It’s been five years since Harley-Davidson entered India and celebrations are guaranteed when the HOG (Harley Owners Group) chapters from across the country converge at Goa for the India Bike Week, this weekend. Though the number of Harleys riding to the party capital from Chennai have not really increased in the last two years, Karthikeyan Srinivasan, HOG director for the Coromandel Chapter, assures us that spirits are higher than ever. Thirty bikers will make the approximately 1,100 km journey on a mix of Iron 883s, Fat Boys and Street 750s, in small groups riding about five minutes apart and coordination is crucial, says Srinivasan. Fuel stops must be planned according to the tank capacity of the bikes and one must be aware of where fuel stations are located on the way.
“Each rider follows the person in front and keeps track of the rider behind him,” he says, adding, “no one overtakes the ride leader or falls behind the sweep (or last rider).” Of course, when you’re riding with a HOG chapter, it means that you have a support vehicle trailing behind in case of emergency, but if you’re on your own, a first aid kit and a bottle of water can go a long way. While HOG does not enforce fitness on riders, Srinivasan points out that neck and shoulder exercises can help with cramps that can creep up on you, despite taking half hour breaks every 120-150 kms. Avoid night rides and ride for not more than nine hours, cautions Srinivasan, adding that starting at around 5 am is ideal, to cover more distance and avoid a lot of traffic. And above all, nothing beats riding with good company. So if you’ve missed the HOG ride to Goa, be sure to sign up for their Sunday ride or the overnighter that takes place once in two months. Details: 42156550