Text by Dibesh Dangol
There is a growing number of people who enjoy driving for a weekend getaway or on holidays. Since this trend has been picking up steam, a variety of riding and/or driving events are being organised in the country. B360 has listed out some of these ride and drive events which have become favourites amongst driving enthusiasts.
Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride
The first Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride took place in 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Mark Hawwa founded this event inspired by a photo of Mad Men’s Don Drapper, played by Jon Hamm, riding a classic bike wearing his finest suit. The core idea behind this one-day ride event is to eliminate the stereotypes associated with motorcycle riders and the riding culture. The ride connects niche motorcycle communities while raising funds and creating awareness regarding prostate cancer research and men’s mental health. The first DGR in Nepal, organised by RS Moto, took place in 2016 in which 250 people participated. The following year, the number of participants rose to 400, and in 2018 there were 300 participants.
DGR 2019 will take place on 28 September globally including Nepal and the registration has already been opened online (www.gentlemansride.com). It is a closed ride event where only registered riders can view the local ride details.
“I have participated in all three DGR rides organised here in Kathmandu. The whole idea of dressing up in dapper clothing, riding in vintage retro motorcycles, meeting like-minded motorcycle culture enthusiasts, contributing to a good cause, and having a good time with friends are what excites me about this event,” shares Kapil Phuyal, a regular participant of the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.
Enfield Rendezvous and Poker Run by Sacred Summits
In 2009, Rabi Thapa, CEO of Scared Summits, along with Stewart Mclean, an Australian friend, initiated the first Enfield Rendezvous and Poker Run in memory of their late friend Binod Chhetri who was a passionate Enfield rider and adventure enthusiast. The idea of this type of event came about when Rabi Thapa and Binod Chhetri had a general talk about how motorcycle clubs abroad host such type of events to celebrate the riding culture and to have a fun game of poker.
“The event takes place during Nepali New Year’s Eve and Enfield riders from all over Nepal and other countries gather in Pokhara for 2 nights 3 days. The main purpose of this ride is to celebrate the biking brotherhood and Nepali New Year,” says Merina Shrestha, Manager of Sacred Summits. Along with the fun and celebration, a charity programme is also conducted on the second day.
Since its initiation, the popularity of this event has grown and it has become one of the most celebrated riding events. Concurrently, it has also come to symbolise a must-attend event for all Royal Enfielders not just from Nepal but other South Asian countries also.
“This was definitely one of the best biking events I have attended till date. Celebrating Nepali New Year and giving back to the community is a great combo and I am glad that I got to do both of these in a single event with my Enfield friends,” says Dr Sarika Mehta (Member of Biking Queens – India), Participant of Enfield Rendezvous and Poker Run 2018.
Unfortunately, Enfield Rendezvous and Poker Run will not be taking place this year because the Sacred Summits team is planning to come up with a separate exclusive plan targeting Visit Nepal 2020 campaign.
KTM Orange Tour by KTM – Ready To Race Nepal
KTM rides are KTM AG’s events which are held as per the preference of the authorised distributors all over the globe, which in case of Nepal is Hansraj Hulaschand & Co, KTM.
KTM – Ready To Race Nepal organises various ride events throughout the year from various showrooms located in various cities across the country. They have three types of ride events: Bikers Meet, KTM Orange Ride and KTM Orange Tour.
Bikers Meets are the most frequent ride events organised from various showrooms of Nepal as per the preference of the dealers where all motorcycle brands and riders can participate. KTM Orange Ride is a regional ride event organised from various KTM showrooms located throughout Nepal exclusively for KTM enthusiasts and riders.
The KTM Orange Tour is a multi-day annual event exclusively for KTM riders. The idea behind this tour is of exploration and challenging one to a once in a lifetime experience on both black topped and off-roads in the company of KTM personnel and fellow KTM riders. The duration of Orange Tour stretches between a week to two as per the destination and itinerary.
“Through this event, we aren’t hell-bent on promoting KTM brand. We want KTM owners and riders to know that KTM motorcycles aren’t just made for the streets and are great in rugged terrain too. The idea behind organising this ride is to create a common platform where like-minded and ride-loving KTM riders can gather, camaraderie can be made and a great time had with KTM personnel as well,” says Sulav Bajracharya, Marketing Officer at HH-KTM.
“Everybody has their family back home. But through this tour, I gained a new and special family- the KTM Family who have similar interests to mine. During the tour, we talk about KTM, our bikes and what else can we do with our bikes besides all the fun we have on the tour,” shares Anmol KC, Participant of KTM Orange Ride 2016 – Mission Mustang.
Nepal Riders Meet initiated by FORE Nepal
The Nepal Riders Meet (NRM) is a concept initiated by FORE Nepal (Friends of Royal Enfield) which takes place during February or March to bring together all kinds of classic, vintage and adventure-seeking riders from various places, backgrounds and cultures who share one thing in common: the love of motorbikes. NRM’s objective is to promote motorcycle culture, lifestyle and support local tourism. To participate, riders need to register for the event and can bring their own tent or book a dorm tent as per their financial feasibility. Various games and rides are conducted throughout the day followed by band concerts and DJ parties during the night.
