With the pandemic raging through the country and lockdown in place everywhere, Royal Enfield surprised everyone today by announcing that the Rider Mania 2020 will happen from 29th to 31st May.
They did have to improvise given the nature of the current situation, and the event will be held virtually, as a large-scale Zoom video conference.
For the uninitiated, Rider Mania is one of the biggest motorcycling festivals in India, where Royal Enfield aficionados from all over the country get together to celebrate the spirit of brotherhood and the love for bikes.
Since organizing such an event online would require some special efforts from the participants, Royal Enfield has published the following guidelines on their website:
1. Don’t invite your friends over to celebrate the festival together, see them on the video conference, and maintain social distancing at all times.
2. Collect as much fine dust and soil from outside your home as is safely possible, and periodically throw it on your face and body.
3. Ask your family members to drink as much beer as they can, and throw up at random places around the house where you’re most likely to step in it.
4. Please shut off the main water connection to your house one day before the festival begins, and throw away any drinking water that may be stored. Spend as much time as possible in direct sunlight to reach the optimum level of dehydration.
5. Doing as above will also leave no water to flush your toilets, which will add to the Porta Potty feel.
6. It’s extremely important to buy exactly 72 bottles of beer before the party starts. Please pay the liquor store twice the price of the alcohol, and refuse the change, for an authentic Rider Mania experience.
7. Since there’s no way to directly check how loud your exhaust is, the Loudest Bike Competition will be judged solely on the basis of how many noise complaints and FIRs are filed against you at the nearest police station.
8. Once the video conference begins and you’re through a few bottles, ensure that you pick a fight with some random stranger online to prove that your penis is not as tiny as everyone suspects it is.
9. Have some obnoxiously loud music playing throughout the duration of the festival, so that you can successfully drown away your own thoughts about how meaningless life is and why are you doing this to yourself.
10. Find a male member of your family and have an uncomfortably homoerotic drunk discussion with him about brotherhood, as your wife looks on.
With any luck, the organizers are hopeful that the entire spirit of Rider Mania will be captured in the event, without allowing the participants to infect each other with Covid, or disturb the sleep of too many decent human beings.
IBW, not to be left behind, has also started planning for a virtual Chai Pakoda ride of its own. They recommend that you get up at an ungodly hour in the morning, eat some semi-cooked food and tea with too much sugar in it, and then immediately jump out of the highest window in your house to simulate the motorcycle crash that defines the spirit of attending a Chai Pakoda ride.