That’s what thousands of people who indulge in the great migration came looking for just like I did… But it isn’t what you are thinking, this euphoria is ignited when you feel the combustion under your feet as each one of them fire at maximum RPM, grinning your face off, your heart racing, eyes gleaming… Oh! What a feeling! I’m talking about the scent of burning gasoline through the exhaust mixed with the scent of the coast at a distance and the symphony of live bands with engines revving.
IBW 2019 India was just all about that… Hosted in Little Vagator Goa. The tradition began in 2013, however 2019 was my first time there. Before I tell you the details of the Event, I’d like to share my experience of the migration itself.
And even before that, the prep for this ride as it was approximately 650 Kms one way and the duration was approximately 12hrs long.
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Although I’m not the rider, sitting in a single position for 12 hrs with breaks of maximum of 15- 20 minutes does take a toll on your body; especially the spine. So I prepped by doing about 45 minutes of yoga everyday religiously 1 month prior to the ride while focusing more on stretching the back, neck, shoulders and hips. This minimises the risks of muscle catches and stiffness during the ride.
While my partner prepped by increasing his routine stretches, and focusing more on strengthening the muscles to build stamina, eliminate the possibilities of shoulders, back and arm aches during the ride and most importantly to keep the mind sharp and agile in case of unexpected situations.
Stormborn; The Kawasaki Ninja 650 2014 model was our chariot in green and Black for the long haul was treated by the experts at Power Plant in Kormangala, Bangalore where she underwent a full body check- up with an engine oil & oil filter change, top- up on break fluids, coolant, fork oil etc., Once motorcycle doctors gave a heads up, she was fed till she was full, the air pressure in the tyres were checked and last but not the least washed and polished.
Carrying the following is highly recommended for the basic DIY…
- Tool Kit with extra clutch, the accelerator cable and jumper cables.
- Chain cleaner and Lube.
- Bangalore > Dobbaspet > Tumkuru > Sira > Hiriyur > Chitradurga > Hadadi > Rannebennur > Haveri > Hubli > Dharwad > Londa > Goa
- Bangalore > Dobbaspet > Tumkuru > Sira > Hiriyur > Chitradurga > Hadadi > Rannebennur > Haveri > Hubli > Dharwad > Kittur > Bidi > Goa.
When the clock struck 3:20 A. M., We began our migration and chose the 2nd route as mentioned in the route map above. To our surprise we weren’t the only ones to cruise the roads at such an early hour.
3 hours later…
1st stop: 0600 hours
I’m not sure of the name and can’t share any pictures that I clicked as it was pretty dark and the view couldn’t be captured on the phone. Never-the –less, the view is of a hill with a tiny lake in front of it. Even with all the darkness, the hazy glow at the break of dawn was just enough to savour the view with our eyes only. And not missing the opportunity to click Stormborn and her beaming eyes…
Mind you! The roads after Chitradurga are not that great with a lot of diversions to take due to the never ending road construction.
2nd stop: 07:00 hours
It was a small restaurant named Murty’s which had just then opened and at this point we were starving and this was the first decent place to stop for breakfast that was serving immediately. They had the usual south Indian menu with idly, dosa, khara bath etc. Keeping in mind the journey ahead we opted to settle for Idly and stay light so that we don’t start feeling drowsy on the way. And yes! The food was good, didn’t taste much like a hotel but it did taste more like home cooked food. And the tea too was really good. I’m particularly talking about tea as a lot eateries dilute the tea with water, but no! Not here. This stop was for about 45 min. Vroom! Off we go…
We had a few more stops along the way, nowhere prominent… Just as and when we needed some refreshments.
12:00 Hours, 3 stops later…
After hitting the highways for 545 Kms approx., we finally reached State High way 31 where we had a speed date with a lovely bridge and a quite river underneath before the bridge led to twisted narrow roads of the forest reservoirs.
We took a stop here, No talking, No noise of the highway, just the sound of water slowly rippling away. It was a stop to slow down the pace for a few minutes and let the serenity sink in before we cut through the roads again.
The roads through the forests are definitely beautiful with nothing but soothing green all around but due to the recent monsoon, parts of the roads are in pretty bad shape and the effects of which were made quite evident with the rear chain guard falling off and the nuts and bolts had just vanished thanks to the bumpy roads.
Approximately an hour and a half later we finally made it to Goa. The change in temperature right after crossing the Karnataka border was like stepping out of a force field. The air was humid and hot, we couldn’t wait to get out of all the gear that barely shielded us from the cold earlier that morning. The next thing we searched for was an auto shop to fix up the chain guard in place.
