Meet The Biking Queens Of India Smashing Patriarchal Stereotypes
Bike riding is no more a male domain. Though it might not be common to see a woman riding a bike, the uncommon women make the conversation on ‘female bike riding’ even more worthwhile. They aren’t attracted to the common melody, but it is the vrooming sound that soothes their ears and soul. We bring to you a list of badass biking queens whose passion for bike riding not only proved to be a head-turner but also illustrated- Why should boys have all the fun?
India’s first female national racing champion, Alisha Abdullah started her racing career at an early age of 10. Abdullah is the daughter of the famous racer, RA Abdullah, therefore, as she says, it won’t be a far fetched to say that she was literally born on the race tracks. At 13, Alisha made a name for herself 13 by winning the MRF National Go-Karting Championship in the National Level Formula Car Racing in the open class.
But this was just the beginning of collecting accolades. At the age of 16, She had been riding 110 cc bikes, but for a competition, she went ahead with 600 cc superbikes and competed confidently with male bikers. She is also good with cars and stood fifth in the formula car racing in the JK Tyre National Championship, 2004. However, an accident in 2010 proved to be fatal for her love towards the bikes and she vowed to never look back at driving the two-wheeler.
Next in the list of our biking queens is Maral Yazarloo. Time for you to envy her boys- Maral Yazarloo has four superbikes in her collection, including a Harley and a Ducati. You’ve got just one life to live, and Yazarlo seems to be following this notion very seriously. An MBA in marketing from Pune, she not only helps her clients with the marketing strategies but also embraces her love for bike riding along with handling her own fashion brand- MAYA.
Yazarloo originally hails from Iran and came to India to pursue an MBA. To see how people are advancing with urbanization and technology, she went on a world tour in March 2017 with Pankaj Trivedi, who himself is a Guinness World Record holder and an excellent driver.
When people follow their passion, new records are set. The same is the case with the biking queen Roshni Sharma, who is the first solo Indian female motorbiker to ride from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. She got her first motorbike at the age of 16.
No amount of money can pay the price for dropping your passion. She worked at an IT firm in Bangalore, but the everyday hassle of IT companies didn’t stop her from pursuing what she loved. What means enjoying in pubs and bars for us, was meant to go on solo rides for Sharma. She used weekends as the arena to explore her interest in biking. At the age of 26, she went on a solo trip from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
6,000 km and the Golden Quadrilateral, Esha Gupta is our next biking queen who took this challenge to explore her love for motorbike riding. She went on this expedition in 2013, specifically to analyze the safety of Indian roads for women, after the Nirbhaya case in 2012.
Gupta’s travel journeys radiate positivity for anyone, who is afraid to explore roads or to trust the strangers. In an interview to The Hindu, she said, “I blindly followed him for over 10 km through a deserted area at the end of which after dropping at the nearest town he called me ‘didi’.” She holds records in India, Asia, Limca and Golden Book of Records, for her Solo India ride titled ‘Beautiful India’, clocking 32,000 km across 16 states in 110 days.
Popularly known as the Hijabi Biker, Roshni Misbah is Delhi’s badass biker, whose social media fan following soon made her a biking sensation. Misbah got her first bike the very moment she got admission in Jamia. But here’s an interesting fact – more than half of the money for the bike was saved by her. She not only invested her time in the family business but also went on to do part-time jobs to buy a bike and pursue her interest in bike riding.
Five months after buying her Bajaj Avenger Cruiser 220, she upgraded to the legendary Royal Enfield 500. She is a part of the bikerni group – an all women biking group in Delhi. In an interview to Hindustan Times, she said, “Hijab is very much a part of me. Religion is no hurdle, hijab is no hurdle for me. I pray five times a day, I practise my religion. But that doesn’t stop me from riding a bike. Hijab is part of my faith and culture. I study Arabic culture, and I read about so many women in West Asia moving ahead with their hijab. If they can do it, why can’t I?”
With the support of one’s family, even the odds turn into favours. A single mom of a two-year-old child, our next biking queen Shirin Shaikh rode her Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350cc bike to Goa for the India Bike Week 2016. At this time, her son was being taken care of by his naani. In an interview with Rediff, Shaikh says, ” I am able to follow my passion because I have my family to take care of Kabir while I am away.”