It is not every day that you will spot a tyre pressure gauge sitting comfortably alongside the lipstick in lady’s bag. But when you do, you know these lassies are determined and dedicated about everything in their life. Celebrating the women bikers in our ongoing series, we caught up with Nupur Saxena who broke the mould of gender stereotypes to pursue her passion of motorcycle riding. Her zest for life is infectious as she shares her thoughts with Sujata C exclusively for Solorider.
- How did you get interested in motorbike riding?
I started bike riding at the age of 17 itself, except that I didn’t fully appreciate the passion right away. In fact it took me a long time to get into a full biker mode. And one day took my friend’s bike and went on a ride on my own, ended up riding 125 kms straight away and that’s when I realized what was missing in my life. It’s exhilarating, thrilling and of course one of the best stress bursting method.
- Tell us about your childhood. Is there anyone else in the family – sisters, brothers or cousins who are also into bike riding?
My childhood is filled with lots of memories. We lived in a joint family. I have many cousins and I was the one, always coming up with wild schemes, new things to do. Today it is dancing, next day it will be karate and suddenly my interest will shift to painting. Not many people know but I have played cricket on District Level and all the while my family will support me. I was good with studies, so they didn’t mind me doing anything rebellious.
Me and my cousin brother share a passion for riding.
My father sponsored my first bike and it was my cousin brother who taught to me ride. And luckily I have few good friends, whose bikes were always available for me whenever I wanted to ride.
- Was your family supportive about your hobby?
Oh yes. My father worries a lot but he never stops me. He always says ride but cautiously, remember somebody is waiting for you back home. Then there is my elder sister and cousin brother, who fuel my passion.
- Share some of your memorable moments from your best ride.
I will share two. First one is from Goa. We were three friends, and we rented a bike and were taking a tour of Goa, when we can across of group of senior Harley Bikers. We get into chatting and they invited us for a ride. We ended up riding approx 400 kms, obviously it was tough to match the speed with them on our 350 cc bikes but they never left us behind. It was my first ever ride and that’s when I decided, I need to own this steel.
And the second one is from latest one, when more than 150 bikers joined to pay tribute to Veenu Paliwal Ma’am. We had riders of all age, from few months to decades of experience, different bikes and groups but with one thought. You not only feel honored to be part of such a community but it also gives you a sense of pride and responsibility.
- Did anything leave you frustrated at any time?
It’s a bit human to feel drained out. Well then you have your way of leaving all the frustration behind and feel free. When I ride, my mind is free, so is my soul and my spirit.
- How important is fitness for bike riding?
Staying fit is very important. I think all the riders will agree that the main problem we face is back pain. Regular exercise and eating healthy is extremely vital.
What worked for me so far is maintain the right diet with right amount of exercise. Try and take less carbohydrates and sugar. Anyway you should always stay fit, whether you are riding or not.
- What kind of dos and don’ts do you follow on a ride?
Riding your bike can be a great deal of fun, but it also has its hazards, especially when you’re sharing the road with motorized traffic. It is important to have a bike in top condition and always ride on a cautious speed. Even if you are on highways, ride on a speed which you can handle and not the people around you are on. In the city, always follow traffic rules. And most important, always wear safety gears, like helmet.
- How do you handle undue male attention on the road?
Now that’s an interesting one. I would say it’s the way it is, in our part of the world. We all have been dealing with this since our teenage years. Be it while riding a bike or any other public places. It’s a wisdom women have. We build our own way of avoiding and at times confronting this issue.
- What is the biggest learning you have had from bike riding?
It taught me that there is more to life. I think a lot of people struggle in their life, fighting the battles within. Bike riding is something that adds a whole new era to your life that you never thought can be there. You learn to let go, be grateful for everything you have and inspires you to explore new dimensions.
As a parting shot Nupur leaves us something worthwhile to think about. “Ride – It won’t add days to your life, but will add life to your days.”