Female biker, 41, finds treacherous Himalayas a 'walkover'

Female biker, 41, finds treacherous Himalayas a 'walkover'

"I started biking when I saw a group of boys having fun on their bikes. I was jumping with a strong will to do it myself," says Klaudia, who bagged fourth place in the X-treme two-wheeler category of the recently concluded Maruti Suzuki Raid de Himalaya, a premier motorsport event of India, organised by the Himalayan Motorsport Association.
Talking about her bike Suzuki DR 650 that weighs more than 300 kgs with all her luggage, Klaudia says, "The more I ride my bike, the more I like it. I love riding bikes but I have not received any formal training because I am just travelling all the time."

A regular participant at the motorsports rally that covers the most challenging peaks of Western Himalayas every year, including the most formidable Baralacha La, Klaudia says she is truly in love with India.

"I love India. Sometimes its hard to travel along, especially as a woman, as everyone stares at you.

"In mountains, however, people are little bit more open. Their lives are more relaxed. India is a lovely country. It is fascinating. If you are in India the best thing to have is - loads of fun," says Klaudia, whose team Austria won the best team trophy at the 12th edition of the rally, this year.

The rally route covers some of the highest motorable places in the world, including Kaza (3600 mts), Komic (4275 mts) in Spiti valley and Patseo (4830 mts), Sarchu (4551 mts) in Lahul valley.

"I have travelled across all these mountains before but during the rally, it is just so different. Here, you have to go on to your limits. You have no oxygen but you have repeated tyre issues. Its a challenge to be there," says Klaudia, who finished fifth in the rally last year.

The only woman in the list of 51 bikers who participated in the event, Klaudia always believed, "the competition is pretty tough but my motto is just to ride till the finish line. It is so much fun."

"My target is to survive. Many people just surrender to hardships the rally gives and say I cannot do it but to me it shows really who you are. I think that only is the point of the rally," says Klaudia, who rode from 12th position at the end of first day of the six-day rally to fourth position at the end of it.