Women riders rule the road, celebrate the spirit of biking
It all added to the essence of the day—celebrated worldwide to highlight women motorcycle riders, build awareness around them and encourage more women to take up motorcycling.Updated: May 05, 2019, 01:48 IST
Over 26 women bikers roared into the city early Saturday to celebrate the 13th edition of the International Female Ride Day. Participants from Delhi-NCR joined a rally that started at Vijay Chowk in Delhi around 6am and ended at a café in the city around 7.30am.
Cool weather and empty roads meant smooth cruising on the almost-30 km stretch of NH-48. The riders parked their Royal Enfields, Avengers, Harley Davidsons and BMWs and posed for the camera, padded up and helmets on. When they entered the cafe, warm hugs and pleasantries were exchanged.
It all added to the essence of the day—celebrated worldwide to highlight women motorcycle riders, build awareness around them and encourage more women to take up motorcycling.
“The purpose of this day is to simply revel in the collective power of women bikers on our roads,” Anita Krishnan, a member of the Women’s International Motorcycling Association (that has almost 100 members across India), said.
Motorcycling in India, these riders said, has been a male-dominated hobby. The number of female motorcyclists may be sparse, but according to them, it is growing.
“Machines do not discriminate on the basis of gender,” Preeti Sikka, a Faridabad resident who learnt to ride at the age of 13, said.
While some women wanted to make some noise—“I always wanted to make the motorcycle go vroom vroom,” Suparna, a 31-year-old motorcycle instructor who learnt to ride in college from a classmate who had a crush on her, said—some wanted the silence. Mandeep Kohli Merwah, who took up riding three years ago at the age of 45, said it was the quiet that came with putting on a helmet that deepened her passion for riding.
Several riders said that they had saved up for their dream motorcycle over the years. It was an act of self-love, they said. “I had a two-year saving plan to buy my very first motorcycle, but it got stretched to five years. I got my bike last week,” Ankyta Arora, a 27-year-old journalist who rides a Ducati Monster, said.
Road safety, the riders said, was a big concern. Maintaining your cool was very important, Merwah added. Suparna called for better planning and picking up on simple skills like changing tyres and lubricating chains so as to not be reliant on strangers for help.
Echoing most riders there, Merwah said she wanted more women to experience the empowerment that came with motorcycling. “Any woman who wants to ride should be able to ride,” she said.