Gender roles in the 21st are blurring and soon may become obsolete. Gender/sex is no longer a requirement to learn a skill or hobby. A man can cook and a woman can ride a bike. On the grander scheme of things, there still is a lot of work to do. But the change has already begun. Here, we list the top 10 Indian woman bikers crushing the stereotypes and living their passion, that is, bikes.
1. Aishwarya Pissay
Aishwarya Pissay is an off-road racer. At the age of 21, she made her debut at the TVS One-Make Race championship for women. After three years, at the age of 24, Aishwarya won the Baja Aragon FIM series in Spain—an international motorcycle event—and became the first Indian to win such a race. Aishwarya started biking for an MTV show at the age of 18 and rode from Gujarat (Rann of Kutch) to Meghalaya (Cherrapunji) in 24 days. With six championships titles from on-road and off-road events, leading the World Championship in the women category, Aishwarya has turned the tide when it comes to motorcycling.
2. Roshini Misbah
Popularly known as the hijabi biker, Roshini Misbah had a passion for bikes since childhood. When she rode her first bike, Bajaj Avenger Cruiser 220, to her college, she left people agape. Roshni later sold her Bajaj Avenger Cruiser 220 and bought the iconic Royal Enfield 500. She later developed a special love for sports bikes and got herself a Honda CBR. Roshni, too, faced challenges on her way to becoming a biker, especially from her family. But, according to Roshni, her father was her backbone and encouraged her to pursue her passion.
3. Maral Yazarloo
From sketching marketing strategies at a prestige company and designing her own fashion line to embarking on the tracks with Harley-Davidson, Maral Yazarloo kept her love for motorcycling alive amid her different roles. Bestowed with the title of ‘India’s Best Female Superbiker,’ Yazarloo owns a Harley Davidson Night Rod, a Ducati Diavel, a Harley Davidson Fat Boy Special, and a BMW GS. Yazarloo is very particular about the motorcycle gear as she states that every biker should wear sturdy riding boots, safety helmet, gloves, etc. Maral Yazarloo travelled to 67 countries, and she recalls the bike trip from Italy to the Alps as her most memorable journey.
4. Dr. Neharika Yadav
Dr. Neharika Yadav is a dentist by profession and a biker by passion. She owns the title of ‘India’s Fastest Lady Super Biker’ after making it to the 20th fastest time at 2015 KTM open track among 97 male bikers. Dr. Neharika often rides her Ducati Panigale 899 and takes part in motorcycle races. She has set a lap time of 2:23 on her Ducati at Buddh International Circuit (BIC). Dr. Neharika takes pleasure in her passion and job alike and says she loves to strike a balance between them.
5. Esha Gupta
Esha Gupta quit her MNC job to fulfil her passion for biking expeditions. She has clocked over 75,000 km on her Bajaj Avenger motorcycle. In 2014, Esha cruised on the Mumbai–Delhi–Kolkata–Chennai Golden Quadrilateral, covering 7,000 kms on her bike in 40 days. Esha has ventured on solo rides to over 16 states in 2016 to find out if a female rider can drive safely in the country. She concludes that women can ride on Indian roads without fear.
6. Roshni Sharma
Roshni Sharma is an adventure junkie who loves to scale heights and escape from the cubicles of work on weekends to set on off-roading. At the age of 26, Roshni set on a solo bike ride from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and became the first woman biker in India to ride solo from Kanyakumari to Kashmir length, covering 11 states and passing through tough mountain ranges and terrains on the arduous 5,453-km ride. Sharma proved that when a woman is determined to do something, nothing can stop her. This biker surely has nerves of steel
7. Dr. Sarika Mehta
A remark from her male friend about how women shouldn’t ride bikes motivated Dr. Sarika Mehta to learn how to ride a bike. According to her, she did not want to prove her friend wrong, but to make herself right. Dr. Mehta learned biking from her husband, and coming from a conservative family herself, learning biking wasn’t a piece of cake for Sarika. But her determination overpowered everything. She is the first female biker in India to have ridden across 10 countries—India, Myanmar, Laos, Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. She founded a girls’-only biking group, The Biking Queens, to encourage and aid women who love bikes. Sarika promotes the Government of India’s initiative Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, while bike driving to various States in India to promote education for girls.
8. Anam Hashim
Where women and bikes are considered poles apart, Anam Hashim took women’s biking to another level by becoming a stunt athlete. Anam is the only Indian to have participated in an international stunt competition and won it in 2017. She is also one of the first women to ride to Khardung La, covering over 2,150 km, on a TVS Scooty. Not only in stunts, but Hashim also succeeded in completing one of the toughest racing events, Desert Storm, in one go. Anam says the bike doesn’t know your gender, and encourages women to come forward and plan careers in motorcycling.
9. Urvashi Patole
Urvashi Patole quenched her thirst for motorcycling by co-creating a platform for other women riders, ‘Bikerni,’ which is India’s first all-female team of bikers. Urvashi found bike riding fascinating since teenage. While performing a small stunt, Urvashi met with an accident. But that didn’t stop her. She bought herself a 125cc Bajaj XCD in college. Urvashi is giving a platform for women where they are fulfilling their passion for motorcycling. You can find women young and old riding Royal Enfield and living their dreams.
10. Shirin Shaikh
They say when life throws you curveballs, you learn to serve. Shirin Shaikh did the same. She didn’t pay attention to societal stereotypes. Being a single mom, Shirin is living her passion for motorcycling. Shirin crushes stereotypes by riding on Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350CC. At the age of 14, Shirin rode Yamaha Rx 100 with the help of her uncle. Shirin gives her parents the credit for supporting her and helping her raise her kid, while she manages her career, passion and life. Shirin says her parents taught her not to pay attention to what people say and follow her heart, and she suggests every woman to overcome hurdles and live their dreams.