Urvashi Patole who started ‘The Bikerni’ motorcycle association speaks about her journey as a motorcyclist and future plans
Q) In a man’s world of bikers, how do you feel and what challenges did you face when you first started off in this field?
A) When I started off as a biker 10 years ago, I heard of only a few other women bikers meets would consist of one-woman biker in a sea of men in most cases. The Bikerni was formed to ensure that no other woman missed out on the sisterhood of motorcyclists bonding in the future.
Leading the way: The Bikerni currently has 374 members with chapters in Delhi, Bangalore, Hubli, Mysore, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Guwahati
Q) What is the strength of your group as of now?
A) The Bikerni currently has 374 members with chapters in Delhi, Bangalore, Hubli, Mysore, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Guwahati. 10 of us rode to Khardung La — the highest motorable road in the world. We started from Delhi and rode all the way to Nubra Valley, which was mentioned in the Limca Book of Records 2013 and was featured in a six episode television series. The urban cities have majority of the members as we promote ourselves through the field of social media. And it has only been since we began promoting our association through print media and also through tie-ups with the local police.
Q) What is The Bikerni’s aim?
A) We aim to have an equal number of members in the rural areas as well. We also understand that family pressures and lack of backing plays a major role in the development of women riders in India, but we are doing our best to tackle such issues through rallies, awareness meet ups and personal talks with the families.
Q) Which is the most dangerous stunt that you have done and how was the experience?
A) I am not a stuntwoman. I started out as one but got into off-roading and touring instead. You can catch Anam Hashim, a member of The Bikerni perform at Amanora Town Centre, in Hadapsar this Saturday at 5:30 as we celebrate Women’s Day with a whole lot of women bikers.
Q) What advice would you like to give women who are learning biking?
A) I will tell them to not get bogged down by negative or discouraging talk, to believe in themselves and the power of the engine under them.
Always wear a helmet, proper shoes and full pants on rides and while racing or performing stunts. Investing in proper riding gear would be wonderful and good for protection.