PANAJI:  South Goan cycling club, Xaxti Riders had organised a ‘Christmas Ride 2020‘ on Saturday evening. Not exactly an occasion for regular endurance cyclists, this special ride was dedicated to the spirit of Christmas, thus starting at 7pm in the avatar meant for a ‘magical evening fun ride to check out the Christmas lighting!.’

In an elaborate press communique, Xaxti Riders described the event as follows.

“The Xaxti Riders Christmas Ride 2020 was routed this year through the beautiful villages of Curtorim and Macasana. Seventy five Xaxti Riders  clad in cheery red with enthusiasm to match, took off at 7pm sharp for a magical evening fun ride to check out the Christmas lighting! If every turn was a wonderland of lit homes, Christmas  trees, life like Santa Clauses and beautiful cribs on land and water, the riders themselves had dressed up their cycles to match! Green and red sparkling  festoons, lights , glowing wheels …the works!!! Abhijit Chatterjee and his beautiful family fine tuned it with an exemplary display of creativity fitting a miniature crib to Puspa’s handle bar!!!
Chandor which delighted in its heritage splendour as much as the festive lighting played host to a regrouping before we proceeded to Chandor Monte for refreshments…. A short climb no doubt but a soul satisfying repast!

Chaltonbab brought forth two handis of ‘Soji’ the all-Goan coconut, jaggery and wheat cooked painstakingly on a wood fire delicacy! Sugar and spice have to tango to make it nice and Johnnybab obliged with crisp egg samosas in a batter perfected by Goan cooks! Traditional plum cake and juice rounded up the festive picnic! Lots of banter while posing for pictures and then the descend for the ride back  through Guirdolim village. A re-check of the amazing lighting , the floating display on Macasana lake and back to where the evening began!
A delightful evening with what is now an extended family. We did miss our regular riders who were not able to join in but it was very nice to meet the spouses and children of some of our fellow riders! Always reassuring to have a safety car and a patrol. Paul Sa with his Gypsy, Blaise , Clare, Pradip and Aileen on motorbikes obliged hugely  and delighted with their presence!! Freddiebab and his friend who came all the way across the Zuari made this occasion complete!

The year 2020 has been surreal and it is festivals muted as never before which have stood us all in stead with their special magic and flavour. Christmas Ride 2020 has been the perfect finale to the Xaxti Riders Immunity Boosting and Stress Busting rides of 2020 which have not only been about cycling but more importantly about an enduring and supportive bonding between members.


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