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Sunday Special » Kaleidoscope

Posted at: Mar 19, 2017, 12:02 AM; last updated: Mar 19, 2017, 7:22 PM (IST)IMPRESSIONS

All geared up

Mona in Chandigarh
Women bikers have a way to challenge themselves. Their punch line is: I can do it, I am tough as nails. For miles and years together, they have chased freedom – alongside their husbands
Riding bikes is not just an all-boys club anymore. There are women betting on their mean machines: they could be happy or sad; on course a smooth sail through the plains or taking up a gripping adventure at hairpin bends in the hills; solo or surrounded, the women bikers continuously compete with themselves.

Constant companion

Having started afresh in Auckland, New Zealand, Nikita Sood Reddy would sigh each time a rider passed her. Having biked through her college, this was one part of her life that she missed terribly in a new country. Buoyed by supportive husband, she got her first Kawasaki Ninja and was among the few women riders. As she moved to India to pursue her post-graduation, her hubby gifted her Harley Street 750, post-motherhood. 

Each morning as this mother of two takes her beauty to a dental college in Barwala, she is having the time of her life. She faces her share of troubles while riding, but she has learnt well how not to invite attention and zip through when it gets unavoidable. “Like most in my clan, I ride only in my full gear -- helmet, leather jacket boots, gloves and glasses on. Not many can make out if it’s a woman riding. Still if she faces issues, she has learnt to ignore. “Life has taken me through places and situations, and I have found perfect solace in riding my bike that makes me feel strong and free,” says Nikita. 

Occasionally, as she takes her Harley to drop her daughter to school, young girls admire her and her Harley. And her son’s school organized a session where she explained the bike’s various parts, and of course, the protocol that comes with being a responsible rider!

Chasing happiness

Just a few days after giving birth to her daughter, Kiran Chahal was back on the road riding her favourite that she calls Bubblegum, her modified pink Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500. And it’s on bikes that she has sailed through the happiest and the saddest of the times. Having biked through school and college, this girl found perfect a partner in her Dilsher Singh Dhillon and a supportive family in Road Survivors, a club that he has been a part of. With him in Merchant Navy, Kiran -- fondly called Bhabhi of the club -- has gone for rides, some with hubby in tow and others with her now extended family through some really tough and rough ones. “People are yet to accept women riders,” says Kiran. There have been situations. Like, while driving, her bike’s battery developed a snag. Her BP got low at that very time! Somehow she parked the bike and requested a family if she could use washroom. As she almost passed out, the woman of the house dragged her out. As she tried to make sense of it all, it was a roadside tea stall vendor and his family who offered her tea, and kept her company till she was fit enough to drive again. “Riding is my true happiness and I am not letting anyone or anything come in between!” 

Love for riding

A mother of two seven-year-old twins Chini & Mitha, Diksha Bhagat Puri has always found a bike very handy. When in college, there were only too many boys willing to share their bike keys if she had to run for an errand. When husband got along, they shared one taste: their love for riding. Their passion: A Harley Fatboy that she loves to tame going side by side her husband and the whole gang of Harley brotherhood. 

“When women are doing this and more in every possible field, I still wonder why riding is not catching on too. There are very few joys comparable to riding a bike.” 

While balancing her work and the twins, Diksha loves to spare time for a ride or two every month. “See when we make time for everything else it is but imperative that you make time for your passions too,” says Diksha who never forgets to pack her riding gear even if she is going out just as much for a night.

Worth the wait

Ira had to wait for 20 years to own a bike. A proud owner of Bajaj Avenger Cruiser 220, she duly gears up with her boots, jacket and helmet and rides to the school where she is a coordinator. She often goes on long rides, and over a period of time has learnt it all to fix fuses and minor snags. 

While she encounters many raised eyebrows, she has found full support in her boys who encourage her. And, Soaring Eagles Moto Club with whom she goes on regular rides has been the only company she had been waiting for!

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