Bisons’ Rideversary A1

Social Share Counters

The sound of jungle drums entered our ear-space as we went off-road.

Most of us thought we were hallucinating. The last time the Bison shut-eye was 15 hours away. Deep craters tossed us around as we rode towards the reverberating jungle sound. 36 Bisons on 31 Beasts threw more than 2000Watts of light to create a surreal effect on the off-road terrain with swirls of dust rising in the air. It was an extra-terrestrial moment for all of us. The jungle drums came closer and mixed with the vibrations of 12000CC of sheer cosmic sound that bellowed from the mouth of the Bisons. 99 Cannons stood astride their bikes on both sides of the off-road and channeled us towards the waterhole.

The Gods showered petals upon us as we rode into the Gates of Heaven. The Bisons were in their afterlife. We saw an awesome white light in front of us and many people were standing in ovation to our feat. The Bisons stopped and dismounted in slo-mo.

An year of Bisons Ride Hard

The previous night.This is Thursday mid-night on Friday morning. We should be sleeping. Bisons were still mailing each other with messages of encouragement and blessings. Soon the messaging became slower and the Bisons dozed off for a few hours, only to wake up in time to meet at the Panvel tea shop at 6.30 AM. What was so different this time? It was the same teashop, the same vendor, the same faces, the same time.

Today was the unique REDBUMS™ Rideversary 2012! We were one year old. Rather than splurging on a Mumbai restaurant we decided to ride 1000KM in 24 hours. Panvel-Hubli-Panchgani. Non-stop. No sleep. Never before done. Aptly called the RedBums ™ ride.

The start at Panvel

Fierce determination gripped each Bison as they met and mingled. Captain Deelux called out the ride positions. Paaji Gurinder Singh silently watched everyone with the eye of an eagle, trying to locate the nervousness in the mind of the Bison and crushing it with the power of his experience. A cloud of dust rose around the teashop as the Bisons stomped the ground eager to mount and ride. Father Sheldon blessed the moment.

The Bisons lined up.

The Bisons kicked.

The Bisons rode.

Sounds of the Bison horn filled the air and the world around came to a standstill.

At 7.55 AM, Paaji Gurinder Singh led the team out for the customary 5 minutes of riding before handing over to Captain Deelux. The Bisons began the 1000KM ride to mark the closure of the first year of its birth. Single file. The second year has begun, with its most challenging ride. The RedBums™ Ride.

Khopoli passed by without contest and we drove past Mausi at Dehu road without a thought. Each Bison threw his look to the furthest point as taught by Paaji and rode on and on. Pune was a cinch and the road took us to Kolhapur without fuss. The air was cooler now and we clocked in at Kolhapur at about 2 PM. The usual eateries whizzed past and Captain selected a fuel station where we could fuel up and eat as well, though all were carrying spare fuel. . By the side of the road, in true Bison style we rolled out our home-food and ate together on the seat of the Beast. Paaji checked up on all.

There was a challenging tension in the air as we had never attempted this before. So far we had clocked around 400KMS in about 6 hours. We were doing well. The afternoon heat bore down on us but could not penetrate the skin of the Bisons. A few more minutes of rest on the sandy road and we kicked to Hubli.

99 Cannons, Respect. Sheldon holds their flag.

The road was part of the quadrilateral highway and was a wonderful ride. Bike mechanics gave us a chance to cool down our engines by the side of the road at a brilliant sunset and over a Red Bull that was following us in our Bison truck. Red Bull had sponsored our bladders and energy levels. The Bisons blessed the Red Bull! We were joined by Sanjeev Bhatia, moderator of 99 Cannons, a Biking Club from Hubli, who were our gracious hosts in their city for dinner. Sanjeev now led us into Hubli. A quick rain cooled and cleaned us for the evening.   We reached at sharp 7.00 PM, ahead of time. He led us off the highway into a farm that was completely off-road biking. 99 Cannons shepherded us into a lovely farm, where dhol players rent the air with the beating of their drums in exotic Indian rhythm that matched the thump of our beasts. They showered petals on us as we rode into the camp. It was sheer movie-magik!

The dhol at Hubli, just awesome! Thanks to everyone at 99 Cannons!

The 99 Cannons had hosted the evening at the Deputy Coordinator of 99 Cannons – Dr. Kiran Reddy’s personal farmhouse, who met each one of us on arrival. We had clocked an additional 200KMS in 5 hours. A glass of cold soft drinks reached our hands within 30 seconds of dismounting and we cooled down along with our engines as Paaji and Sanjiv danced the Bhangra with all of us clapping and cheering. It was a great moment! We were 11 hours into riding. Sanjiv welcomed us in a short speech and Paaji invited the Cannons to Panchgani. A delicious dinner followed and the Bisons ate heartily. Sanjiv had a “Bike Doctor” at hand to tighten up the nuts n bolts.The gracious hosts bade us farewell and Paaji thanked them profusely. The hospitality of the 99 Cannons left everyone humbled and awestruck. They gave us more than what we needed!

