'The adrenaline rush is like none other'

'The adrenaline rush is like none other'

Racing ahead

'The adrenaline rush is like none other'

For biker Shreya Sundar Iyer, who is into racing, the sport gives her the rush she loves. This 25-year-old, who is the first lady biker to be a part of a racing team, is elated about the races she has been a part of. In a candid chat with Tini Sara Anien, she narrates her journey on and off the track.

How did you start with racing?

I picked up racing as I was obsessed with riding bikes. I started riding on a casual note. One day a friend brought his new bike and I asked if I could go for a ride and he said I could. Since then, there has been no looking back. I was a teenager and it felt natural to me — I remember riding with an inexplicable happiness. (Smiles) I felt like I suddenly got wings and was flying.

I’ve always been fascinated by dirt racing and a couple ofyears back, I rode on the sand dunes in Dubai. I wanted to see if I could ride on the desert terrain because it’s the toughest to ride on. I entered an adventure event there and rode the KTM 450 EXC. Someone who had been a racer with the TVS racing team stumbled upon my profile and that’s how I am here.

You’re the first woman to be a part of a racing team...

In India, we didn’t have a factory racing team and TVS was the first to come into the picture. They didn’t have a woman as part of the team until I joined.

How did your parents react?

Like any other set of parents, they were concerned about the safety factor. They never stopped me from doing anything — from riding a bike to going on solo rides. Racing is a lot scarier than just travelling on a motorcycle. But they are happy that I’m getting to do this professionally and are proud of me.

Places you’ve travelled on the bike...

I like travelling a lot and I like travelling on a motorcycle better. I have been to most of the places in the southern belt like the Konkan Coast, Chikkamagaluru, Madikeri, places in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and to the Himalayas in the north.

What is your schedule like?

I start my morning with practice. Sometimes, I start off with a swim before I head to the track. It’s all about practice. On an average, I practice for about five hours. After being on the track, I rest and take a nap. I hit the gym in the evening and by the time I’m back, I’m exhausted. My diet is like any other athlete’s. I have food rich in fibre and a lot of greens, fruits and dry fruits. I stay away from junk and oily food.

Lessons learnt from the events you’ve participated in...

My big event was the race which happened in Coimbatore in July. And I’m working hard for the one that’s going to happen in Hyderabad in September. I’ve learnt that no matter how much one practises, everything is different on the race day. If one is nervous, a lot of errors can happen. It’s very important to be calm.

What inspires you?

The adrenaline rush is like none other.

What are your other interests?

Music has always been a big inspiration. I am trained in Carnatic and Hindustani music and was in a band during my college days. I have sung jingles and even for advertisements and films. I also love photography and that is how my passion grew when I rode and captured varied frames. Music and photography are a big part of who I am.

If not a biker...

I don’t think I can define myself clearly. I always wanted to travel a lot and talk about my experiences and mix music and photography into it. Hopefully, something like that will work out soon.

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