India Bike Week is a festival that celebrates the brotherhood of bikers. In 2014 it happened for the second time, at the same place – Vagator, Goa. I didn’t take part in the first iteration, but the second one was something I looked forward to from quite a long time! Turns out it was going to be a quite a disappointment. Here are the reasons why I feel the India Bike Week 2014 was a disaster:
1. Overpriced tickets
I bought the early bird tickets, which were 2700bucks per person. This price then went up to 3000. Female tickets were priced at 2500 rupees. Tickets for a single day were priced at 1800 bucks.
The India Bike Week guys said that they had made some arrangements for people to stay the night, which they thought was affordable. I checked that out too: 1600 bucks to sleep in a dormitory style bed with a bunch of other people. Really? I finally got a room of my own someplace else, 800 bucks and so much more peace.
2. Overpriced food
Not just that the entry was costly, even when you get in, everything was priced higher than usual! Add to that the fact that there were barely any “normal” food items available, and I spent 2 hours starved and parched. Parched because, get this, the stall that was supplying water bottles says that they ran out of it 2 hours ago! Take some overpriced beer instead?
For someone who is a vegetarian, isn’t too much into unknown cuisines and doesn’t drink, this was a complete nightmare. I had to get out of the venue, roam around for some food and water, and then come back again.
3. It was IHW, not IBW
The organizers for the event should have admitted it themselves, India Bike Week was more of India Harley Week. You got a Harley? Welcome! Go straight in and park wherever your heart desires. You got something other than a Harley? Go to the ticket counter and get a band for your bike, otherwise park outside and walk.
There were Harleys everywhere. The loudest bike competition was essentially a my-harley-is-louder-than-yours match. I guess what I am trying to say is, if you were hit by a Harley and flung 20 feet in the air, chances are you would be impaled on the mirrors of another Harley. Anyone who wasn’t on a hog, even superbikers, were left to fend for themselves.
4. There was no excitement
The ONLY event that I had fun with, was the MRF Stunt Bikers show by Callum Shaw and Luke Smith. It was amazing. Rest everything? You don’t want to know.
When you go to a “biker fest”, you expect there would be metal bands playing heavy music and guys going crazy in mosh pits. Instead I witnessed an all girls band playing something I barely understood, and the 7 or 8 people who were watching were just looking at the girls, they didn’t give 2 shits about the music.
I was told that last year there was an off-roading area where you could have fun with your bike, no sign of it this time. There was also an area last time where you could try your hand on some guitars and jam around, not in 2014. It was an incredibly boring experience.
5. India Bike Week 2014 had no clear purpose
If you want real bikers to get together and have fun, you take them on a ride, not cram them up onto the most congested roads in the country. India Bike Week 2014 seemed to be organized for just one purpose, to showcase the new Harleys and give and opportunity to the Harley owners to flaunt what they got.
Even the Ride For Safety that was done afterwards, are you kidding me? How does 100 bikes riding together through single lane roads and fucking up the lives of normal Goan people make anything safe?
India Bike Week 2014 gave me a valuable lesson, don’t follow the crowd. I saw bizarre happenings there, like a dude who brought his Harley in a truck right up to the IBW venue, unloaded the bike, vroomed around the ground and did some show off, then put it back in the truck and drove off. If that is the kind of biker you want to be, be sure to visit India Bike Week in 2015. As for me, I am staying a 1000kms away from anyplace where more than a 50 bikers are together.