankani, Rameshwaram, Pondicherry, Chennai, and Kancheevaram from where, they came back to Bangalore via Kolar. “We rode around 300-400 kms on an average daily,” informs Sreejith. “In Kanyakumari, we tried our best to stay close to the coast. It was scary as often the road would go missing.”
The BBC has been involved in many social rides as well. The most recent of these being their peace rally to protest against the Mumbai terror attacks. The rally consisted of around 40 bikes with 70 bikers. “We contacted as many people as possible to show a united front. We started from Kormangala and rode through the City. We ended the rally by lighting candles at the MG Statue,” says Nikhil. Besides, there was the ride around the City on Independence Day.
The bikers are united with their passion for biking. “Bikers are generally perceived as rowdies but we want to change that perception,” Nikhil feels.
Agrees Sharan, a fellow-member. “I never wanted to join any bike club because I always felt that bikers have an attitude. But when I went for my first ride, I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong,” he says.
With people from places like Delhi, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh meeting together, the bikers have become a close-knit community. “Around 30 of us are the most active so we have become close,” says Sharan.
The bikers have had certain funny and memorable incidents. “Arun, one of the members skid on ‘ragi’ in Kolar. So, we have nicknamed him as Ragi,” laughs Nikhil. However, Sharan remembers the caring attitude of the fellow bikers, when he met with an accident once. “We were going to Chintamani near Kolar. There was a blind curve ahead. I went straight up the slope went without noticing the U turn, thereby colliding with the bike coming from the other side,” he says.
What are the tips to be kept in mind while going on long journeys? “One has to know the basic troubleshooting. If the bike breaks down in the middle of nowhere, one should be in a position to fix it,” advises Sharan. “Always carry a puncture kit with you and don’t lose confidence during accidents,” he adds.
At present, the BBC has come out with a new slogan — “The destination is the journey”. “We will be printing t-shirts with that slogan,” says Nikhil.
Come January and the bikers are headed to Coorg and camping for 5 to 6 days. “We try to be as eco-friendly as possible on all our rides. We carry our own plastic bags to throw the waste in,” informs Nikhil.
One can become a member of the community on certain conditions. “One should have all the documents necessary for the bike. They are checked on all the rides,” says Nikhil.