Adventure, for most of us, was that moment when we pushed the pedals of our bicycle and looked back, only to find out the absence of the helping hand. A moment, that delivered an adrenaline rush so high, that we could hear our heartbeat. We were on our own. The rush of emotions, fear, and happiness, provided us with the first sense of freedom. But as we grow up, the passion for two wheels fades for some but, the emotions for two wheels remain the same for the rest.
Riding a motorcycle ignites the similar sort of emotions, that we have left behind in the past. Unlike in a car, on a motorcycle, you are vulnerable to all sorts of hazards. There is no air conditioner to provide comfort either but, that is all part of motorcycling. The speed, the hazards, the wind, combine to build an adventure, that only the enthusiasts of motorcycles can feel.
While the society is evolving, and encouraging females to ride motorcycles, the conservative counterpart still frowns upon it. The alternative to a motorcycle that the society has accepted for females to ride (if female riders are accepted at all), is a gear-less scooter. Gear-less scooters like a TVS Scooty Pep, Honda Activa, Suzuki Access, etc, are light-weight, have space for luggage, and the absence of gears make them easy-to-ride vehicles. The very reasons make the gear-less scooters so popular, especially in India. Riding a gear-less scooter is justifiable if it is the rider’s preference. But what is not acceptable, is depriving a gender of the available options. The stereotype, that females should only ride gear-less scooters or maybe no two-wheeler at all, is wildly bizarre. A stereotype, so widely accepted, that women and girls have built a perspective in their mind about being them unable to ride motorcycles, even without ever trying it.
There is nothing wrong about preferences, that is based on the trials of the available options. But, if the society advocates women and girls, to ride gear-less scooters only (or no two-wheeler at all), without providing them with the opportunity to perceive the feeling of riding a motorcycle as well, the judgment to me, is vague. So why should not women ride motorcycles? Why women should only ride gear-less scooters? What if women too want to ride bigger motorcycles?
There are several myths associated with motorcycles. Myths like females cannot ride motorcycles, females are not strong enough to handle motorcycles, motorcycles are difficult to ride, motorcycles are meant for men, etc. These myths associated with motorcycles deprive many women of riding it. But, some women accept these challenges and pass beyond it to achieve the so-called “impossible”. These myths or perspectives fail to find ground to stand on because some female riders have already broken the norms of society by going distances on motorcycles.
Similar is the story of Savya KC, a female motorcycle rider who was born in India but raised and brought up in Nepal. Since her childhood, Barbie dolls, and tea party toys, were not her cup of tea. Rather, she loved playing with cars and tinkering around with motorcycles. Her desire to ride motorcycles only increased as she grew older. But like many women and girls, especially being born in a middle-class family, the courage to even propose the idea of her riding motorcycles, to the family was not sufficient. But her will was stronger. The level of happiness shot through skies when her wildest fantasy to ride a motorcycle turned into reality. It was the day when her parents not only agreed to her riding motorcycles but supported it as well.
The current motorcycle she owns is a KTM Duke 200, a small displacement “hooligan” widely associated with young male riders. The “crowd” did not accept a young girl riding motorcycles. Savya was criticized for not being a “girl”. The people frowned upon her even more, when she started ‘moto vlogging‘ using a GoPro. But the laughs and the criticisms of the society did not demotivate her, as her father, an Indian Army personal, and her mother stood beside her to support. She would spend her free time watching video editing tutorials on YouTube to fill the void created by the lack of prior knowledge on video editing and action camera setup. She started uploading videos (moto vlogs) on YouTube and pictures on Instagram.
Motovlogging took her to places on her Duke 200, and many more motorcycles. Places she could not venture into before. The motorcycle became her perfect companion to travel the path to the unknown. It took time but, the very “crowd” that criticized her for not being a “girl”, started following her on social media. On many of her journeys, people would approach to click pictures with her. With more than 66,000 subscribers on YouTube and followers closing towards 10,000 on Instagram, the popularity of Savya KC, a young female motorcycle rider cum female moto vlogger is only increasing.
Savya KC strongly supports women to ride motorcycles and travel. During a conversation with Savya KC, she went ahead to add that people will always try to drag you down but, one must be strong enough to break free from it and move ahead. Words that will make anyone unable to disagree.
Without the “wheel” human civilization would not have reached the distance, it has today. The wheels have built the foundation of modern human civilization. Catering of independence by a motorcycle (or any vehicle) is often questioned upon. But the justification is not a difficult one to find. Being able to drive your own vehicle prevents you from being dependent on someone else to go places. It increases the overall productivity of society by saving time.
There is nothing special about living the “usual” therefore if you want to be do something out of the box, then the norms of society, must not stop you. The gender must not be the barrier to experiencing something as surreal as riding a motorcycle.
Photo Credit: Savya KC
YouTube Channel: Savya Rides
Instagram: savyarides (Savya KC)
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