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The Bikerni, India’s first women motorcyclist group is all set to go on an international expedition with 14 riders, crossing 13 countries on their epic journey.
Like many other fields and activities, riding for a really long time was considered ‘a man’s domain’ alone. Of late, even when women riders started emerging from various pockets of our country, they were often judged and mocked by the menfolk on roads. People were conditioned to believe that women are incapable of acquiring an intricate skill like driving and even if they did that they would never be good drivers.
This misconception was so universal and ingrained in people’s mind that most of them failed to accept women riders who in turn got absolutely no respect or recognition even in bike meets and events. This adverse situation is what motivated Urvashi Patole, a rider herself from past 16 years and who has covered about 4 lakh kilometers, to co-found and start ‘The Bikerni’ in January 2011 with just 14 members from Pune and Mumbai.
The Bikerni which is India’s first women motorcyclists group has widely grown over the years and now has members from all over the country. It has inspired and influenced many women to start riding and have opened avenues in the field of racing, stunting and touring for them all.
The Bikerni association has proudly announced their ambitious and very challenging new endeavour – ‘Ride Across Borders.’ It is one epic global bike expedition by 14 women riders who are going to cross 13 international borders by throttling 19,000 km from London to Delhi for two months between February and April 2019. It is the largest group of women motorcyclists who would be riding such a long distance by road on a single road trip.
Such a massive scale expedition is definitely not a cake walk. Instead, it would require a lot of planning. Talking about the same to Women’s Web Urvashi Patole says, “We have been planning this for a year now – day wise agenda setting, arranging food and calculating other related expenditures, getting visas done, keeping all the paperwork ready and what not. But the Ministry of External Affairs has been very supportive of all these procedures.” Wow! Government’s full support, that’s something nice to hear, isn’t it?
Not just India, even other countries that the riders are going to cross are welcoming them with open arms. Embassies are inviting them to stay at their place and have dinner together. Also, women motorcyclists from those respective countries want to join the team within the country until they cross the borders.
The entire ride is being planned by the expert road trip planners ScoutMyTrip and also supported by Embarq Motorworld India for the logistics. It is going to be completely documented with photographs and videography by xBhp.com along with National Geographic fame photographer Prachi. So, apart from the riders, the team includes about 18 to 19 people for all the logistics help, car drivers, staff etc.
Urvashi giving her own husband’s example said how men are also eager to be a part of this historic journey in whichever way possible. On a lighter note, making fun of her husband she says, “My husband is a doctor and he very much wants to accompany us for the entire trip for giving medical assistance and other medical related help.”
Whatever might be the help or support from the backup team, the risks involved in this bike expedition are innumerable. Beginning from the need to have all the bikes in their top conditions to facing the challenges of different and difficult terrain, availability of proper spare parts in case of emergency to sickness, dehydration, injuries and changing weather conditions – the bikers must be ready for them all. According to Urvashi, the funda to face all these challenges is quite simple – “Ride no matter what.”
With this adventurous expedition, The Bikerni wishes to carry the message of women empowerment not only in India but across countries. They also hope to impact the way society perceives women and also show the world the changing face of India.
Image Source – The Bikerni Facebook Page
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