In a country where grown men are at times not allowed by their parents to buy a two wheeler I have chosen the strangest of passions! Super bikes! These 1000 CC Machines of the “dangerous kind” are certainly not for women! I have heard that more than once accompanied by shocked and at times disapproving expressions. It’s amusing to say the least however this is the lighter fun side to my not so common hobby. I come from a family where “you can’t” was not a term my parents used, fauji kids we traveled the country climbed every mountain and swam every river celebrated every fall and got on bikes before our feet touched the ground before landing up in the sea of humanity in Delhi. Delhi came as a culture shock and I guess I came as a culture shock to Delhi.
It’s from here really that the fun began and it’s been a series of shocked amazed faces and more over some very upset guys! I have yet to come across a guy who will not be extremely uncomfortable being the pillion with a woman rider. In fact the hint of the suggestion to do so gets hurt indignant looks accompanied with a quick step backward. The strangest looks and reactions are however the ones I get when I’m on the road and that’s quite often with rides every weekend and outside of the city within a 500 Kms radius every chance I get. Not only do I get almost every guy on the road rearing to race but it’s the fellow travelers who suddenly see the kajal mascara lined eyes behind a helmet on a mean bike which is my gallery of Kodak moments. Guys nudge each other, women at times give the thumbs up sign and kids just wave happily.
Once in the middle of getting back from Jaipur I stopped at a roadside stall to get a cold drink and in seconds the bike was surrounded by people mostly men who were interested in knowing mileage, weight and top speed of the bike strangely asking each other not me, while there was this one old woman who was interested in knowing how my mother allowed me to ride a motorcycle! Then there is this nice neighbor who asked me if I was preparing for a competition why else would I be out on a winter Sunday morning at 6 AM? The fellow riders I ride with have now got used to my eccentricities but still never let go of a chance to pull my leg about the big hoop earrings under the Shoei helmet or pink socks under the reinforced riding boots.
Yes, I have a weekend love affair with the blade, I spend a lot of my “me” time with the machine, servicing, sprucing up and accessorising. It’s a different world connecting with riders from all walks of life and different professions. Biking is an exhilarating experience and has a calming effect. The more hectic the week the more I look forward to the weekend ride.
The eccentricities aside I sometimes wonder at the stereo types we create for ourselves and for others around us, everything we do is typecast not because it’s a written rule but cause “aise hi hota hai” wonder of wonders for riding a bike I get asked if I’m competing with the boys, or if I’m a feminist, the questions surprise me cause this is not about competing with any one or being to any school of thought it’s just about going ahead and doing what I love to do without the excess baggage of socio political jargons. I have always believed that we are limited only by ourselves we can’t do most things because we think we can’t and thus never even try. So I am a superbiker I ride a 1000 CC bike and on any good day flying at 275KMPH is part of the deal, but that does not keep me away from my French manicures and perms. Just like the reinforced riding boots on weekends don’t keep me away from the dainty heels for the rest of the week. I don’t believe it’s a contradiction it’s just me being me.