Two is greater and convenient than four when it is about commuting from one place to another. Biking— one glance over this word and you might have already created an image of the person who is riding it – a big, burly men. Yes, he should be a man or he has to be a man, because, associating bikes with women is a joke. But what if I change that image in eight minutes? What if I introduce you to bike groups formed by women for women?
She prefers a tool box over a makeup kit, smell of petrol or diesel over fragrance of perfumes, dirt and sweat over blusher and lipstick.
Women bike riders may not be as common as female car drivers, but indeed their strength is growing in leaps and bounds in the country. The members of these groups are IT professionals, teachers, actors, lawyers, and homemakers too.
So, let’s know about these female biking clubs in detail
- The Bikerni (All India): With the reputation of being India’s first and largest association of women motorists, The Bikerni has carved a niche for itself in the biking sector. Founded by Urvashi Patole, The Bikerni welcomes women of all age groups, background, and lifestyle to boost the cause of women empowerment through biking. The group is officially recognized by the Women’s International Motorcycle Association.
- Hop on Gurls (Bengaluru): Formed in 2011, Hop on Gurls presents the perfect mélange of fun and badass. The group welcomes all the female enthusiasts who want to ride a bike and gives wings to their dreams by teaching them how to—hop on to joy, hop on to passion and hop on to life. Boasting of its branches in Pune and Mysore, this group also ties up with other biker groups in the city to go on long rides.
- Bengal Lady Bikers (Kolkata): Founded by Ramia Samui Sarkar, the club trains the fairer sex bikers on how to tame the strong machine and give a tough competition to their male counterparts on roads. Instead of planning their trips, the group believes in taking up impromptu journeys. They just need an excuse to embark upon a journey and if they can’t find one, they just make one.
- The Riderni (Ahmedabad): Formed in 2012, The Riderni is not about riding a bike only. “Ride Till I Die” is the slogan of the group in which there are members who love their bikes, overcome their limitations to achieve their passion and finally, dare to confront the challenges of life through zeal, passion, and determination. Sometimes riding for fun and sometimes for a social cause, The Riderni group is all about self-liberation.
- Lady Riders of India (All India): Founded by Maral Yazarloo, the group is all about exploring the depth of the passion for riding and is meant for all ‘she’ who are born to ride. Currently, a strong band of 24 powerful riders, it has women bikers across the country who ride bikes above 650cc, irrespective of the brand.
- Biking Queens (Surat): Formed in 2015, the group perfectly knows how to blend fun and pleasure with a social cause. The group undertakes several long and short bike rides for social reasons like road safety, girl child, stop drugs use, etc. With over 50 members, the group also encourages and trains young women for riding.
In 2015, the group completed a 10,000-km journey and covered ten countries in South East Asia in 39 days. It was aimed towards promoting the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign in countries, including, Nepal, Singapore, Bhutan, and Malaysia.
- Ladies of Harley (India): If you have a penchant for owning and riding a Harley both on and off the road, you are qualified to become the member of this group. You can express your love for these motorcycles by conversing with fellow riders or simply joining them on their next voyage. This is a community of fun loving, creative and wonderful female bikers from varied backgrounds who have come together to encourage women riding trend in the country. This year on International Women’s Day, Harley Davidson launched 28th chapter of Ladies of Harley in India.
- Regals: The proud owners of Royal Enfield bikes, the members of this group very well know how to enjoy their passion of riding. Formed in 2012 by dentist Aparna Bandodkar, this group also rides to support various social causes and the most recent one is women’s safety. It is their enthusiasm towards biking that has bestowed them with the title of the ‘Queens of Mumbai’.
- Biker Babez: Founded in 2013, this group has redefined the Indian perspective that says, women are not meant for bikes. Having its base in Chennai, the catchy name of the group has already made it popular among other bikers. This is a group of strong-headed ten women who believe in safe and smart riding. The aim of the group is to motivate other women to step forward and become a biker.
It’s a hard reality that whenever a woman rides a bike, it becomes a news and people start looking at her curiously. While most women have pursued their dreams, some have dropped the idea because of lack of determination and support. I hope these women bikers and their groups will change this mindset.
Further, there are some tips that as a female biker you should take to prevent yourself from any untoward situation:
- Choose your attire carefully
- Get yourself a full-face covered helmet to protect your eyes from the wind, dust, and other foreign particles
- Limit your conversation with strangers
- Use Google maps on unknown terrains
- Keep your family members or friends updated about your whereabouts
Buy two-wheeler insurance to secure your journey
Though you take all the precautionary measures, sometimes accidents become inevitable. So, before your next bike journey, buy a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance that will ensure the safety of your vehicle from all types of perils, including man-made and natural, like flood, earthquake, storm, fire, theft, riot, etc. Moreover, there is a personal accident cover that pays in case of accident or disability of the insured rider.
Apart from the basic two-wheeler insurance cover, add the following riders to expand your security cover:
- Roadside Assistance (RSA) Cover: Imagine, you are enjoying your first solo bike ride to Ladakh when suddenly your motorcycle breaks down or it runs out of fuel, now what will be your next move? Making panic calls to your friends or spending your night on the road? Indeed, both the situations are quite frightening! So, it is better to get yourself equipped with roadside assistance cover which will offer a multitude of services to deal with unexpected situations. Some of the services covered under RSA are:
- Flat tyre service
- Minor On-spot Repairs
- Arrangement/Supply of Fuel
- Breakdown Support Over the Phone
- Towing Service
- Engine Protect: The cost of repairing an engine of a normal bike can run in lakhs, just imagine what would be the cost of repairing a Harley Davidson’s bike engine? If you have this rider, you don’t need to worry about the costs as the insurer will cover all losses and costs of repairing an engine.
For a country like India, where gender discrimination has become the topic of discussion of many talk shows, it is a great relief to see a woman riding a bike. So, go on and join any of the above female bike groups and explore the freedom on two-wheelers but don’t forget to take all the necessary precautionary measures. A rider is a rider, go above the gender discrimination!
By the way, who said diamonds are the girl’s best friends? I am sure there are better things available to love than that hard metal!