Chasing a passion

Chasing a passion

Biker trails

Chasing a passion

Forget glass slippers and tiaras, princesses now wear rider jackets and boots. Meet Candida Louis, the biker girl from Bengaluru, who has made riding her hobby and her passion.

She has covered many parts of the country on her trusted bike, both on solo and group trips, and has covered over 11,000 kilometres. An inspiration to women all over the
country, she talks to Rajitha Menon about her journey so far.

What got you interested in riding?

The love for riding started at home. My dad always had a bike and I loved going on long rides with him. Goa was one of our favourite biking destinations. And even when I was in college, I had a supportive group of friends who loved to travel. So everyday after college, we would go to a waterfall or some other place nearby.    It has been eight years since I have started biking and overall, I feel it has been a great journey.

Did you face any challenges while pursuing this passion?

I don’t feel there were many challenges. I have had a very supportive family and group of friends. Also, as long as you place your trust in people, you will be surprised at all the unexpected places help can come from. But there are certain situations that every biker will invariably have to face, be it a man or a woman, and so it helps to take a few precautions to keep yourself safe. You should learn how to fix minor issues with the motorbike and try to avoid altercations, especially when you are alone.

Of all the places you have visited, which has been your favourite?

I can’t pick just one. My top three choices would be Gurez (Jammu and Kashmir), Pushkar (Rajasthan) and Varkala (Kerala). The peace that you find in these places is incomparable. Gurez is untouched because it does not get a lot of tourists. The place is still very rugged and it is quite tough to get there which makes the travelling part an adventure in itself.

Share a memorable experience from one of your trips.

I have had quite a lot of memorable experiences. To tell you a few, I have had the Ajmer Police cook mutton for me, I have done snorkelling for three hours with a fisherman in Rameswaram, I have ridden with the participants of ‘Raid De Himalaya’ as they practised in Kashmir on a river bed and more.

One of the most wonderful experiences is when girls, in each and every city that I have gone to, have said that I am an inspiration to them and they want to be like me and see for themselves how beautiful India is.

Three things every woman biker, or woman solo traveller, must know.

Firstly, pack light. Secondly, learn ways to protect yourself. Lastly, understand that India is not a bad place for solo travellers and place your trust in the locals who may just be your guardian angels.

Other than riding, what are your hobbies?

I like to eat, of course (smiles). Other than that, I like to teach other women how to ride. Travelling, in any way possible, is also a favourite.

If given a chance to ride with a celebrity, who would it be and why?

I would love to have Guy Martin join me for a trip. But if it had to be an Indian celebrity, then John Abraham, I guess. He is a biker himself and seems like a really nice guy.

What would be your dream bike?

The Ducati Multistrada.

Three things without which you won’t go on a trip.

Those would be a hydration pack, my phone (for the camera especially) and a Swiss army knife.

What would be your dream journey?

To ride around the world on my motorcycle.