Every so often, we hear women break the barriers and gender stereotypes by dint of their grit and dedication but have you ever found a lady biker from Vizag, who is always on the glorious path to creating awareness among the public at large for the betterment of society. Meet Vaishali Kulkarni Moré, a veteran first solo woman biker, from Vizag, is an educationist, a Rotarian, avid trekker with YHAI and a Pinkathon Ambassador who promotes ‘Be Bold for Change’ and’ Fit Women for Fit Families.’
She started riding at the age of 17 and enjoyed dirt biking and doing stunts. She joined the group Night Hawks as the only female rider and did many one day rides with them on borrowed bikes from friends. She left motorbiking in 1990 after her engagement and started again in 2015. Her 26-year-old son motivated her to get into solo biking with full confidence at the age of 47.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, Vaishali said “Solo Motorbiking is like meditation for her and her most happy- zone “. A special message she would like to give bikers is ‘Motorbiking is not related to any particular gender. Just as we can cook, we can ride motorcycles too. India is a safe country to travel provided you take certain precautions for safety. Age is just a number, so there is no age to follow your dreams, pursue your passion and fulfill your wishes and find your happy place, just as she is doing at 50 +.’
Vaishali Kulkarni, now 53-year is also head of the Women International Motor Cycle Association, Vizag group that consists of 20 aspirational young women bikers who are realizing their dreams into reality. The arduous road trips would be a test of the bikers’ resilience. However, these women are no strangers to adversity. However, these women share and discuss each other’s ideas and make frequent stops along the trip to spread awareness on safe driving, education for girls, genital hygiene and cancer awareness. All the girls in the group love bike riding; it’s not just ordinary bikes but big bikes like the Enfield, Avenger and Java. Sharing their experiences with Hello Vizag few girls spoke about how their family didn’t support their choice initially. Whereas on the other hand, some said their family has been a constant source of encouragement for them to practice their passion.
There are quite a few challenges women bikers have to deal with. First, they have to overcome the closed mindset of the people and then society who look down upon them. Jayashree, one of the bikers and who is also preparing for IAS, said why should boys have all the fun and why men find it strange when girls drive heavy bikes. Once the riding gear is on it does not matter if one is a man or a woman. Riding is finding yourself and a sign of independence.
Another member Ramyashree, who is studying in B Tech, joined the group with an interest in bike riding and teaches karate to those who are familiar with it, as well as helping those in need by learning how to do first aid like a doctor in their group.
For Supriya, a breast cancer survivor, riding the bike is to get out of all thought during treatment time. She says I never realized that we would go biking again, but here we are today. On the way from Vizag to Kanyakumari and Goa, she created much-needed awareness about cancer. Now, these women bikers are all set a target to go on Indian tour to help out everyone on their journey. Other women bike members say, “right now there is a small number of women bikers in India but women can make it little difference if they are persistent.
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