Till now, three editions of NRM have taken place which were all huge successes. In NRM 2018, over 200 people representing 26 different clubs from all over Nepal and India participated, and NRM 2019 which was hosted by Royal Rhino Riders from Chitwan under the umbrella of FORE Nepal had over 300 participants representing over 40 clubs. “Our participating riders have enjoyed the event and have specially liked our hospitality, location and the idea behind organising NRM,” says Merina Shrestha, Manager at FORE Nepal
Grand Saturday Ride by Saturday Ride Nepal, a sub-body of Riders Unified
With the initiative of developing systematic group riding culture and safe riding techniques, Riders Unified organised their first Grand Saturday Ride event in 2012 in Kathmandu. This annual one-day ride event, organised in December, sees participation from more than 250 riders from all over Nepal. Since it is an open ride event and anyone can participate, the event is a common platform for all kinds of riders who love to ride motorcycles, meet other riders, listen and share their ride stories, and support the biking community.
“We announce the event details; gathering point, date and time via our Facebook page few weeks prior to the event date”, shares Dipesh Shrestha, President of Riders Unified. After reaching the destination, riders participate in various motorcycle related games, share interesting stories and bond with other riders. Besides fun and games, the organisers also hold a session during which the riders are given knowledge about safe riding techniques inside the city areas and highways. Maharjan adds, “For this year’s Grand Saturday Ride, we are planning to organise a ride that will especially focus on promoting Visit Nepal 2020 campaign.”
“It was a great opportunity for me to ride with Nepali riders around Kathmandu and get to know the culture via this event. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and got a chance to interact with riders and locals. I also got a chance to learn a bit of stunt-riding which is a bonus for me now,” says Chantal Simons aka Chick on the Chook Chaser (Lone Woman Biking Traveller), Participant of Grand Saturday Ride 2016.
Imagine Nepal by M&S Events
Started in 2016, Imagine Nepal was born out of the idea to provide impetus to the lack of event tourism in Nepal. The elements of off-road and Nepal’s rugged Himalayan terrain grew as a business idea for M&S Events. “Imagine Nepal as an event is the first of its kind in Nepal. There are various elements that come together to make this event a success. We promote the concept of off-roading and luxury tourism in Nepal,” states Milan Kumar Sardar Tharu, Operations Manager of Imagine Nepal.
In 2016, the destination was Manang, in 2017 it was Mustang, and in 2018, it was Rara-Bardia (Karnali Pradesh). Through these expeditions which have specially-made itineraries, Imagine Nepal wants to bring the best out of the customised routes which are experienced by convoys of around 75 people who document their memories for mass release to promote the destinations. The event is for anyone who likes off-road expeditions and luxury travel. Moreover, it encourages every person to participate who aspires to contribute to Nepal’s tourism industry.
The event takes place every year during mid-November. For 2019, the expedition is set to begin on November 15 and Imagine Nepal will be disclosing the destination soon via a press-release.
“It was a fantastic event and definitely an adventure of a lifetime for me. It motivated people to get out of their comfort zone, not just travel and luxury, but experience different kinds of adventure that Nepal has to offer,” shared Sadichha Shrestha, Miss Nepal World 2010 and Participant of Imagine Nepal 2017 (#DaretoLomanthang).
When and how did you become passionate about motorcycles?
I was passionate about motorcycles and riding since my teenage days but actively got involved in motorcycle culture in 2000.When I saw groups of riders riding together, enjoying their brotherhood, helping society and natural disaster victims through fund raising, and providing safety to communities while attending biking events, I became eager to join this motorcycle culture. From that point of my life, I have never looked back. I am and will be a part of this culture throughout my life.
How would you evaluate the present riding scene in Nepal?
This culture is definitely growing at a rapid pace. The young generation riders are smart and aware of this culture. Many young riders want to learn from the older generation of riders and are getting mixed with various such groups. Riders have been going on rides during holidays to explore Nepal and have created their own groups which I think will lead to developing this culture even more.
What is BOBMC Rider Mania? What was the idea behind the event?
BOBMC Rider Mania is a three-day annual event under the umbrella of Brotherhood of Bulleteers Motorcycling Consortium (BOBMC), India, initiated by Vernon Dias in 2003 where Enfield vintage and classic motorcycle owners gather at the event venue to commemorate the spirit of motorcycle riders, clubs and culture. The event has been hosted by various Indian clubs in the past and the upcoming BOBMC Rider Mania will be hosted by FORE Nepal.
We wanted to host BOBMC Rider Mania for quite a few years now. To be eligible and authorised to host this event, the group/club needs to attend Rider Mania for five successive years and needs to accumulate maximum votes from fellow member clubs. In 2016, we pitched but lost in votes due to Nepal’s political instability and economic blockade. For Rider Mania 2019 also we competed for the vote and lost, but we planned to try again for 2020 and we won.
When and where is it going to happen and what’s the registration process?
BOBMC Rider Mania 2020 –Chalo Nepal will be taking place from January 24-27, 2020 at Pame, Lakeside, Pokhara. The registration for the event starts from September 15 via the websites www.bobmc.info and www.forenepal.org.np.
How many participants are you expecting and what are your/ expectations from the event?
We are expecting more than 3000 participants since Nepal is hosting the first international edition of BOBMC Rider Mania. We have received positive feedback from motorcycle enthusiasts all over the world for the event.
It will definitely help a lot to promote VNY 2020 tourism campaign because we are hosting this event at the very beginning month of the tourism campaign and the sheer number of people we are expecting will definitely give a massive boost to the tourism campaign as well as to Pokhara tourism.