Chandigarh women ride high on power
By Harpreet Bajwa | Published: 15th April 2018 08:47 AM |
CHANDIGARH: Kiran Chahal, an entrepreneur in her thirties, is all set for a trip to Lahaul Spiti in Himachal Pradesh in July on her Harley-Davidson Superlow.Sarah Kashyap, who works in a multinational company, rides a Royal Enfield Bullet 350 CC and has made at least 10 trips to Leh. But ‘sky is the limit’ for the 30-year-old, who is now planning to upgrade to Bullet Himalayan 410 CC.Gone are the days when only mean rode these machines while women stuck to scooters to run errands for the family. More and more women in the city are joining the gang of biking enthusiasts and opting for the power cruisers.
Geared in riding jackets, gloves, sunglasses and helmets, many of them are going on long road trips and even altering the rules of the game-changing tyres and fixing any faults in their machines. Rashmi Mishra, who is from the defence forces, is a member of Armed Forces Hawks, a bikers’ club of the forces, has been riding a Harley Fatboy for a year now. “I used to ride bikes from childhood and used to take away my brother’s bike. I saved money and gifted myself this bike and rides on weekends,” she said.
Chahal, who also owns a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 cc, said, “I started on my dad’s bike. My husband is a biker and I followed suit.”Kashyap does it for adventure. “Motorsport is in my blood as my father was also a rider. I do cross-country and have also participated in many rallies.”It’s not just young women in their twenties or thirties who have discovered a passion for biking.
Dr Nikita Reddy, a 42-year-old mother of two, has been riding a Harley Davidson Street 750 and another bike and is a Lady of Harley (Himalayan Chapter, based in Chandigarh)—which is an official riding group of Harley owners. “I have been riding for the past three years. Since childhood, I’ve always wanted to be racer. I ride on weekends and during leisure time. I go with two groups, Hawks and Free Riders,” Reddy said. She said her children felt proud that their mother was a biker.
Rajni Sharma, a dietitian, is 41 years old. She purchased a Bullet 350 CC (Classic) just days ago. “I wanted to break the perception that only men can drive these heavy machines. During college days, I used to drive the Bullet of my finance, who is now my husband. Now, I am a proud owner of my own bike,” said Sharma, mother of two teenagers.Keeping pace with the emerging trend, a women’s biking club is all set to be formed so that they can go on group rides.
Talking to The Sunday Standard, Balwinder Singh Oberoi, proprietor of Manmohan Auto Stores that sells Royal Enfield Bullets, said, “More and more women are buying our bikes as they feel comfortable riding them. Women bikers are taking to the roads with all riding gears that are now available in India.“We are now in the process of forming a women’s biking club (Royal Enfield Ladies Club).
It will have a Whatsapp group to inform the members about the club’s activities. Every month, an all-woman group ride will be organised. A dozen women have consented to be part of the club.”Singh said pick-up and drop facility for servicing the bikes and roadside assistance are also being provided to the women Enfield owners.Cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Pune already have women biking groups. Now Chandigarh will be part of this list.