HYDERABAD: Like most children, 24-year-old Candida Louis’ fascination with bikes began while riding as pillion with her father. The breeze caressing her face as they drove along scenic landscapes gave her a rush of adrenaline and drew her towards biking.
Bucking the trend of machismo that surrounds the male-dominated sphere of biking, Candida, a corporate employee from Bengaluru, refused to confine her biking experience to being a pillion and decided to become a rider herself.
After eight years of riding, Candida is currently on a solo tour across the country – India on a Motorcyle.
On her brief stop in Hyderabad, she begins with a story that is pleasantly surprising and underlines the prominence of brotherhood (sisterhood in this case) of bikers and bikernis in the country.
“I finished Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka in the South. My next stop was Hyderabad. I saw biker Sana Iqbal’s post in one of the Facebook groups and pinged her asking her about the best routes to Hyderabad,” recalls Candida. They met and then instantly, Sana, who was returning from Bengaluru to her hometown Hyderabad asked Candida to tag along. The two of them reached Hyderabad in the early hours of Thursday morning and Candida made Sana’s home in Mehdipatnam her own for a night.
“I am amazed by the way she received me. She didn’t just let me tag along, she also let me stay with her,” she smiles. Sana Iqbal was on a solo ride herself – Hyderabad – Udupi – Mangalore – Bangalore – Hyderabad. “I wanted to meet up with bikers in Bengaluru and happened to meet Candida,” she tells us. 27-year-old Sana has been riding since she was in grade seven and now, a mother of a four-month-old boy, Sana still finds riding cathartic.
Candida’s solo ride from the start has been picking up things, experiences and advice on the go. The same way, when the two women started off from Bengaluru, they started talking about Gandikota and Belur caves. “I heard a lot about it, but haven’t been there. When Candida asked me about it, we thought why not and then took a diversion,” beams Sana. Just like that, they rode all the way to Gandikota and Belur Caves. “It is beautiful, Gandikota. It is called the Grand Canyon of India, but doesn’t have many tourists,” she adds. Apart from making new friends and experiencing the thrill of riding, Candida is also on a mission to discover unknown, yet exotic destination on her three-month long journey . “One thing I am looking to do on this tour is also locate those undiscovered places in the country and write about them. Another place I went to was in Kerala – Varkala. It was beautiful. Again, not a lot of people know about it. I asked locals and they directed me to go there,” shares Candida hoping that she will discover more such places and meet people.