My Story

It all started with my first long ride on my Benelli 600i to India Bike Week- Goa, in February 2016. I was one of the first few Benelli owners in Hyderabad and part of the Hyderabad Benelli Owners Group, called “HBO” for short.

I started off with 16 other fellow bikers and we were accompanied by a mini-truck, which was carrying our luggage and also mechanics to assist bikers in case of any breakdown. We thought this was a foolproof solution and were unmindful that the road ahead had a lot of challenges. We had a Leader who was leading the way and a Sweeper at the back to ensure no rider is missed out.

Despite all these safeguards, it was a big challenge for the Leader and Sweeper to keep the pack together. The first half of the group had to constantly stop to ensure the group is together. To my bad luck, at one junction I was misled to a different road and on seeing an open road, I just sped away thinking the group would catch up. To my surprise, after a few kilometers, I realized there was no one behind me. I turned around and rode a few kilometers only to realise that I was the only one on that road. Even if people were trying to reach me over mobile, I wouldn’t have realized as my phone was tucked away in my backpack, as I did not have the equipment to place my phone on the bike where it would be visible.

After a short while, I could see my gang waiting for me and I breathed a sigh of relief. It took us 18 hours to ride to Goa, which was traumatic considering it was the first long ride for all of us.

This was not the end of our troubles. As the group was returning to Hyderabad, we unfortunately split into two. Both groups were heading in complete opposite directions and unable to connect or place where the other group was and to add to it, one of our fellow bikers who was diabetic had an upset stomach. To our misery, the truck was with the other group and our injured soldier could not rest. Our Leader wanted to take us through another route, but I was hell-bent on getting back to the group, as it was safe for all of us to be together. The leader along with another rider just abandoned six of us and left. This is when I came to the fore and led the pack safely back to our group.

This confusion caused us an additional 5 hours of riding, amounting to 23 hours. Phew! You can imagine what would have happened to us. Exhaustion, sleep riding, riding in the dark on the highway; these are all the ingredients that were taking us on the road to an impending disaster. However, I guess GOD was merciful and we hadn’t encountered a flat tyre or any mishap.

I realised then that we cannot always leave it to fate and this marked the beginning of my riding and stories.

Ride to Srisailam June-2016

Having spent a lot of time on and off the road during the Goa Ride with my fellow bikers, the ones that stuck together became friends. To make the bond stronger, we decided to ride to another destination, but closer, owing to the previous butt burn. Goa was still fresh in our minds, but the ride went well without any incidents.

Ride to Pondicherry October-2016

Having experienced my long ride to Goa, I decided to set out on another journey, but this time I was well equipped, or so I thought.

Having gone through the grind the last time, I Googled (as all people do) the essentials for long rides. Google gave me a plethora of blogs, websites and videos, leaving me confused about what to choose and where to start from.

I paused and thought for myself, what were the things that hurt me the most or made me feel vulnerable during the ride and there it was:

  • My Butt (It hurt like hell the last time, Bikers would know what I’m talking about!) 
  • No GPS (My spider-tingle did not work! Even Spiderman in Far From Home, took 2 hours in the movie to get there.) 
  • No Radio/Bluetooth Set in the helmet to communicate with my fellow bikers

Addressing point a), the last time on our way back from Goa, we actually bought cushions off the highway and placed it on our seat and rode back. It was literally a crotch exercise to balance the cushion so it would stay put under our butts and on the seat. So much for being an athlete.

This time around, it was serious and so I bought the Air Hawk (it’s an Air Cushion which mounts onto the seat perfectly), and yes my butt continues to thank me every time I go for a long ride.).

Addressing point b), I’m no superhero and so goes my Spider-Tingle out of the window. GPS can be used from your phone, but how could I navigate with my phone zipped into my Herculean Jacket?
I needed something that allowed me to place my phone on the handlebar for access to Maps or even to see if anyone calls. I got the RAM Mount X-Grip Universal Mobile Holder Kit to solve this and also the Bolt-Mobile charger so that my phone does not run out of battery while using Maps.

Addressing point c), here comes IRON MAN (feels good to be Tony Stark). I upgraded my helmet with the Sena Bluetooth System. Except for Jarvis and not having the IRON MAN SUIT, it had everything: music, phone connectivity, radio communication with my fellow bikers, Voice GPS Navigation and music sharing. 

Who needs the SUIT when you have an In-Line 4 smoking the road!

Oh yes, I forgot to mention this earlier, there were only two of us riding this time and it was a whole new adventure. Now that all the physical aspects were taken care of, the ride was smooth and we returned home safely.

Ride to Augumbe July-2017

This time I ‘actually’ had all the essentials for long rides, so it became a ritual to do at least one long ride every year. My friend came up with this destination, which I had never heard of and I was excited to explore the unknown. By default, we have the custom to post/suggest rides in our Whatsapp groups (these groups were usually created by bike dealers like HBO or were offshoots of the said group, or you randomly become part of some group), so that there could be larger participation. `The More The Merrier’! We always liked riding in a pack rather than riding solo. This ensured tons of fun on the way and also gave a sense of protection. 

When we started off riding in 2015, everyone was eager to explore new places and hence there was more participation. With the efflux of time, Whatsapp groups became more of  “Forwards” and a “Marketing” platform. No one could come to a consensus on the place or time which eventually led to limited or no participation in rides, except for city rides and breakfast rides. 

I tried to check if there was any platform that I could use to reach out to riders who are willing to join us, but to my surprise there were none. 

Hence, only two of us ended up riding to Augumbe and we had a safe ride, owing to the fact that we both were well equipped with all the gear and most importantly, followed road discipline, kept safe speeds, rode together and helped each other incase of any need. But this is not the case for everyone.

  • What if you were riding alone? Who would you reach out to incase of an eventuality?
  • How could you reach out to riders beyond your Whatsapp groups, so that you don’t have to ever ride alone.
  • What if the group you are riding with is ahead of you? How would you know where they are or they know where you are?
  • What if your bike broke down? What would you do, who could you reach out to?
  • What if you had an accident? How would anyone know and find you in case of trouble? 
  • What if any of your fellow riders had an accident? How would you know? How could you connect?

With all these riding experiences and issues deeply engraved in my Soul, I started looking for a way to make riding safe and pleasurable. I finally got onto the drawing board and shazam –

REV YOUR SOUL!