Vrooom…Jawa & Yezdi Bikes proudly Ridden by Owners Mark 17th International Jawa Day in City
Mangaluru :Jawa and Yezdi bikes, which had ruled the roads way back in the 70s and the 80s, vroomed in and around Panambur Beach- Mangaluru to mark 17th International Jawa Day this Sunday morning (8 July), amidst rain and shine. Every year, people all around the world, get together and get their beloved Czech made motorcycles – the indomitable proud JAWA, or Czech-inspired motorcycles such as the YEZDI in India – out on the roads ! Why you may ask? Well its a day when the owners and riders would love to show off their possessions, show the world that these grand machines – that possibly once ruled the roads, not just in India, but in countries of Europe, as well as other continents – are still in use and after all these years, can still mark their presence.
On the lighter side, some feel that the owners all round the world would like to make a circle of blue smoke, if just for a little while. But whatever it is, some like to ride in groups, some like to ride solo, some prefer to have city based events – its all a gathering of people and public, who can appreciate those beauties from an era gone by. Close to 80 bikes, including 14 from Bengaluru, 50 from Mangaluru, 18 from Udupi, 2 from Mysuru, 1 each from Moodbidri, Kasargod, Madikeri (rode by a female), and Puttur, converged at the Panambur Beach Parking area, with special emphasis on Road Safety Awareness complete with a quiz programme, competitions and a presentation, to help educate the members of the Motorcycling Community of the importance of Road Safety in their daily lives.
Back in 2003, when the idea of having an International Jawa Day, by the Jawa CZ Owners Club in the UK, was first born – with the thought of showing everybody that “look, these motorcycles are still in use, and people still love riding them”, they might have never thought that in the very second year, the fever had already spread across continents to the Czech Republic, Germany, the US, South Africa, Australia and Canada ,even if it was just 3 -5 serious riders. They might never have thought that in the 17th International Jawa Day, the numbers would have shot dramatically to such an extent, that India itself was religiously celebrating in almost all major cities and metros – today – the 14th July – the name Jawa & Yezdi that has stubbornly stood against all odds, so much so that the Jawa made its presence felt in the market, with its new-gen bikes, that still felt like Classics!
Maybe bigger cities like Bengaluru have the opportunity and the numbers that made them anticipate around 700 Jawa & Yezdi motorcycles in their Jawa Day celebrations. But cities like Mangaluru and Udupi, are no less, even if their numbers are small. As per Shawn Fernandez, the coordinator of Mangaluru Jawa Yezdi Motorcyle Club, “The Udupi Jawa Yezdi Motorcycle Club (U.J.Y.M.C.) decided to have their celebrations on Saturday evening – the 13th July and invitations were sent to all clubs and friends and riders around. For this, around 11 members from the Mangalore Club, got ready at 1.30 pm and rode out in the rain to join their friends in Udupi. With their prominent chief guests from the Manipal Auto Club, among others, the entire event was well taken care off, especially since they stressed on the importance of Helmets and other safety aspects. There would have been easily around 45 Jawa & Yezdi motorcycles for this evening session, following which the Mangaluru riders all rode back together!”
But on Sunday morning, for one, the riders from Bengaluru, part of the Kings Raid team, had decided to ride down and be a part of the celebrations in both the twin cities. Together with them a couple of riders from Mysore and Madikeri had also come down, plus a team from Udupi were on their way by now. By around 8.30 am, the venue was ready and available at Panambur Beach parking, thanks to a number of key people. Refreshments were served to all, following which, as soon as the 18 + member riding team from Udupi had joined in, mementoes were handed over to the Circle Inspector Mohan and his associate Raghavendra, Yatish Bykampady, Director of the Panambur Beach Development Authority Project and his close friend Raju, A warm welcome was given to all riders, especially the out-of-town ones.
Without wasting time, what immediately followed was an interesting session, compered by Ahmed – a rider from Bengaluru, who was technical based and had in-depth knowledge about these motorcycles. Common issues and problems faced by riders and owners were discussed and questions and answers went back and forth, making it quite an interesting session. When the rains came down, and pushed everybody back into the Golden Reef restaurant, the outdoor activities were kept on hold and instead, a dumb charade combination was held under the shelter. Five teams were selected and each team was given 2 minutes to speak about any particular item of importance. While one person would explain details, importance and need of this, the other person would enact the dialogue, mono acting style.
This of course led to quite a hilarious display of explanations, but the key riders who took first place were Vinay and Keshav from the Bangalore team, on their demonstration of helmets and riding gears, while riding! The rains gave a respite and the people were once again ready for the next round outdoors.
Event 1 – Push your bike – as a team -……..backwards – this showed the importance of teamwork together with skills. The bike faces in the reverse direction and the pillion rider also faces backwards. On cue, they set off, pushing the bike with their legs on the ground, while firmly seated and the rider who is seated facing forward has to navigate using his skills and the directions of his pillion rider. The winners here were riders from the Jawa tribe – the new gen 4-stroke 300 cc motorcycles, Ajesh and Sachin.
Event 2 – the evergreen slow race, but different categories for both new as well as old bikes. Roshan Shetty from Udupi won first place in the old Jawa & Yezdi motorcycles, while Ajesh won in the new-gen motorcycles. Prize winners were awarded mementos, together with riders from other cities who had come in. A total of around 80 motorcycles were present, among which were 6 – Old Jawa 250 and 1 Jawa 350 – one of the oldest Jawas was a 1966 model, immaculately owned by Prem Rasquinha, complete with snow guards; 2 – Yezdi 350s; 9 – new Jawas and Jawa 42’s assorted models of the Ideal Jawa Company from Mysuru – B-type, D250 Classic, Deluxe 250, Cl 11s, Roadkings.
The event ended on a high note – with all riders lining up and riding out in single formation, so as not to inconvenience the public as well as locals, while heading towards Chitrapur Beach, Kulur, where everybody lined up together for a group picture against the beauty of the stormy beach, before everybody dispersed towards their respective places! Definitely a day well spent – that was the 17th International Yezdi Jawa Day celebrated in fun and frolic in the vicinity of Panambur Beach! !
With inputs from Shawn fernandez- coordinator of Mangaluru Jawa Yezdi Motorcyle Club