From building motorcycles to building moments, Royal Enfield has truly made its mark in today’s automotive market. It has been one of the leading brands conducting motorsports events in India. From festival events like Ridermania to community rides, RE is covering it all.
Recently, I got an opportunity to ride with a team of Royal Enfield Riders who participated in the RE Coastal Trail. The ride saw 24 biking enthusiasts ride across the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala covering 1300 km.
Riders assembled from across India at Navi Mumbai — Park Hotel at Belapur from where we began our journey to Kozhikode. On the first day, the sight of the motorcycles parked together, the coolness of the fresh morning air, the sound of engines revving... was all so overwhelming and I soaked it all up as I took a bite of the toast that I picked up at breakfast and mounted my bike for the flag off.
Away from the hustle and bustle
Moving as a convoy, the bikes rolled down the streets of Navi Mumbai turning heads along the way as people recognised a huge group of bikers all geared up for a long journey.
On Day 1, the convoy travelled up to Harihareshwar, passing through Alibaug the team of riders escaped from the hustle and bustle of city traffic and moved to open but narrow coastal roads passing through small coastal towns and beaches like Kashid, Murud and Mhasala.
We stopped near Salav for lunch, the fish and rice plate served to us would be our staple diet for the next eight days. We passed through a lot of fishing villages, even one where a cricket field was right over the road with the pitch merely 20 m away from the road and as our convoy moved through the cricket ground the huge crowd of villagers, spectators to this match, cheered for all 24 riders.
The stay at Harihareshwar was modest with utterly delicious home-prepared dinner. We slept with satisfied stomachs and beautiful memories from the first day.
Day 2 started at 6.30 am as we had to catch our first ferry from Harihareshwar to Veshvi. We took three ferry rides that day, the other two were from Dabhol and Tavsal. Two representatives from Royal Enfield Rides Team — Rohan Pimpley and Arjay Pramanik — were in-charge and responsible for the safety and accountability of all riders. They ensured that all of us made it on board the ferry in time and also that the participants had a gala time for the next few days. That day we rested at Ganpatipule.
In the next three days, we travelled from Ganpatipule to Kunkeshwar to Agonda. From Ganpatipule the trail had changed terrain, from narrow roads passing through coastal villages and towns we had come to the vast expanses of golden plains with cliffs overlooking the sea. We stopped at Kunkeshwar on Day 3 where we were treated to a delicious lunch on the beach and wrapped up the night with a barbecue.
We rode to Goa on Day 4. The day was beautiful and the whole group rode to Baga in high spirits. Lunch was served to the whole team of participants at the Royal Enfield Garage Cafe where each and every dish was prepared with utmost care. The cafe was our only experience of fine dining on this ride and everybody enjoyed it.
The cafe also has a Royal Enfield Museum where all proud RE owners could glance back at the history that leads to the evolution of the bikes they are currently riding.
We spent Day 5 at H2O resort in Agonda, in Southern Goa. This was the day all riders could totally kick back, leave their riding gears in their rooms and enjoy the sun, the sand and the sea.
A few of the riders headed to Cola Beach where they spent the day off-roading, adding memories to their photo albums. A few of the riders decided to enjoy a few drinks along with some exquisite Goan cuisines and seafood. A few energetic ones like us decided to go kayaking in the open sea.
The next day we woke up not wanting to leave Goa but the urge to get on our bikes and join the convoy again was overpowering. We enjoyed a good breakfast by the beach and checked out by 9.30 am which was later than when we would usually start our ride, but today was Day 6 and it was a short 100 km-ride to Gokarna. At Gokarna, we headed to Om beach without wasting any time. Popular for its Om shape, the beach is visible from the hilltop as you descend down the stairs.
Goodbyes and farewell
The next day, on the way to Mangalore and riding on the vast beautiful Karnataka roads, had everyone reminiscing about the last seven days. Everyone had made new friends and tomorrow would be the last day of the ride.
The next day everyone woke up early and geared up for the last part of the journey. I guess everyone was feeling a bit emotional because soon we would be saying our goodbyes.
The ride up to the hotel at Kozhikode, Kerala, was a tiring one, we had been riding the whole day and reached the hotel only by nightfall. At the hotel, after handing over the keys of my bike to the RE Rides Team representatives, I sat in a room along with other riders — Arup, Akshay, Sinidh, Jhilmil, Arjay and Dhruv — discussing and sharing our experiences. In a few hours, we would be boarding our flights or riding out of Kozhikode, but the bond we had created would stay forever. The thrill for adventure and the taste for new experiences would perhaps bring us together again.
And then came the final day. The day for us to say our goodbyes. We had all received a certificate of participation. The certificate was hardbound proof that this journey would remain etched in our memories.
The Coastal Trail is the first edition of its type and hopefully, Royal Enfield will continue to provide and facilitate such events which would help customers enjoy their leisure ride, absorb cultures and gain experiences. Rising with the Royal Enfield team also teaches one how to conduct themselves during a ride, so that riders can plan long tours themselves. Their website is surely a place one must visit to catch up on other rides that Royal Enfield is organising in the near future.