“Will it rain?” This was the question in the minds of about 20 Goans on Sunday, July 3rd 2011.These 20 individuals were members of GEARS (Goan Enthusiasts And RiderS), a brand new endeavour, meant to change the face of biking in Goa. These first ever GEARheads were looking forward to meeting and riding with like-minded Goans at the first ever GEARS Ride & Meet.
So did it rain? Well, no. And yes. Read on to find out more!
The destination was tentatively set as Majorda (for a beach photo shoot) with an optional ride further South to Palolem but the route and destination were very flexible and largely dependent on the weather.
The group of riders from Ponda met with their counterparts from Panjim, Mapusa and Pernem at Café Coffee Day in Miramar at around 12:30 PM. Everyone was elated that it was such a bright and sunny day without a hint of rain, considering how heavily it rained the previous day.
It was like God was smiling down upon us, willing us to succeed! After quick introductions and greetings, the whole group rode out towards Majorda via Dona Paula (the Goa University route that is loved by bikers for its incredible curves and corners). We set out after establishing a few rules for safe riding and making sure all riders wore helmets and had their motorcycle lights on during the ride as a precautionary measure.
We met up at the Cortalim circle with a friend who had brought his Honda CBR 600RR and brand new Hyosung ST-7 out for a ride and proceeded to ride in the company of these two large-displacement machines, making a stop in front of the Queeny along the Airport road for an impromptu photo shoot.
It was a tremendous feeling for all riders to see their machines lined up in such a spectacular manner. At this juncture, we met a few people who stopped and came out to talk to us. They were excited to hear about our idea of a biking community for Goa and were very supportive too. Needless to say, this lifted our collective spirit!
After this, the group proceeded towards Velsao Beach, which was quickly disregarded as a venue for a beach photo shoot, and then onwards to Arossim Beach, where we were able to take the bikes out onto the shore for some truly awesome pictures.
Our very own Vipul Phadke, along with his trusty D-SLR did a great job of capturing the history we created that day. It must be mentioned that it was quite hot outside with no shade and we were smack in the middle of lunch time, but there were no complaints from any GEARhead! Everyone was so supportive and committed to the cause, which was definitely tantamount to our success. At Arossim, we also met a few riders from and around Margao, who added to our number.
Having completed the beach photo shoot, we moved on to the Monginis at Leonora’s in Verna for a pit stop so the bikers could take a break, talk to each other and grab a bite to eat. Some members had to ride back home to meet prior commitments while others (8 bikers including yours truly) wanted to ride further south.
It was about 4:00 PM now and the skies were overcast and suddenly the heavens opened and the rain came rushing down. However, this did not dampen the spirits of the 8 riders who had already decided to continue riding, and so we did, following the lead of Margao GEARhead, Reuben D’Silva.
We rode up to the Church at the Betul Monte, where we had a brilliant view of the mouth of the river Sal and the beaches further south. Sure, we were pretty much soaked to the bone by now but couldn’t care less. Since it was almost sun down by this time and getting dark, we decided to call it a day and head back home but only after making a stop for some hot Chai at a local tea shop.
Drinking hot tea and eating fresh Samosas while it was raining outside was a simple but very heart-warming experience. Again, these riders chatted for a bit and got to know each other better. Once we were all done, we headed back to our respective homes, content in the fact that we achieved so much in such a short span of time.
What you just read is just a summary of the very first Ride & Meet organized by GEARS. We received a phenomenal response, considering we had provided just 2 days notice on Facebook and had never even met most of the riders in person before that day. We are especially grateful to participating riders for meeting the minimum safety requirement of wearing a helmet for the ride and their willingness to ride even if it rained.
We started off on a great note and from this point onward we can only grow and get better! Our logo is currently in place and we are working on merchandise for members at nominal rates. At present, we have logo decals ready and GEARS t-shirts are scheduled to be out before our next event.
We are planning to hold a second Ride & Meet on Sunday, July 24, 2011. If you would like to join us and support our cause for safe yet fun riding in Goa, give us a shout out on Facebook or email us at email@example.com
Till next time, GEAR up and ride safe!
By Aaron Cardozo