After the Track Furiez event at the Buddh International Circuit, another Sunday i.e. 20th May saw itself being dedicated to women riders of India. RPM India organized an event which was called ‘Ghoorna Band Kar’. The name of the event resonates with almost all the women of India and even more so with the women who ride motorcycles – the stares and the glares that they get wherever they go. The RPM India community decided that the sanest way to go about fixing this issue is to object and that too in a way that won’t lead to altercations, is a sticker. A 2 x 2 sticker that says ‘Ghoorna Band Kar’. Translated it reads, ‘stop staring’!
A lot of women riders took part in the event and we spoke to a few of them about their motorcycling journeys.
Iyishaa Jubbal works for a travel company and consequently is passionate about travelling. She told us that she’s been driving for quite some time and got into riding recently. We asked her about this transition and she said, “That was my passion forever but initially I used to ride with my brother on a Yamaha and I was like I could do that but then I got stuck with the corporate world, got stuck with work. But it’s like when the time is right it just comes to you so I just went ahead, got the bike and then got on the road.” She owns a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 and that’s the motorcycle of choice for her rides.
We also asked her for a word of advice for females who want to take up motorcycling to which she said: “Well I’d just say that you should be carefree, don’t care about people staring at you, just hop on the motorcycle and ride! Just be yourself, enjoy because the bike gives you independence, freedom. It’s like we all ride together, a group called WIMA which is Women’s International Motorcycling Association and it’s a great initiative started by Vidhi a year back and today’s our anniversary. She underwent a surgery so unfortunately she couldn’t be a part of the ride today. But we ride every Sunday. We are supporting this initiative called “Ghoorna Band Karo! So yeah, together we get support from each other. And riding is not gender biased and is not only for guys. What’s wrong with women?”
“The bottom-line will be, start riding if you are not riding, and wear your safety gears. Go ahead and ride and if you want to be a part of a group like us, you will get a lot of support from there. We are looking forward for new riders to join us. Go ahead and do it! If you want to ride, don’t stop, don’t wait. In life, whatever you want to do, just do it!” she added.
Nikita Gurung is an aviator and she found her way to motorcycling because of her friends. It’s just something about the affinity of fliers with motorcycles. We asked her about her journey towards motorcycling and she said, “I always wanted to be a rider but somehow I could not. I’m an aviator so I usually fly. Few of my friends who were already riders, they ride superbikes and everything then I thought that I should also get into it and then I started biking. It has been only one year. And I’ve done only one ride on a superbike which was Hayabusa. I hope to ride more in future.”
She owns a KTM RC 390, a Dominar and a Splendor which is quite a diverse repertoire if you ask us. The longest ride that she has been a part of was the Harley Ride where she rode the Street 750 from Red Fort Harley showroom to the Highway King.
We also asked her about women who’d like to get into motorcycling for which she had this to say: “I am also a new rider so I don’t have much to say but yes, if you really want to ride, you should go for it. It’s fun because riding makes you a free spirit. You should just live your dream. You can go anywhere you want to; you don’t have to depend on anybody. Now in this century I believe that ladies are independent and I think they should do what they want to do, leaving all the barriers.”
“Keep riding and be safe. Don’t be overconfident while riding because you never know what might happen. Whenever you are going on a ride, you should let someone know about your whereabouts. Because anything could happen at any time, so at least there will be someone to help you. Keep riding and always wear your riding gears.” she added.
Dimple Chaudhary is a writer, rider and a photographer. She is also a member of WIMA. She’s been a motorcyclist for quite some time now and we asked her about how it all started and she said, “It’s a passion actually. Since I was a child I always wanted to do something different. I’m not saying that biking is different but still it’s a little different from all the other things. We already know that a girl riding a motorcycle in our country is not very mainstream. People stare at you and they become conscious. I had a Vespa before then I got a UM Commando. In August I’ll complete one year of motorcycling.”
She told us that her experience as a motorcyclist has been amazing. She used to ride solo before and never thought she’d be a part of a group. She joined WIMA as soon as she found out about it. She was also awarded as the most distinguished lady at the DJR Ride, within just 3 months of riding. She is planning a ride to Leh-Ladakh and Spiti.
Advice for women who are passionate but reluctant to get into motorcycling she said, “The advice I want to give female riders is that they should get out of the limitations and the barriers which have been setup for them. And it isn’t just about biking, be it anywhere family, or job or anywhere. And if they want to take up motorcycling, for sure they should! Beyond all the limitations, beyond all the comments beyond all the thinking of the people of what they might think about you.”
“In short I’d like to say that biking is an amazing thing. It sets you free. When you’re on your motorcycle, you leave everything behind. You don’t have wings but still you are free, you can fly” she added.
Ritika Singh, from Noida loves biking. Last year on her 26th birthday she saved money and gifted herself a motorcycle. Then she taught herself to ride. Right now she has a Yamaha FZ-S, but eventually she’d love to get a Triumph Street Triple because she likes it quite a lot and she also wants to learn more about the entire mechanics, how bikes are built and every technical aspect. She just doesn’t want to ride the bike but wants to know the machinery. And she also wants to become a stunter. So first she wants to become a skilled rider and have a strong base and then try stunting.
How did she get into motorcycling: “In 7th or 8th standard I always used to see motorcycles zipping, zapping. I used to be on a scooty so I always wanted to take a lead. There used to be times when I used to admire a motorcycle and the next moment I know, they are gone with the wind! So I got myself a bike and now I take the lead!”
Apart from stunting she likes racing. She would also love to tour. She went on a ride to Saharanpur and she states that’s when she understood that city traffic works a certain way and highway traffic works differently. She said, “So you need to know that and you need to have a lot of alertness and presence of mind and you need to know your bike well.”
As a message to the society she said, “Biking is something that everyone can do and the main message that I want to give out to society that the engine doesn’t know whether it’s a male or female riding. The vehicle has to be driven or ridden the way it’s supposed to. It doesn’t have any M or F written on it. Whether it’s driving or riding, people think that women can’t do either of them. That’s why I want to be such a skilled rider that I ride the bike the way it’s supposed to be.”
“Biking is something which both men and women can do and society should stop making gender biases when it comes to choices like biking. So it doesn’t matter if I ride a motorcycle, or do a classical dance. I can rock a saree or rock shorts on a motorcycle as well. We have to respect the individuals and their choices too”, she added.
Balvinder Kaur who is also a member of WIMA loves motorcycling to the core. Her first love is a Bullet and she owns a Royal Enfield Classic 350. She’s been riding motorcycles for around 2 years now. She told us that she has never been on a long ride but she is in the planning phase of one. Her dream is to go to Ladakh which is very difficult but she’s more than prepared to put in the work required to prepare for it.
Her story of how she got into motorcycling: “I’m basically from Punjab. And Punjab has motorcycles in almost every home. There are many Bullets there but are ridden majorly by guys only so since childhood, I wanted to ride a Bullet too. But parents didn’t allow me. But then I learnt how to ride and got home one day riding a motorcycle. Told my parents that now I can ride a motorcycle so now can I go ahead and buy one?”
We asked her what she’d like to say to the females who want to take up motorcycling to which she says, “I want to tell them that if you want to do it, just go ahead and do it!”
Photos: Mohit Gena