The state capital woke up to the thuds of bikes when three leading groups of the city began their tribute to Veenu Paliwal on Sunday morning.
Paliwal, 44, who hailed from the city, died last month in an accident near Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. She was one of the top women bikers of the country and was nicknamed Lady Harley as she used to ride a Harley Davidson bike.
At least 100 bikers, from Harley Davidson, Royal Rajasthan and Airborne groups, began their ride from the Harley Davidson showroom at Sahakar Marg at around 6am on Sunday, took a 20-km round of the city and ended the rally at the same spot.
Many riders shared their Veenu moments with the reporter before the ride.
“I am 21-year-old and Veenu ma’am always treated us as friends. We used to look up to her for advice when it came to bikes. We have assembled here to give the message that we will take her legacy forward,” said biking enthusiast Puneet Soni.
Women bikers too made their presence felt during the rally.
Leaning on her swanky bottle green Kawasaki Ninja, Pratibha Tyagi was thoughtful. She said her death conveyed a message about the importance of road safety. “She was perhaps the safest rider I knew. But, still the unfortunate incident happened. That is why young biking enthusiasts should always pay more attention to safety details before hitting the road,” said Tyagi, who has been riding for the last 6-7 years.
Her friend Nupur Saxena, who rides a Royal Enfield, said that Paliwal was instrumental in bringing women bikers to the centre-stage.
“The jacket that I am wearing today belonged to Veenu. I plan to complete the cross country ride that we were doing when the accident happened. The bike that I was riding is still kept at a showroom in Vidisha. I will be leaving for Madhya Pradesh shortly to finish the journey,” said Deepesh Tanwer, a close friend of Paliwal, who accompanied her when the mishap took place. He said there was a plan to organise a bike festival — Desert Throttle — on January 27 and January 28 next year. Over 800 bikers from across the country are expected to participate in a ride in Paliwal’s memory then,” Tanwer said.
One Prateek Saxena, who rides Harrison 650 superbike, said, “Her death is a huge loss to the Indian biking community as she was the beacon that guided us all.”