We burped, mounted and kicked, now under the lead of Captain and Paaji. Powerful lights created a white sheet beneath us. The cool air turned cold. The Bisons left at 9.30 PM for the 2nd leg of their mission. The ride to the 2nd year!

Paaji rode for the first 2 hours at 50-60 kmph. This was to get us used to the night. We stopped after every hour for a few minutes by the side of our truck and Redbulled to our bladders content. Soon we sped up and ripped into the empty night.

At twilight stop: “Bisons. We have reached Wai. It is an hour to 7.55 AM and we have to complete the ride within that. Keep the focus on riding hard and safe. Do not break the tempo. We have to make it together. Saddle up.” That was Paaji Gurinder Singh. Hearing this talk made our hearts thump as loud as the Beast.

We did. We rode up the ghat to Panchgani. A gentle ghat. Picturesque.

A single file formation stretched us over turns and we snaked our way to Hotel Tree-Top.

We had reached.

It was 7.08 AM!

Our brains were screaming with excitement.

This was happening.

All of the Bisons assembled in front of the gate which was the finishing line. Guri aka Paaji rode up first, asking us to wait. He dismounted and walked back to the gate. Paaji addressed us most lovingly and before 31 Beasts and 36 Bisons, went down on his knees and did pranam to all of us who were still mounted. We were overwhelmed. Here was our Founder welcoming us, into the 2nd year. Amidst tears and screams and shouts and thumps and the horn we rode up the gate and parked at will.

Along with us were riders from 99 Cannons who rode all the way from Hubli with us. A special mention to Nikhil, Guru, Wilson, Basha, Ashwini and Siddhu.

There was amazement all around, for, we had completed the never-done-before; 1000KM in 24 hours. After a handful of back slapping and thanking our bikes, we all thanked Captain Deelux and Guri.

Room allocation followed by breakfast was the order and sleep and rest followed. The celebrations started at 6 PM, with the arrival of Kakaji and the dignitaries of InddieThumpers. The 99 Cannons had ridden with us from Hubli. We wore our specially designed A1 shirts for the evening, our best smiles and the excitement of completion in our hearts and settled down to a night of revelry that went on well past midnight. Bisons don’t sleep. A game of skill and balance called the turtle-in-the-lava, specially designed by Paaji followed. Before the next ride he has to explain to us what on earth was the turtle doing near the lava in the first place! This game became aggressive with sides and competitive fever leading both sides into chaos mode soon within the 1st hour. This was followed by the sound of a can opening and we all reached for the Kingfisher Blue-Mile beer that was sponsored in plenty. A demonstration by Schaeffer Oil Company followed and they gave us a 30% discount on the oil which is world famous. Certificates and awards followed and Bison Achievers were felicitated, as were the guests who had ridden with us. Most importantly, all Bisons got a wooden plaque as a certificate for completing the RedBums™ ride. This was enshrined immediately. More beer followed and speeches by the dignitaries gave more words of wisdom. The ceremonies complete, unabashed revelry began. Antakshari, ghost stories and a sumptuous feast was laid out. Eat-at-will. The dessert was the film. The Bisons accomplishments were put on film and when the film played, Panchgani heard our yells! The moment was never-before and surely to be repeated the next year. We thanked the sponsors and the Bisons who did all the backstage work to ensure the celebrations and the Ride went off well and winded down to a much needed rest.

Preparations begin before celebrations…A note of thanks to all our sponsors

The party goes underway with some games…

The cakes were waiting to be devoured. True to biker style

Kaka and Guri before cutting the cake

And the beer came just after the cake…on the house thanks to Kingfisher Blue!

The dance floor was open, and everyone got their best foot forward

Lt. Col. Sohan Roy inducted into the Bison Hall of Stars

RedBummers receive their awards for completing the mother of all rides. Swapnil and Fafda share a light moment on the stage

And the party raged on…

The awardees for the Year 2011 – 2012 were:

Club Before Self – Anand Raman, Manu Goel and Pallavi Shanmugaraj

Captain of the year: Swapnil Kshrisagar

Co-rider of the year: Jayashree Acharya

Wrench and Spanners – Shanmuga Raj

Bison Cub of the Year – Tushar Kamath

Rider of the Year – Joshil Kewalramani

Hall of Stars Inductees – Lt. Col. Sohan Roy from RERAM and Dilip Sawant from Inddiethumpers

This is the Official Rideversary Video that was released on the day of the celebrations.Watch it!

The next morning, we saddled up and rode into our 2nd year.

We rode back home.  God bless the Bisons!

A photo for the record, and one etched in our hearts forever..

Written by Aditya Raj Kapoor aka Lord FuseBox