Friday, November 23, 2007

Bikers’ club on offline tours

By Source: The Telegraph on November 22,2007

Siliguri, Nov. 20: Members of an online bikers’ community run from Siliguri have hit the road on their favourite two-wheelers to promote tourist destinations in Bengal and Sikkim.

Our primary aim was to rope in bikers from different corners of India and also from abroad. However, the unprecedented rise in the number of members prompted us to think of offline activities like get-togethers and tours,” said Santanu Banerjee, the Siliguri-based electrical engineer who designed and launched the website,, less than a year ago.

Already around 2,500 motorcycle enthusiasts have joined the online club.

“Considering the spirit and adventurous attitude of bikers, many of whom dream of going on long trips, we thought of conducting tours in Bengal and Sikkim to promote tourist destinations,” Banerjee said.

Since October 14, the community members have gone on two trips to Darjeeling and Kalimpong. “On November 24, we start off for Sikkim, covering all the four districts of the state. The next proposal is to tour the Dooars and Digha via Calcutta,” he said.

The travelogues, along with pictures of the first two trips, are already available on the website. “We will also upload information like distance, roadside amenities including fuel outlets and repairing shops, and places where bikers can stay,” Banerjee added.

“We are receiving lots of enquiries, both from members and guests. Many of them are contemplating going on similar trips. Even bike fanatics from the US are writing to us for more information,” Banerjee said.

After the trips to different parts of Bengal and Sikkim end in December, a group of xKmph members from across the country are planning to visit Leh and Khardong-la, the highest motorable road in the country, on their bikes next year. “However, we need sponsors because till now we were paying for everything from our own pocket,” said Suman Gurung, who will accompany Banerjee on the Sikkim trip.

“We also plan to launch an e-magazine for bikers, which will be the first of its kind in the country,” said Gurung.

Apart from the tours, the club has also organised get-togethers in Siliguri, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore, where xkmph enjoys a substantial member base.

“Similar events will be conducted in other places like Calcutta and Mumbai. We also have members from Bhutan now who have shown an interest in our offline activities,” said Banerjee.