Women on Motorcycles in India, which until a few years back was a rare sight is slowly going through a very welcomed culture change. Women bikers are setting new standards and setting out for adventurous rides on their own and inspiring others with similar ideals.
For most women bikers though this is nothing extraordinary and their motorcycles just allow them mobility and a chance for them to explore, travel without having to depend on anyone else. For a few others, it’s all about achieving that sense of freedom and camaraderie.
Whatever might be the reason, this change in India has been possible because of the initiative of a few women biker groups who are breaking stereotypes and leading the path for other women to join this change. Women Biker groups all across the country are saddling up and riding long distances with panache
Hop On Gurls is one such group who are not only inspiring change but are also working towards enabling other women to learn motorcycles. The group has been conducting sessions for other women to learn the basics of riding a motorcycle and also on handling them. We sat down for a quick conversation with Pratima Hebbar who has been part of Hop On Gurls for two years now and have conducted many long and short rides for the group across South India and got some insights on what she loves about her motorcycle trips with her fellow bikers.
1: What is it about traveling on a Motorcycle that clicks with you? And why a motorcycle and not a car?
The feeling, when I am on a motorcycle, is that of pure bliss. Words fall short when I have to explain that feeling, I believe in “whatever it is, it’s better in the wind”!!!Hence motorcycle and not a car.
2: Of all the places you have been to, which is the one place that is closest to your heart and why?
Kerala: God’s truly own country. I always fall in love with Kerala for its beauty,the tranquility, the greenery, the colors, the aroma and the wilderness.
3: When you are out on a long ride do you prefer staying in a hotel or a homestay?
This depends, if I am with family, I prefer to stay at hotels. But when I travel alone or with my biking groups, I choose home stays. For me it works because, I don’t like crowded places and prefer something quieter and besides it allows me that time to geuninely unwind. Plus I can connect more with locals to explore the places and not to forget, get a taste of the home made food away from home.
For a group it works because, we all come with an intention to bond better and when you have an entire home all by yourself, you can spend more time together.
We choose places away from the city so that you can avoid traffic and home stays are better that way. Plus of course the money that’s involved. We would rather save the money to clock more kilometers than spending on a plush hotel.
4: What’s the best thing about traveling as a group with HOG?
Hop on Gurls is a group which is very close to my heart. I love the group for its simplicity and the bond that we have in between.Travelling as a group with Hop On Gurls is fun. “The no nonsense just ride attitude” is the best thing that happens every time when we ride and that’s what we are as a group.
5: What would be your advice for women who long to travel on a bike but they are not able to see it through because of personal constraints and other commitments?
For me traveling on a motorcycle is the only way to relax and unwind away from
the stressful life. Commitments on a personal front will never end, but that should not stop you from traveling. Because that’s the only time that you can take out to yourself and get to know you. Even if it means a short ride of 100 km which can be done in 2 or 3 hours, just do it. Trust me it boosts your confidence and you will come back as a new person.
6: Your favorite travel quote and what it means to you!
“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.” It gives me wings to explore more, gives me the pleasure to write to tell stories, gives me a reason to talk to people and not to forget, gives me a reason to be me.
As more women take the front seat of a motorcycle, the progressive parts of the country is slowly acknowledging the shift that is taking place in popular culture. It is a great time for travel and motorcycle industry as more women are taking long trips on their own and inspiring others to do so as well.
For more information on travel destinations and homestays, visit our website and you might just end up finding your next travel inspiration!