Attending The One Ride 2022, And Spending The Weekend With The Royal Enfield Hunter 350

Find out how I managed to do the One Ride 2022 and attend my brother’s reception all on the same day

Royal Enfield Hunter 350

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When Jehan asked me if I was interested in going for the Royal Enfield One Ride 2022 on Sunday, September 18, I had only one response: absolutely yes! To be honest, this was my first important ride at ZigWheels, which also involved me having the bike to myself over the weekend, so I was already quite excited.

Ever since I saw the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 in our garage, I wanted to take it for a ride, but because of some work or the other, it kept getting delayed. So when I did pick up the Retro variant of the roadster from Royal Enfield Showroom, Baner, on Friday evening, my plans were more or less sorted.

The Weekend

My weekend was looking extremely busy. It wasn’t just the One Ride 2022 that I had to attend but also my brother’s reception, which was on the evening of the same day as the ride. Interestingly, I had a bunch of shopping left to do as well, and I also had to familiarise myself with my weekend machine. So I did what any of you would, and took the Hunter out for a little shopping in the ‘city area’ of Pune. 

Hunter 350 In Parking Spots

Crowded roads, tight parking spots, massive potholes? We got it all, and let me tell you, the Hunter 350 was a rockstar in handling all of it. I even took my brother on the pillion seat, and we both are over six feet tall; and even though we weren’t the most comfortable two dudes on a bike, we were able to manage without too much of an issue.

One Ride 2022

This year, the folks at Enfield decided to take us to Purandar, a few kilometres beyond Saswad, in Pune. People who know Pune, know just how scenic, lush and mountainous the entire Saswad area is. For people who don’t, allow me to take you on a journey.

Enfield Lineup

We started from Satara road at 7:30 am, nothing but a long stretch of Enfields on the road including the Meteor 350, Classic 350, Himalayan, Scram 411, Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650.

This was my first group ride experience, and contrary to what I was expecting, I actually did have a lot of fun. Riding with a community retains the sense of thrill, but adds a safety net of people who you can rely on if things go south.

Going Up

Once we exited the city area and the mountains opened up to us, I was in another world. Nothing like the fresh and cold air in the morning to lift up your spirits. That, along with the swaying trees and moving clouds moving across the blue sky, had me delighted.

Closer to Purandar, I came across a lot of visually appealing landscapes, and the slight rain with rays of sunshine was just making my time on this ride an even more enjoyable one. Riding these ghats, twisties and gravelly roads was fairly smooth on the Hunter as it proved to be quite the confidence-inspiring set of two-wheels.

Getting Dirty

The Hunter 350 Off-roading

The most interesting bit was the most unexpected one – to get to Nishnai Devi Temple, we had to do a little offroading. But what we did not know was that because of the incessant rain, the offroad path was full of muck and more than ankle-deep mud. But, that did not stop us. 

I was a bit upset that I couldn’t go to the Pune offroad expedition the prior weekend, but tackling the muck on the Hunter was an absolutely delightful experience. The lightness and compactness of the bike helped me tackle the tricky situation with ease. A little throttle and clutch action had me riding through the slush smoothly, even with the sliding and small scares of falling down. 

One Ride 2022 Destination Reached

Once we got past that, we waited at the Nishnai Devi Temple for a bit, where everyone introduced themselves and started a discourse. Truly a wholesome moment. By then it was almost 12 pm already, and I had to get back home by 3 pm to get ready and prepare for the reception.

Ride Back

We left the Temple, crossed the mucky path again (FUN!) and headed to a school in Saswad for some charity work; however, by that time I had to start heading back if I wanted to make it in time. And so I got on the Hunter 350 and departed from the group. 

Heading home on the Hunter 350

The ride back home was fun in a different way, I crossed a highway, ghat, and even narrow city roads. All were equally exciting because of how well the Hunter 350 listens to you, and how agile and compact it is. Despite not being very fast, it gives you the idea of speed, which can be tamed, and even then I didn’t really get bored of riding it. 

Finally, I made it back home just in time, and my mom was not disappointed. Phew, quite a save, don’t you think? Although exhausting, my weekend was a wild one full of adventures, which I know were very local. But hey, I’m not complaining since I get to ride bikes for a living.

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