North East Riders Meet now in it’s 8th edition is being hosted by RERAM (Royal Enfield Riders Association of Meghalaya). One of the older bullet clubs in India, and this is their third major residential event they are hosting after NERM 2011, BOBMC Rider Mania 2013.
Talk to bulleteers about North East Riders Meet, and invariably it will invoke a strong sense of wanderlust. North East, the place blessed with infinite landscapes, mountains, great food and the most hospitable people makes it every biker’s dream.
Interviewer’s note: I’ve known Kiki Gulrez Sohilya for some years now. The first time we interacted was when we were hustling for a sponsorship with an energy drink for Rider Mania 2013. Good to be working with Kiki once again this year and help in any way I can. I couldn’t make it for the event because of my engagement which was on the same day as the event, but we kept in touch through all this and met at Rider Mania’s where ever it happened. The hustle is always on. Thanks again for the inputs brother, and looking forward to meeting you and the RERAM team at NERM 2016!
1. Tell us about RERAM, it’s history and how it was formed. Who are the key faces?
RERAM was formed in Shillong in 2006 with the sole intention of creating a common platform for Royal Enfield riders to meet and go on rides to experience different places and interact with different people and cultures and especially to experience life on the Highways. The club started with the initiatives of a few guys including P.S. Warjri, Franco, Damian, Reigner, Nunu and a few more.
2. How does it feel to be hosting the biggest NERM till date! Tell us about the numbers
This year’s edition of NERM has seen a massive increase in the number of participants, and never has it happened before that the hosting club has to close the registrations 2 months before the event. We are looking at a figure of 900+ riders. Anything beyond that would be chaotic. Quality matters, not quantity.
Pic credit: Vishwas MG of RTMC
3. How are you managing the space requirements for hosting such a number?
Space was never a concern at all, the venue is huge enough to accommodate 1000+ riders. However we chose to restrict the nos as sanitation and food might be an issue.
4. The support this year for NERM has been phenomenal. What do you attribute this sudden spike in excitement to?
There’s been a sharp sharp rise in the number of participants this year, a big surprise to all including us.
Well it’s the Maloi effect I guess. We have been very active, not just at NERM, but even at RM, and it’s the carefree and fun loving attitude of the members of the club that makes us pretty popular.
PS: What is Maloi? Scroll down 🙂
5. You’ve hosted one Rider Mania, and two NERMs so far. How would you compare these two?
We hosted NERM in 2011 where we had 210 participants, and it wasn’t much of a problem, fewer participants’ means less headache. And to many, we never knew what is NERM, but it was smooth.
Then came RM in 2013, we were much better than 2011, but RM is way too different from NERM. We gave our best shot, little of luxury but more of hospitality, and we introduced the BYOT concept.
NERM 2011 and RM 2013 were a big learning experience for us. We did look back at these two events, discussed and analyzed things, and worked out where things could have been better.
The moment we were given NERM, we knew that expectations by the riders will be huge, so will be the no of participants.
We started very very early, planned well ahead of time, documented everything, created as many as 15 different teams, review the progress of each team periodically.
6. What is the profile of riders coming this year for NERM?
We got riders from almost each and every state in the country, then riders from different parts of Nepal and Bhutan will also be attending.
7. North Eastern hospitality is known to be legendary. Can you give a glimpse of what awaits us?
Hospitality is indeed something we are very proud of. Get ready for the sexiest venue ever, good food, awesome entertainment, fun filled sport and games.
8. How do you address the challenge of getting sponsors each year for NERM? Traditionally, it’s never been on the top of the list for sponsors. (It’s totally fine to say, you couldn’t care less!)
We started working on the sponsors since May, and has approached as many as 76 different firms, companies and business houses. Sponsorship is not very common in this part of the country, but we are fortunate enough that some companies did respond and hope something works out.
9. If you had to let out one secret about NERM 16, what would it be?
Watch out for the Sports and Games! 🙂
10. While we are all promoting tourism in North East, what is being done to promote responsible tourism in the region?
This year’s edition of NERM is based on the theme Your Road, Your Planet, Your Responsibility which is a strong indication that we are serious about our responsibilities towards Road Safety, the Environment. We also launched an initiative entitled “The Road Is Not Your Dustbin” earlier, wherein our initial focus was on the tourist, taxi drivers and other commercial vehicle drivers.
11. What’s next for RERAM?
We’re the Malois! So we honestly don’t know. Apart from RM and NERM, nothing is pre-planned. We meet, drink and a ride is decided.
The Venue for NERM 2016, hosted by RERAM
About RERAM (Royal Enfield Riders Association of Meghalaya)
RERAM was formed in Shillong in 2006 with the sole intention of creating a common platform for Royal Enfield riders to meet and go on rides to experience different places and interact with different people and cultures and especially to experience life on the Highways.
This group has been formed with the goal of meeting like-minded individuals with a passion for travel, adventure and Royal Enfield Motorcycles. We also encourage Royal Enfield riders from other parts of the country and even abroad to visit Shillong and the North East and experience riding in the hills, RERAM started with just about 8 members but this small spark grew into a flame and ever since the club has grown from strength to strength and at present the club has about 120 members but of these there are about 30 hard core members who ride through Sun, Rain or snow and the rest do join the rides on and off.
RERAM through the years, has been involved in many activities of charity, like Medical Camps, helping orphanages, old age Homes and leprosy colonies apart from these charitable activities the club has been involved in awareness programmes like AIDS, Natural disasters management and many more in collaboration with the Government of Meghalaya and other Social Organizations . RERAM is not just a riding club but it has become a big family always helping each other and being there for each other in times of fun and especially in times of need.
As riders of a particular state we would like to elaborate a bit on our State “Meghalaya” meaning the “Abode of Clouds” also fondly called “The Scotland of the East”. Our state is situated in the North Eastern Part of India and was carved out of Assam in 1972 with an area of 22,429 sq km and a population density of 78.5 per sq kms and is inhabited by three major tribes the “Khasis” of East Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi District and the West Khasi Hills District the “Jaintias” or “Pnars” of Jaintia Hills and the “Garos” of East, West and South Garo Hills District and amazingly all three Tribes follow the Matrilineal form of society. The people of this small but picturesque state are very friendly, innocent and generally very hospitable, always ready to lend a helping hand. The British influence in this state is so deep rooted that other than the three major languages of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo English is the language which is also widely spoken in fact it is the official language which is used in Government Departments. Meghalaya is so full of scenic beauty that everywhere you travel one is greeted by beautiful waterfall clear streams and rivers and everything is green and beautiful throughout the year so??? Let’s find out what is there over the next hill and around the next bend and every safe rider, we say “SAFE” because RERAM is always for the safety of its riders and the welfare of other riders and the general populace, is welcome to join this BAND OF BROTHERS in riding into the FAR BLUE MOUNTAINS to enjoy the cool breeze on your face and the feeling of Independence when we are all alone on the Saddle just you and your machine and also to enjoy the scenic beauty of the hills of Meghalaya and the North East
Deepak and I are headed to NERM 2016 and this would be our first NERM. Something I have been promising Kiki for ages and not been able to. Really looking forward to the wildest event of them all!
PS: Maloi = Half a brain