So What Happens at Chorla 

Read without prejudice and dispassionately. Might just save your life. 

In a span of last few years there has been rise of motorcycle accidents on the Chorla ghat. Most of them were motorcycle travelers and not the local people. Many of those turned out to be fatal, sending motorcycle community in grieving. While the ghat remains one of the most beautiful places in the Konkan region, connecting Karnataka and Goa; why does such a site turns into a platform of human loss!

So what happens at Chorla, why good riders before blossoming into inspiring people, meet their end so early and deplorably.

Pay close attention; consider this piece as a survival manual for Chorla ghat.

Chorla is a popular route to enter Goa when coming down from Mumbai or Pune via NH-4 till Belgaum. And then via a state highway entering Goa at the eastern border. It’s a scenic route, very pretty sight at dawn. The curves are spread over a length of 35kms approximately. One must take this route over any other for refreshing countryside vistas.

Now here are some undisputed facts about this stretch which I would like you to drill them in your mind and remember it whenever you are here on this particular zig-zag tarmac.

Chorla road is not wide in size and has back to back curves from start to end. So there exists a high chance of longer/bigger vehicle coming in your lane at the curves. Please don’t go arguing about traffic laws and lane discipline. My vision is to get you home no matter what. So coming to the point there will be times you might need to get your vehicle off the road at least 1/3rd of it for the longer vehicle to pass. Smaller vehicles to the edge of the road. And believe me when I say the long vehicle is not doing this on purpose. But if they do, then his loss is insignificant to yours. This also means you cannot go above certain speed even when there is room. I think my point is clear about where I am going with this.

Next is the thrill of lapping Chorla. Many riding groups have now been promoting Chorla as a breakfast ride, locally. A weekend destination for groups coming from outside. Fact check; Chorla has countless back to back curves. The total distance is 35+ kms and most of these curves are blind.

Only 1 out of 10 in such group rides can keep their nerves in check. Rest are just waiting to be instigated to show some display of “talent” and become ‘talk of the town’.. (At what cost)

Over that there’s a high chance of none having the real skill set of lapping. (Real racing/control is what you  see in the documentary ‘A Twist of The Wrist‘.) So after 1 or 2 curves you are doing what I call ‘Banta-giri’. Slang for the great idiot.

Now when the above two scenarios were not enough then there’s the “photographer” act thrown in.

Many or rather all want their cornering photographs on social media asap. So a picture paints up where bikes are parked randomly next to the road (becoming a hazard), everyone doing corners back to back with 1-2 photographers waiting to take their shots from middle of the road. This is something no local traveler or otherwise is anticipating and probability of a crash just went from none to high.

And after all this, still not done; there’s Mother Nature. Chorla road has sudden animal crossings, especially the gray langurs who jump in middle of the road out of nowhere. One touch to your speeding vehicle, panic and disaster awaiting next.

So these are the main events of Chorla that can change your life; a change which you really want to avoid for thousand benefits.

I’m sure with keen observation you can spot more scenerios from which you need to carefully traverse during the ascend/descend of Chorla ghat, and I wish with each passing time you become wiser; not just a survivor.

Read the top line of this article again.. 

Good Luck, God Bless. 

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend India Bike Week

India Bike Week has been promoted as the biggest biking event to ever happen in India. Riders arrive from all parts of the country to experience the grand event in Goa. Over two days there is a wide range of activities that takes place throughout the day. A biker group or a solo seeker will find his plate full and ample things to do here. And if nothing works out? Hey! You are in Goa. Even the loneliest of all souls can find solace here… 😉

Although like any other event, this one too has its flaws and setbacks. The first edition was even criticized a lot on various issues. However, based on my experience at India Bike Week, going once solo and another time in a group, I would like to give you 5 reasons why you should attend the IBW fest.

1. Knowledge –

We always see the entertainment part of such events but what you should try and perceive is how much knowledge unknowingly comes by your side for your benefit. Let me share a few instances; at the IBW 2013 edition, many great biking personalities were invited to be honored for their work in the two wheeler industry. One such personality was Subhash Chandra Bose a.k.a. Bullet Bose. Of the 5 minutes he spoke on stage before accepting an award, each and every single word from his mouth was inspiring. His quote, “Accidents don’t just happen, you are always at fault. Work on your errors and misjudgments.’, still remains my motto on the highway.

Hidden under the coat of entertainment, many such knowledge and wisdom is present at the venue, all you need to do is become a keen observant and sharp on ears.

For 2nd instance, at IBW 2014 edition, I went in the big cinemas section where Bharadwaj Dayala was giving a speech on his solo ride across the world. The very next program was First Aid on the Highway by Dr. Arnob Gupta. I was not knowing this and since it was something that I always ignored, I decided to sit through the session to gain some first hand knowledge.

Some educative info I received about first aid. Some important facts that I was not aware of, while some tips and techniques that can be applied on, in case of emergency. A safety protocol and experiences shared by others from the audience — Totally worth it.

It’s said so, ‘Knowledge is power, knowledge is golden.’ Then why not gather as much as you can to master yourself in the biking arena.

2. Contacts –

If you are coming from business point of view then surely you’ll make lot of contacts here. It’s believed, no matter how educated and rich you are, without the right contacts it’s next to hell working up the ladder. One phone call from the right person can do wonders for your business.

IBW is attended my many media groups as well as known personalities and your competition. So it’s an ideal ground for building contacts that will come to use may be later. Get acquainted with important people, share your ideas with like minded enthusiasts, grab hold of one PR representative to keep you updated on further events.

Idea is to be mutually beneficial to both parties.

3. Brotherhood –

There was a time when people use to call me crazy for what I was doing. And I thought I was alone in it. When social media kicked in, I got connected with infinite networks and so many of you bikers got linked. IBW is a cool place for all of us from far corners of the country to gather at one place for meet up, quick ride or just talks. Many a times we have so many in our network that with most we only have corresponded on the social media platform. Meeting up in person is a whole different emotion. A feeling of brotherhood naturally emerges. There is more respect and gratitude for the person, for the biker.

(One can always ring for help or assistance. When you are far from home, you know there is a rider at the closest town who can back you up.)

P.S. You also get a reality check on things that I’ll not mention. 🙂

4. The Other Side –

Here is my favorite part. An observation I have in my head which I’m gonna name it ‘The Other Side’.

You see be it biking or any other sport, there is always the other side. In this case, I’m referring to the show off image. Now many of you might feel offended but I suggest to take it sportingly.

At events like IBW, you get to see the real biker and the biker inspired from reel. There are so many wannabes nowadays that it has become difficult to come in touch with the right group. Many appear giant, smart and full of advices, turn out to be the other guys. You will be disappointment to find out that your hero is actually a comedian or a sidekick. 😛

But when you meet these ‘other guys’, you get a testimony on how good you have become yourself, how well you are on the correct path. Be proud.

Besides it’s just plain entertainment to observe the wannabes. You will definitely have something to laugh about at dinner.

5. Goa –

If I can not give you a reason then hey! Come down for Goa.

You work very hard, you slog it out. Give yourself a break at the beginning of the year and ride down to Goa. Celebrate your biking life on the land of beaches and enjoy your time here. There is plenty to do and experience. Just catch few hours of IBW and then head out to enjoy yourself.

Group, solo, whatever… Goa is the sin city of India. 😛