Bikers plant Saplings on World Motorcycle Day

Bikers plant Saplings to mark World Motorcycle Day

Mangaluru: Another day, that somehow coincides with International Yoga Day… another event that is supposed to drum up suppressed enthusiasm or to garner not required publicity? After all, those who love their motorcycles and anything related to that, wouldn’t require just one day to celebrate, would they?! Those who ride, those who love the roads, those who love to get down and dirty can just head out anytime they like. So what?

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Well, another day, another excuse and the best day is of course the longest day of the year, ie’ the 21st June, to enjoy making the most of daylight, specially if the rider is out on a significantly long tour! Be it any of the Motorcycling lifestyles, the Racer, the Stunter, the Scooterist, the Tourer, whatever… you like life on 2 (sometimes 3) wheels? – well just enjoy it! And if people, riders all around the world and country are getting together and organizing meets, trips, events, campfire nights to just chill out with friends and meet new people, then why shouldn’t the riders of Mangaluru have their own fun too?

Here, of course, the party buster was the fact that 21st June falls under “WORKING DAY” zone, so boo!! But hey aren’t we the ones to adjust anyhow? So 19th June, 2016 – Sunday, 0600 hours at Padua, in the pouring rain – First 2, then 4, then 10 and slowly through the now-slow drizzle, the numbers materialize climbing up to almost 40 odd 2-wheelers, of varied engine capacities, friends and riders of the common biker family – members of various groups – the Naked Wolves (Pulsar 200 NS), Flying Bandits, Wanderers on Wheels, Mangalore Bikerni (all-ladies), Yamaha R15 Club and Mangalore Jawa and Yezdi Motorcycle Club! Among the many blossoming motorcycling groups that have formed over the years, these clubs area close knit community, that stresses on Road Safety and are against reckless and dangerous riding or driving. In fact Road Safety presentations as well as themes are their main focus on any events or rides!

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The plan (PART 1) – Just ride!

Pleasantries and welcomes, riders who were new, riders who had not met the others in ages, it was like School days were back to day 1! Now as the Naked Wolves Udupi Chapter had already left Udupi at 5.30 earlier to join us and were half way through, the Mangaluru Chapter together with the Yamaha R15, set off earlier to meet them at Padubidri. In another 15 minutes, the rest of the entire gang left for Surathkal.

Breakfast halt at Sadanand Hotel-Surathkal and few group pics and then time to hit the road – destination Mukka junction, to regroup with both the Pulsar and Yamaha clubs. From there, a straight scenic back –neighborhood road that ended at Sasihithlu beach! With the dark clouds, slowly parting for glimpses of patches of bright sky, and the angry swarming waves, that came crashing on the deserted beach, all the bikes that lined the entire curve of the beach formed a perfect picture ! Gossiping, friendly banters, selfie sticks and group pics became the norm for the next half hour, before reluctantly, everybody had to head back for the next part of the plan!

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PART 2 – 0945 hours at Kadri Circuit house, in the never ending drizzle

The area resounds with the many engines that suddenly decide to park in the vicinity of Vrindavan Hotel, near Kadri East Police Station. The riders shut off their engines and then head down towards the small hillock of Battra Gudda going towards the Bejai Road. Daniel Tauro, from the Mangalore Green Brigade, together with the Forest Department, is waiting there with around 50 saplings. And as the rain comes down in sleets, the bikers still in their riding gear, helmets and jackets and all, lend their hands, shoulders and even legs to plant the various Beete (Rose Wood), Kai Dhoopa, Rala Dhoopa, Karadi Mara, Benga, Nerale, Badman, Halasu, Hebbalasu saplings. Pits are dug, mud and soil are shoveled away with either coconut shells or bare hands, supporting sticks are rooted firmly. Ten saplings are also planted down below on the road side, all with the hope that in a couple of years, they would provide some much needed shade and relief to the surrounding area.

By 11.30 a.m. with everybody drenched and tired, everything is done. With a lot of brotherly thanks and handshakes, the riders move off in their own directions, happy and satisfied to have done something, even though small, that should help others in future. Time now to spend the rest of the day with family and friends!

PART 3- 21st June – 1230 hours at Clock Tower, Town Hall Circle, again in the never-ending drizzle

The irony? Motorcycle Day but everyone except the tough Bikerni girls, come in 4 wheelers! Simple reason though – during the past few days, everybody had contributed a small amount, with no compulsion. A small amount that went towards buying sweet boxes. The only way the bikers of Mangaluru could think of, in showing their appreciation towards the Traffic Police personnel. Come rain or sun, high traffic or deserted roads, it is these uniformed staff who stand and wait for long hours, directing unrelenting traffic , amidst the dust, grime and general pollution. We curse them and speak against them and yet when problems occur we turn towards them… not realizing that they are human, they have families to support and they have their own problems too.

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With the blessing of ACP- Uday Nayak, the sweet boxes were first distributed to the personnel manning the busy junction at Clock Tower. It was a wait for almost 20 minutes, before there was enough slack to do this in just three minutes, in order not to inconvenience the traffic. After that, among the few bikers and friends who showed up, they broke up into three teams, with two teams in two cars dividing the city junctions equally among themselves, while the third team drove to Surathkal to stop and distribute the boxes to any of the Traffic Personnel on the way.

The looks of surprise and gratitude on each of their faces, was all that made up of getting wet in the rains, of all the efforts put in everywhere! That was it!

by Shawn Fernandez-Member, Jawa and Yezdi Motorcycle Club-Mangaluru

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