The women on the machines

The women on the machines

It’s assumed that women would rather spend all of their money on diamonds and clothes. But proving this notion wrong is ‘Bikerni’, a club for women bikers in the City, who are breaking all barriers and hitting the road on their motorbikes!

With the inspiriting motto of ‘Mud for Makeup, Petrol for Perfume’, team ‘Bikerni’ is always ready to explore different parts of the country on their bikes. The club was started by Urvashi Patole in 2011. The story began when 12 bikers went on a ride to Leh from Pune.

This journey not only helped them realise their love for the mean machines but even form various chapters of the club in different cities. Currently, the club is only reaching new heights and spreading its wings across Delhi, Maharashtra, Chennai, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Assam and Pune apart from Bengaluru.

Says Roshini S Miraskar, the Bengaluru Chapter Officer, “One of the best things about being part of this group is that the ladies can ride any bike that they want. As long as you have a two-wheeler (geared or non-geared), valid licence and a passion for riding, you are more than welcome to be a part of the club.”

As per the club rules, ‘Bikerni’ has divided different meets for different days of the month. Deepti Jacob, the admin, says, “Each rider is different in the way she is and the way she rides. In order to accommodate everyone’s requirements, we have four types of rides.

‘The City Meets’ take place every third Sunday of the month and are open to anyone who loves to ride even if one doesn’t own a bike. We pick different cafes and lounges to meet at each time and hang out. It’s for those who want to learn how to ride and helps them figure out the different situations that they have to deal with during a ride.” Once they pass this test, they are analysed to see if they are fit for other rides such as ‘Day Rides’, ‘Over Nighters’ and ‘Long Rides’.

‘Bikerni’ also has a core team to help manage all the activities. Five members — Reena Muthanna, Shilpa Nagaraja, Tulika Srivastava, Sindu Iyer and Minakshi Priyadarshini — are the backbone of the club. Shilpa and Reena say, “I’ve been a part of this team for about a year-and-a-half and it has been a great experience. I’m proud to call them my family.”

The strictly ‘no men’s club’ believes that their bikes give them the freedom, the chance to take some time off and be themselves. “Even though I’m the newest member of the team, I feel like it’s a place where no one judges me. It has been a fantastic experience to be a part of this group and I couldn’t have asked for a better gang of girls to hang out with,” says Tulika. The club also has more than 50 members who join them on various rides. The youngest ones are about 19 or 20 years old and the oldest is close to 50. Women from all walks of life, be it students, IT professionals, lawyers or homemakers, are a part of the club.

“We have a member in our club who bought a bike and hid it at her friend’s house for six months. It took her a long time to convince her parents and finally bring her precious bike home. We have many other women who have gone through similar situations and this is what makes us great. It’s just eight to 10 per cent of people who have been gifted a bike by their family, the others have worked really hard to buy their bikes,” Deepti informs.

They also believe the club not only empowers women but also helps them embrace who they really want to be — confident and free-spirited. As Sonali Mukherji, one of the members, says laughingly, “It’s about judging our sanity. Men usually talk about only bikes when they get a break, but women have a lot more to talk about!”
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