Girls just wanna ride bikes

A new TV show featuring a group of women riding Royal Enfield Classics from Delhi to Khardung La, premieres this week. Will they keep away from the reality TV format?

Ten women, from 20 to 52 years -old, on Riding Royal Enfield Classic motorcycles, rode all the way from Delhi to Leh's Khardung La, which at 18,000 feet above sea level is the highest motorable pass in the world. Exciting stuff, eh? You can see their journey on UTV Bindass's new show Riders, which premieres on November 25. The one hour show has six episodes.

What should have ideally been a series on a bunch of women, from different age groups and walks of life, riding through the mountains enjoying the ride, is now transformed into something of a Roadies, complete with an annoying 'judge'. While nowhere is it stated that the show is a competition, this judge, who in actuality is the sole male rider accompanying this group keeps insisting that a number of tasks have to be performed or else the participants will be sent back home.

Of course, this is a show about these 10 women and their journey till Khardung La, so no one is really sent home. In the first show, the male rider, who is reportedly an engineer with the Royal Enfield manufacturers, but looks like he wants to be an MTV VJ, lines up the contestants and asks them to perform 50 pushups and run 50 kilometres within an hour, failing which they will be sent home.

Nothing could have been more farcical. No one really keeps track of the participants and some walk instead of run. Some do 50 pushups, others don't even do one. However, no one is sent home, despite the judge's best attempts to make it look real. He finds various reasons for qualifying them, which ranges from 'bindass riders' to 'you have the heart'. Of course no one mentions the timings of the participants.

The farce continues. Later the judge checks the participants' equipment. Someone's knee guards are suspect, while another's shoulder pads are missing. He even threatens disqualificaton. Surely, the show organisers could have informed the participants about what they require. But of course, they are later allowed to go shop.

There is apparently more to follow. Apart from the riding, the participants will also undertake tasks like river rafting, rock climbing, river crossing and honeybee farming, all this while battling freezing temperatures, dust storms and oxygen deprivation. One can only hope these are not made into competitions.

The participants themselves are interesting. They come from different backgrounds and age groups, but all of them are genuinely interested in enjoying the bike ride. The mood of the show itself automatically lifts when the girls start their journey at the end of the show. If not anything else, the backdrop should be reason enough to watch this show.

At: 9 pm. November 25, UTV Bindass

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