Delhi hosts bike rally exclusively for women

Delhi hosts bike rally exclusively for women.

Girls on motorbikes

Girls on motorbikes.They burn the tarmac, do wheelies and race anybody who crosses their path. Meet the Bikernis, a bunch of like-minded women aiming to spearhead women’s empowerment through the medium of motorcycles.

The two-year-old group has members across India whose bikes range from Pulsars to Yamaha R1s and Royal Enfields.

While quite a few take to riding to satiate their wanderlust, for others, it’s about trashing a widely-popular conception: that men alone run the show when it comes to biking. “When I started to learn how to ride a bike, I used to hear a lot of ‘You cannot handle it’, and ‘Oh, the bike is too fast for you’, and it irritated me.

One day, I just told my father that I want to ride the bike. He put a few instructions on the tank and showed me how it is done. I took off. It was not difficult at all,” says Madhuri Bisarahalli, 22, from Bangalore.

Priyamvada Saradhi, a 22-year-old architecture student from Bangalore and a Bikerni, says the road has not been easy. “When someone realises it’s a woman riding, he intimidates us, zooming past just to test us.” Women’s safety is one of the issues the group has been tackling. After the Delhi gang rape, parents began setting deadlines for them. “So we took out a rally in Bangalore to highlight the need to make streets safer for women,” says Saradhi.

Delhi's First All Women Bike Rally

 Delhi's First All Women Bike Rally.

women riding bike

women riding bike.

High on horsepower

"BIKES ARE made for girls. The BHP is more than that of a scooter and you get a better mileage." This from a new breed of go-getting girls who have taken to motorbikes. They love hip-hop as much as the feel of crisp wind on the face, and long drives. They prefer dirt racing to go carting. And they are the new riders in the storm who love their mean machines.

`Definitely male' screams a popular bike commercial. But the trend in the city, that of more number of girls opting for the hot wheels - from a four stroke Yamaha RXZ, Hero Honda CBZ, Pulsar, Yezdi, KB 120 to the Bullet - probably would make the copywriters rethink their storyboards today.

"It is a passion," says Waseem, working for Business Print. "Speed, pick up, typical sound and importantly the feel of the bike," says Shikha Pandey, MBA student of Indian Institute of Planning and Management who has been riding a bike since high school. "The first time I took out my uncle's bike I came back with bruises and scars. But I actually started like the biking experience. There are many girls in the twin cities seen zooming on motorbikes today," adds Shikha as she prefers a bike to her Indica V2.

"They are easy to manoeuvre. You have a misconception that bikes are heavier than scooters," adds Meenakshi, BA (Advertising and Marketing) from Nizam's College. A national level horse riding champion she would have been a jockey if she weren't riding her KB100. Most of them have upgraded their bikes — enticer wheels, can handle and seat set up. "I am 5'2" so I had to cut the seat to bring down the height and added more cushion," says Meenakshi. Some of them are taking month long training programmes in the workshops with √©lan.

Speed thrills Shikha and Waseem.
Interestingly, most are die-hard helmet freaks. "Always. For safety. Already its risky riding in town," says Nafeesa, a B.Com student of Little Flower. "You don't get comments but male ego. A woman has to be a much better rider to hold herself on the road," she adds.

As for the parents, "they are so chilled out that I am worried. They in fact gave me my brother's bike when I asked for a scooty to go to college," says Meenakshi as she plans to buy a new Rx100. "A friend of mine biking with me was pulled up for supposedly pillion riding a boy," chuckles the boyish looking Shikha.

On the anvil is a girls' bikers club in the twin cities, with Charlie's Angels for a probable name. Dirt biking and how-to-ride-a-bike feature on the agenda. The criteria for membership— "they shouldn't be the oh la la. But confident when they are on the road," says Nafisa.

girls are riding bikes on the roads today without any hesitation or traffic phobia

Unlike the past where girls love to cook, decorate their house, stitch clothes, today girls love to roam around and explore the world. They love to do sky diving, trekking, horse riding, swimming, and wrestling. They have marked their presence in every field leaving behind the boys. They are no more dependent on father, brother or uncle. They have become so strong that they can fight and protect themselves.

Girls from all walks of life are striving to achieve what they have decided upon. Thanks to the parents who have blurred the old rules and switched on to the new way of life. Gone are the days where girls were just confined to kitchen, now they are also the bread earners of the family. From past 10 to 15 years we could find girls riding scooter but toady they have upgraded to bikes and cars.

Teenaged girls are now very excited about riding bikes. We can find few girls riding bikes on the roads without any hesitation. Despite the heavy traffic and criticism they are riding bikes without feeling demoralised. Not just riding bikes they are even playing stunts on them.

When girls where questioned what drives them crazy about riding bikes they answered today girls can pilot a aeroplane, can drive autorickshaws, buses and trains, why not a bike? There is no hard and fast rule that only boys are supposed to ride bikes even girls can. If we can see on the roads we can find 40 per cent of the women riding scooter to their work place.

“There are two different reasons why girls ride bikes. One is to grab attention and prove the boys that I am not just a baby doll but a dare devil as well. The second reason is that today's girls are passionate about extreme sports and bike riding is the easiest one. I ride bike for the second reason,” says Tina Kiran, a student. “I do encourage girls being independent and riding bikes. I will not restrict them unless they are in their limits. They should not cross their boundaries or misuse their freedom. In the name of being independent, they should not risk their lives,” says Jyostna Kiran, a parent.

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