The Motorcycle Diaries
The Motorcycle Diaries. The Bikerni gang comes from different cities across India, loves to go vroom vroom and talk non-stop about their first love:...
The Bikerni gang comes from different cities across India, loves to go vroom vroom and talk non-stop about their first love: motorbikes
This is a gang that comes from different cities across India, loves to go vroom vroom and talk non-stop about their first love: motorbikes. Their Facebook profile describes them as ‘an association of like-minded females, who are interested in touring, stunting and racing on geared motorcycles. We believe that biking is a source to Nirvana and at the same time brings the adrenaline rushing into our veins.’
Bikerni, the first all-female Motorcycle Association of India was formed in January 2011 by Pune’s Urvashi Patole and Firdaus Shaikh. While initially they were 11, now they have grown to become a 350-plus group. Members include students, professionals and homemakers from cities such as Rajkot, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hubli, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Guwahati.
“Anyone who can ride a bike, doesn’t believe in taking pointless risks or showing off while riding and has a driver’s license can become a member,” says Sheetal Bidaye, coordinator of Bikerni’s West Zone association and a travel writer, a bike reviewer and an adventure biking guide.
In addition to all these must-have attributes that have been enumerated by Bidaye, all new members have to take three test rides - on sandy, cobbled and city roads - along with other Bikernis. Only after qualifying these tests do they get to become a part of this exclusive all-female bikers club,” explains Patole, a founder member.
A professional motorcyclist, an automotive photo-journalist and the vice president of the Women’s International Association (WIMA) division, India, Patole has travelled to almost every corner of the country except for the North-East.
“If you take care of the bike, get it serviced before leaving for a trip and make sure that the tyres and tubes are in top condition, you are unlikely to encounter any problems,” points out Ishita Lakotia, a banker who loves to zoom around Mumbai in her Yamaha Fazer.
The Bikerni members don’t just mount their bike for long distance tours they also like to take daily commute to their college or office or meet up friends on it. Of course, they do encounter harassment from the few men who are yet to accept women bikers. “We simply ignore them. If they still persist and if we are in a group then we haul them up or seek help from the public. Earlier in Pune I used to face problems but now things are better,” says Patole.
The Bikernis are not just fun or adventurous they support social causes as well. For now, the next step for Bikernis is to travel abroad on their bikes. Once on their bike they are in their own happy zone. They remark in unison: “Who needs a therapist when you have an open road and a bike!”