You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Meet Mohit Ahuja founder of Bikers for Good, who gave riding bikes a different meaning. Recently he brought out all the riders in the capital to show respect to the cops for their effort to check the unruly stunt bikers.
Q: What is Bikers for Good?
A: Bikers for Good is a motorcycle club that rides solely for social causes. It started on the 2nd of October, 2011. Initially, it wasn’t even meant to be a club but a one-off ride to Muskaan, an NGO in Vasant Kunj, Delhi that works for the welfare of the intellectually challenged. 57 bikers attended the ride and in less than 2 hours of the event they raised a donation of Rs. 56,000. Just a few days after that, I was hospitalized for a good two months due to serve lungs infection and isolating me from my social life. And I thought that nothing was happening with the Bikers for Good page but when I was discharged from the hospital and came online, it was a completely different story. The number of people following the group had grown from 50 to more than 500. People were constantly asking when we were riding again. This made me realize that doing good is not a one-time act, and you have to do it over and over again. And hence, it became a proper motorcycle club.
The journey was a tough one. People thought that we’re a club that just gets bikers together to gather donations. There were also bikers who did not really get the idea of Bikers for Good and there are still some who don’t. But, with time, things have changed. The biker fraternity has started to recognize us. Senior bikers as well as other biking clubs have started to respect us. The support is so great that even though we’re not a Superbiker club, we’re sometimes the only “non-superbike” club invited to superbike rides and rallies. Today, we have more than 3,000 members and currently operating in Delhi and Lucknow, but with god’s grace, we shall soon spread our wings pan India.
Q: Do you really think a biker can enjoy his ride without getting little bad? After all biking is about that adrenaline rush.
A: Why not? Biking as an activity has a lot to do with pushing the limits. But, the adrenaline rush is just a small part of the segment. There are bikers out there who love to do track races, and stunts. But then, there are also the bikers who feel that going for a bike ride is a means of seeking solitude, a way of meditation.
Often, the term “HARDCORE BIKER” is heard and I think this entire connotation is a myth. You never hear hardcore photographer, hardcore manager, hardcore journalist, or anything like that. Similarly, a biker is a biker. His passion for two wheels makes him unite with the brotherhood. What he rides and how he rides is something that might distinguish him from others.
Coming to the “getting bad” part, at Bikers for Good we have our own ways of getting bad. The whole idea of Bikers for Good is something that separates us from the rest. There are so many biking clubs who ride out every Sunday, come back home, sleep over it, and wait for the next Sunday. The idea is, if you can integrate your riding, with doing something good, and then why not make the most of it. We often do activities to make people understand the causes. These put the patience and the tolerance of the bikers to test. It is our way of bringing a person out of his comfort zone and bursting his bubble, to make him face the harsh realities of life. We get an adrenaline rush out of it!
Q: When did you start biking and how was the response of your family?
A: I’d learnt riding a two-wheeler in my school days but, I really took up biking as a serious passion in 2004 during my college days. My family did not really get the idea of buying a bike, and going for rides et al was something they were pretty opposed to. I still remember the initial one-day bike trips I did with my friends. I never told about them at home. But over the years my family has understood how serious I am about biking. They completely support me, and I make it a point that whenever possible, somebody from my family comes for the Bikers for Good rides and sees what we’re up to.
Q: What will be your advice to a youngster who wants to take up this hobby?
A: A bike can be bought, but the identity of a BIKER is earned. Ride responsibly and that will get you respect and recognition for who you are!
Q: Share us your experience on your ride event on safe riding?
A: After the hooligans created a ruckus at India Gate, the media had suddenly hyped up the point that bikers create ruckus and carried stories about bikers breaking laws. Because of a handful of motorists misbehaving on the streets, the entire biking fraternity was being held in bad light. Biking is something that every biker really respects. We wear protective gear in harsh weather conditions, and ensure that we as well as the people around us stay safe.
The ride was planned to send out this message of safety. A simple statement can help anybody distinguish between a BIKER and a Biker Rider, and that was, “REAL BIKERS RESPECT LAWS!”
Biking clubs from all over Delhi were invited. Close to 200 bikers turned up and made a statement of respect. The cops at Jantar Mantar were not expecting us, as we hadn’t taken prior permissions. But when they came questioning, bikers smiled at them, welcomed them and thanked them for their diligence and for serving the public 24×7. Police personnel were stunned over how we 5-6 ride marshals managed to get more than 200 bikers to the venue riding with utmost discipline in a 2×2 formation which I think sends out a good message.
Q: What is your opinion on the recent killing of biker by policeman in the capital?
A: What happened shouldn’t have happened. I agree to that, but I think it would be very unjust on our part to hold the entire Police Force in bad light for one incident.
Why it happened? How it happened? Whether it was right or wrong… all these things are for the court of law to decide. We hardly know about the circumstances of the situation.
Q: Why there are not much Indian in motorsports especially biking?
A: Biking has come of age in India. Almost 10 years back, there were hardly any bikers around. Today, however, bikers have come out into the limelight and there are new biking clubs coming up every second day. However, the government needs to understand that Biking is equally a sport as is football, cricket, and hockey. We’re constantly trying to change the mindset of BIKERS being looked at as hooligans, and I can just hope that someday soon, we have formal training being imparted to youngsters wanting to pursue the sport as a career.
Q: Tells about us about yourself?
A: I am a copywriter by necessity, a photographer by passion and a biker for life. These are basically the three things my life revolves around.
My father used to work with the Indian Railways and retired 6 years back as Joint Director, Vigilance. I have three sisters with the eldest being intellectually challenged, and a loving mother from whom I’ve learnt to live a selfless caring life. We’re just another middle class Punjabi family.
I don’t know what the future holds for me, and I really don’t make 5-year 10-year plans. I just think that it’s better to die without any regrets than live with them. I do what I really believe in and I just hope time and age don’t change things.