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Women bikers explore ‘sisterhood’ on Delhi roads

Mar 07, 2018

The riders found the ride engaging and said such rides are important to build a strong community of women riders.

New Delhi: On Sunday morning last week, a group of about twenty women cruised on their Royal Enfields for a 40 km journey from the heart of New Delhi, Connaught Place, to the ancient centre of learning and knowledge, Gurugram located in the the National Capital Region (NCR).

The women stayed steadfast to their only agenda; to catch up and speak about their challenges as women and grow the community.

With bikes shining clean, riding boots, helmets and jackets in place, and some very contagious smiles on their faces, these women were riding to prove a simple yet ignored point, the idea of women coming together and supporting women as one.

In the male-dominated biking arena, finding women riders is a rarity and often these women go through so much rebuffing and negativity that their outlook changes. This is why events like ‘WIMA India’s Independence Day Ride’ hold so much promise. One could feel the tremendous admiration and warmth that each of these women felt as they shared thoughts about the ride, their experiences and the other women they met during the event.

Vidhi Malla, National President, Women’s International Motorcycle Association’s (WIMA-India), believes that the concept of sisterhood is never explored. “There are numerous rides that happen every day, but one hardly sees women riders coming out in huge numbers. The reason why we wanted to create this event was ; one, to provide a platform for the new riders to come out and ride without being judged and; two, to show them that there is whole community that is there to support them, least they feel dejected or alone,” she said.

“We hear talks about empowerment but the concept of sisterhood is never highlighted or spoken about. What better way to talk about sisterhood than by sharing stories and encouraging other women?” she asked.

The riders found the ride engaging and said such rides were crucial for building a strong community of women riders.

Urvashi Rathee who was riding with such a big group for the first time, said that the experience was exciting and liberating. “This was my first group ride and it was beyond my expectations. I was impressed at the way it was organized, right from the meeting schedule and briefing; till the time we reached the final destination. It felt great to be a part of such a positive event and it was nice interacting with the other women riders with such high spirits. It has built my confidence and I am ready to ride much more, even beyond the city boundaries now,” she said.

Pallavi Srivastava, a bulleteer by heart and a central part of the WIMA India team, said that meeting new riders was always a different experience as they all had so much to share about themselves and their riding experiences. “Each experience is just so beautiful and it takes you back to your own memories as a new rider and the time you fell in love with riding. One cannot ride everywhere but meeting other riders and listening to them actually takes you to places you have never been. I have been riding and organizing these events for some time now and every time we organize such rides, it is a different experience and there are so many new things to learn,” she said.

As someone once said, if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together, the WIMA India International Women’s Day Ride seemed a stepping stone towards building a stronger, women centric, motorcycling community. Or as a fellow rider Niharika Singh Dalal puts it, “When you hear the roaring of 20 tigresses together, the whole forest awakens. A sisterhood that is not a trend but a forming tradition.”

The ride, organized by WIMA, was an all-inclusive ride, comprising of not only the women from WIMA India but outsiders too. The ride was a great mix of seasoned riders and first-timers, who were perhaps participating in a rally of this sort for the first time.

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