G.O.D.S- group of delhi superbikers
Dr. Arun Thareja
For your club, what does motorcycling stand for?
Its our life line, can’t survive without it. Its freedom, its brotherhood & it flows like blood in us & in our lives- its top priority & we all do this in a very safe & respectable manner to inspire every upcoming rider & to take motorcycling into everybody’s heart.
Tell us briefly about the motorcycling ethics followed collectively by your club especially when related to practicing and promoting safe motorcycling?
Since the inception of the group, safety has been the top priority & to minimize the risks we strictly follow our criteria- nobody rides without a proper riding gear irrespective of the weather/ minimum age for joining is 25 years/ minimum riding experience of one year/ educational qualifications/ maturity & a team player attitude- which is gauged by an interview prior to joining
On every ride we follow strict group riding rules- 1) nobody overtakes the leader 2)the new members remain with the sweeper at the back for a minimum of 6 weeks 3) 3-4 marshals are appointed in every ride who’s job is to keep a watch on the entire group & reprimand anybody who’s not riding correctly 4) a staggered group riding is always followed with the liberal use of hand signals
How would you justify the inherent dangers and risk involved in riding motorcycles?
We cannot justify things which are inherent to our passion- motorcycling. Two wheels are inherently risky, specially in our country & we can’t change that, what we can change is our attitude & the approach to biking, maturity & safety being the 2 key words .we have one life & to enjoy our passion you have to be alive first, so gear up & be a sensible rider.
Tell us briefly about the 2 most memorable/important motorcycling events organized by or participated in by your club?
There are many events done by us since our inception but the 2 most memorable were-
1) The launch of GODS calendar in Feb 2012. Under the guidance of our creative genius, Alex John, we shot some amazing pictures for our calendar in the extreme winters of delhi week after week. Special locations were thought of & the end result of all the efforts was simply stunning. The launch took place at Hotel Claridges, New Delhi & the who’s who of the 2 wheeler automotive industry turned up along with many Superbiking groups . The setting of the stage with the AV equipment & the open green lawns of the venue made for a picture perfect launch which was done by the veteran rallyist & ace rider, Rajiv Khanna plus the added attraction of the superbikes lined up in the drive way, it was an unforgettable evening indeed.
2) In march this year GODS were invited by Team Mahi Racing India at the Buddh Interntional Circuit, greater noida for a track session & tete- a- tete session with their two international riders- Kenan Sofuoglu & Fabien Foret. As we all know the main principal of the racing team is our indian cricket captain- M.S.Dhoni but we were all pleased to see his unflinching passion in motorcycling present in the entire Mahi Racing Team & it was indeed an honour for GODS to interact & do laps with them on the track. Truly an unforgettable day
How has your motorcycling club contributed to the society/brotherhood and plan to do so in the years to come?
The usp of GODS is safe superbiking/motorcycling & we advocate this everywhere all the time. We have done safety seminars in colleges like DCE ( delhi college of engineering); NSIT ( netaji subash chander institute of technology); etc & explained the importance of safe & sensible riding to the aspiring riders.
We have done many safety rallies with the NGO- Trafficzam.com in Delhi & Noida & in the last rally, Hindustan Petroleum was our partner & again the importance of traffic rules & safe riding was highlighted.
GODS & its founder Dr.Arun Theraja have been featured in innumerable print & television media whenever there has been a discussion or a debate about anything related to motorcycling good or bad & as always the group has pushed for safety & responsible riding & tried to convey that biking is not eqvivalent to hoolignism, many respectable people do it & they never break the law or are a public nuisance. One of the most memorable tv shoot on safety was with the CNN-IBN channel on sept 2011. In some instances when bikers are on the wrong side , we have never hesitated to point them out
GODS have regularly conducted their public get togethers, twice a year, where they have interacted with all the young & old riders, answered all of their queries & again stressed upon the importance of safety in motorcycling.our public get togethers are eagerly awaited
What are the best and the worst things about motorcycling in India?
The best things-1) its very reasonable to plan out a biking trip, the basic costs don’t hurt your pocket.
2)India has an amazing scenic beauty & there are some stunningly beautiful locales where if you don’t ride then you are doing injustice
3)you don’t have to break your bank to buy a motorcycle, you can enjoy touring on a reasonably priced commuter motorcycle & the 2nd hand market is very economical.
4) the spares & service are relatively cheap & are available almost everywhere
5)on a trip by n large you come across very nice & helping people
6) while buying new bikes, the installment options offered by the manufacturers are very attractive
The worst things- 1) it’s a free for all out on the roads, nobody gives a damn to road etiquettes & you have to be constantly on the alert to avoid a crash, whether it’s a jay walking pedastrian, a cow munching away or a 4 wheeler coming at you from the opposite direction in your lane, its saving yourself all the time as if you were at the border fighting a war.
2)The condition of the roads is pathetic & specially after the monsoons you might think that you are riding across the craters on the moon. Its so bad that sometimes more than half of the front wheel disappears in the pot hole & you are flung over like a rag doll.
3) the quality of the fuel & lubricants on some highways is doubtful with the result that you can end up with a seized engine
4) the superbikes available these days in the showrooms are frightfully expensive & are out of reach for the majority of the population, though it’s the customs duty structure which is to be blamed but in the end a bike lover can not afford to buy the superbike of his dreams
5) in case of any mishap the majority of the indian public remains a mute spectator & this is specially true in big cities
6) due to the ever increasing CO levels & other pollutants in the atmosphere & the vehicular traffic, a commute on the motorcycle in the city is a nightmare in india
7) there is still some jealousy amongst bikers, though it has diminished a lot but it can be seen & felt sometimes & in our country we feel it’s the highest. Thanks to the social networking sites the biking brotherhood & unity has gone up tremendously but there still are some rotten apples out there.
8) if one has to buy a 2nd hand bike here in India ,then one has to be very careful as there are many fraudsters selling useless machines as perfect & this is specifically true for superbike adverts posted on classified pages on the net. You can not trust anybody