Sizzling heat, a salty twang in the air and a parched throat are all familiar experiences when you whiz along the ECR. While sundry cafes beckon, should you want to make a pit stop on the way to Pondy, there’s a new motorcycle café to grab a burger, a smoothie or even a shiny new accessory for your bike
Three to tango
Inspired by Che Guevara’s memoir of his life-changing expedition across Latin America, The Motorcycle Diaries (TMD) is a collaboration between engineers and bikers Roshan Rafi, Sreehari R Krishnan and Paul Thomas. “Rider’s cafes are popular across Europe and America and they are slowly catching up in India,” says Sreehari. “This spot on the ECR is ideal for bikers from Chennai or Bengaluru enroute to Pondy to stop for a bite or make plans over coffee.”
The monochromatic interiors and glass walls that let in plenty of natural light make the space — which holds three tables and a small island with a couple of barstools — seem bigger. Framed photos of Royal Enfields and riders’ cafes around the world hang over the counters while a painting of the iconic Che Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado riding his motorcycle, covers a wall. The alfresco seating for 16 maybe a better choice in the evenings.
And there’s more
With walls adorned with large, snazzy imported helmets and silencers, leather riding jackets (from Rs 3,500), gloves, chains, stickers and air filters — the accessories store next door is a great find for roadies. TMD will also offer installation and customisation services in a fortnight’s time for various bikes including the Royal Enfield, says Thomas, who loves tinkering with bikes and is putting together a team of mechanics. “Installing an accessory or power tuning a bike takes anywhere from half an hour to a couple of hours. We came up with the idea of the café for bikers to spend that time reading a book, browsing for accessories or to just hang out over coffee.”
The menu has café staples like sandwiches, burgers, salads, fries and a long list of mocktails, smoothies, shakes and fresh juices. With plans of waffles and desserts, the menu has flavoured teas starting from Rs 25 and coffees from Rs 50.
Though barely three weeks-old, the team has plans to rev up Pondy’s biking scene with bike racing on mud tracks.
Open from 9.30 am to 10 pm on ECR Road, opposite Serenity Beach Road. Details: 09447118590
— Olympia Shilpa Gerald