All of us have been riding for so long we’ve almost lost count. The rides were mostly backed by a wish to satisfy our wanderlust and to treat our senses to the nirvana on two wheels.
‘Birds of a feather flock together’ – a saying we’ve all heard in our lives. This was the birth of the “Indian Royal Cruisers” in 2017. We knew this couldn’t be it, there were definitely more fellow bikers! A few friendships and ‘flockings’ later, the Biking Community of India came into existence, connecting biker clubs across the country.
Sometimes we ride with our friends. At other times we make friends to ride with. Often we make friends while on a ride. The permutations and combinations are many, but what remains constant is this – whenever we do meet for a ride, we’re already planning for the next one.
During a ride for a cause on environment protection, we were faced with an interesting question from a little boy. He wanted to know that by riding in such big numbers, were we not adding to the already high pollution levels?
That one question really got us thinking. Human beings are destroying this beautiful earth by polluting it in so many direct and indirect ways. One of the major contributors is automobile exhaust. As bikers, we definitely do our bit by using our bikes instead of cars for small day to day requirements. But we also go on recreational trips on our bikes. So, where is the solution? While we are a long way off from collectively shifting to motorcycles that run on clean energy, we could try to offset our carbon footprint in any way possible. That’s precisely how we, the BCI, decided to launch the ‘Save Earth Initiative’.
On 4th August 2019, BCI organised the Save Earth Ride. With one motive of making it up to nature, 300 biker clubs across the country rode that day for a cause, collectively planting one lakh trees. Everyone did what they could – some planted one tree in their backyard, some planted 500 of them in a forest. Being the biggest tree plantation drive by bikers in India, this effort has been documented in the “India Book of Records”.
In the course of planning and implementing the Save Earth Ride, we realised one thing – while it’s relatively easy to plant a tree, it is really challenging to nurture it and make sure it survives. Thus, we planned subsequent rides to the locations where we planted trees and watered and protected. The feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction derived from seeing the saplings grow, is inexplicable in words. All over the country, every rider and every club was passionately protecting the trees they had planted.
The love, care and support received from our fellow bikers was overwhelming. The trees grew bigger and stronger, and so did our friendships. Biker clubs from beyond the country’s borders started joining in the initiative. Bhutan was an inspiration, with their Carbon negative and happiness positive lifestyle.
Ashish Singh, the man who started it all, thought “Why don’t we go and visit every tree that was planted and every biker behind it?”
This is the thought that gave birth to the Four-Nation Ride. That day the four of us signed up for a journey covering the entire length and breadth of India, Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar.
That story is coming up next:-
Part 2 – Planning, Preparation and flag off
Part 2 – Bangalore to Chennai
Part 3 – Chennai to Kolkata
Part 4 – Kolkata to Dimapur
Part 5 – Ride to resume after corona