Once that was solved, our last and final stop for the day was our ‘Casa’ for the next 3 days: Sai Coco Resorts, now taken over by flagship Oyo, a.k.a OYO Flagship 19362 Sai Coco Resort. Being right opposite to Morjim Beach, like crossing the road and voila… the beach! It was my first choice although the accommodation was about 14 kms away from Little Vagator where the event was held due to the non -availability of good, budgeted stays in the vicinity. And opting for this place definitely brought no regrets. The staff was really friendly and the attached restaurant served some really yummy food.
After a few hours of rest, we headed towards Morjim beach for the evening and just chill as we were exhausted with the ride and this beach was just a 100 meters walk away.
We sat in the shack rather than the sunbeds out front as the front row was already full…
There are a lot of shacks on the beach and all of them offer the sun bed option with full service and once the sun sets, they even offer candle light dinner option on the beach. So, we gorged on seafood… Prawns, Pomfret Fish, Tiger Prawns, all perfectly prepared in different cuisine style and served with chips and salad. Now I’m from Bangalore and I’m used to food being a little spicy as places like Goa call my taste, these shacks served exquisite dishes and they were definitely lip- smacking while lacking just a pinch of that extra spice that every Indian craves 😀 I believe.
For the next 2 days: 6th & 7th DEC 2019
IBW, Little vagator, Goa
The gates were open to participants from 14:00 hours onwards and went on till 22:30 hours. And the following events were witnessed.
Timed Trail Track Events
IBW participants for the first time ever since 2013 had the chance to showcase their talents and grit by competing in any of the 4 different race tracks. Flat Track Timed Trials by Harley-Davidson India, Hill Climb by School of Dirt, Big Rock Enduro Training Academy and Moto Mob were the track events hosted this time.
Big Trip by Motorcycle Legends
Rok Bagoros, (International Celebrity Stunter), FMX 4 EVER, (International Freestyle MotoCross Team), Aishwarya Pissay, (First Indian Athlete To Win A World Title), Rajini Krishnan, (First Indian Winner of Asian Road Racing Championship) and Simran King, (National Champion for JK Tyre 1000 CC Category), Ashish Raorane (rally rider) showcased their talents and gathered at the Big Trip for a session on careers in motorsport moderated by Sagar Sheldekar.
Global speakers: Candida Louis, Manas Dewan, Anuradha Bhonsale Dewan, Girish Venkatraman, Deepak Kamath, Sukesh Viswanath, Debashish Ghosh, Dharmendra Jain, Alex Chacon were also a part of the Big Trip Speakers who shared the stage with Motorcycle Nomads like Ted Simon, Nick Sanders, Horizons Unlimited, the late Hubert Kriegel, to paint a picture of their experiences in the world of two-wheel travel.
Faces of IBW
Six-time World Enduro champion and KTM Adventure Ambassador, Giovanni Sala, a.k.a. The Master Mentor for KTM Adventure Rallies shared his valuable insights on adventure biking with the bikers. India’s very own superstars Aishwarya Pissay, Rajini Krishnan, and Simran Singh too graced the festival with their presence.
Sight & Sound for Sour Senses
SU Real & General Zooz, Ritviz, Pineapple Express, Best Kept Secret along with L.Y.D.,charmed the audience with their voices and instruments while Moto Art collective, showcased some of the various artists presenting Biker inspired art and installations by Bacon & Eggs, Prankur Rana, Mechlogue and Tilak Godwa defining the hand- built moto.
Shopping Spree Indulgence
Motorcycle enthusiasts had a wide array of products to choose from for their every biking need. From after-market parts & travel accessories to stickers, you name it, they had it! IBW 2019 saw fresh entrepreneur and the biggest brands all offering products and services at attractive prices only for the tradition to thrive with participation by well over 120 + brands to choose from. Some of the prominent brands seen were Rynox Gears, Big Bad Bikes, Performance Racing Store etc while some of the newest entrants were Creators Co & Blacklisted to name a few.
Apart from all the official offering, we saw the major motorcycle makers showcase their big bad toys…
To sum it up, the festival of bikes is one event you shouldn’t miss if you are a motorcycle enthusiast and have to be a part of it at least once in a lifetime.
8th DEC 2019
We departed from our accommodation and began our journey back to Bangalore. Nothing new on the way back,except for the fact that we had to take a lot more breaks compared to the time we began our ride (goa from Bangalore and completed that in 11 hours) which led us to complete our journey in 14 hours on our way back, but the most fun part was that the roads were filled with a lot of bikers all returning back from IBW and a lot of other commuters indulged in conversations and appreciated the tradition.
I would also like to talk about tyremarket.com, who have been very supportive in our endeavours by helping us pick and choose the right tyres for the ride and serviced the bike with regards to tyre changing without any hassles. For this ride our chariot ran on Pirelli Diablo Rosso || with a recent DOT thanks to once again Tyremarket.com.
Until next time…
Laugh. Ride. Live!!!