Women On Bikes: Meet Vaishali More, A Biker Mum Straight From Vizag
Vaishali More, a 48-year-old mother is the first woman biker from Vizag. She is one of a woman who has mastered the dynamics of life, besides being a great mother. Being introduced to this sport by a friend at the young age of 17 gave birth to a new passion within Vaishali.
Even though back in those times, a girl doing the biking was considered as a taboo, especially when a woman hails from a typical Brahmin family (Vaishali hails from one). Since then she has emerged a triumphant in several dirt biking competitions. But she had to put a brake on her biking gala when she got wedded in a year of 80’s.
Without any regrets, she has been a responsible mother and a wife since then. Today her son is all grown up to be a great merchant navy; upon whose persuasion Vaishali gave a kick start all over again to her passion to ‘vrooming’ all the way. He has been her pillar of support all the way. According to Vaishali, it’s his immense unwavering support that has helped her to come this way long.
Even after a long pause of two decades, nothing has been able to fizz out her mettle and passion for bikes and biking. While away from the biking world, Vaishali has remained a geography teacher by profession. But now is now on roll since she took a voluntary retirement off her teaching profession to once again pursue, long forsaken fervour.
She is very fond of her 220 CC Bajaj Avenger Cruise, which she has named as ‘Ellie’. This beautiful and powerful name of her machine has been derived from a French word ‘Esprit Libre’ which means ‘free spirit.’ For Vaishali, biking is not gender based and wants to break the notion of women being only the pillion riders and not the ‘actual riders’.
“Biking for me is a symbol of empowerment and liberty.”
~ Vaishali More
Biking according to Vaishali More has always been a medium of liberation and empowerment. She always had a wish to go solo on a motorcycle journey and her dream finally came true. The Pinkathon ambassador and Rotary club member clubbed her wish to spread awareness about cervical cancer with her passion to conquer the roads. Recently she embarked on 1,700-km solo ride from Visakhapatnam to Shirdi. The entire journey spanned across three states, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra.
Her ride was supported by city based organisation Rohit Memorial Trust. The passionate mum biker covered the entire distance in five days, making brief servicing stops at Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Solapur and Pune before ending her journey in Shirdi.
Armed with safety gears, a helmet fastened over her hair and wind slivering through her hair, Vaishali sported a riding jacket for guarding her back, shoulder and elbow and she also donned skid proof boots for her first solo biking stint.
Even if many women gather courage to pursue this passion for this machine, out of them many soon drop the idea due to lack of any support and proper mentorship. Besides that, the fear of mockery and reluctant parents add on as the catalyst to the reasons of not taking the wheel.
But thankfully, lately even though female bikers get more raised eyebrows as they hit the roads, there has been a sudden growth in number of women taking up this activity. There have been many female biking clubs forming all across the nation, with the names Hop on Gurls, Lady Bikers, Biking Queens, Lady Riders, REgals and Bikerni (the name for a female biker in Hindi). Each one of these are playing a very vital role in the motivating the suppressed passions of women bikers.
It is true that riding a motorcycle gives women a scope of better mobility, and a mode of travelling without having to depend on anybody else. It is also breaking the notion of patriarchy with confidence, the invasive say that women are ‘unsafe’ alone on the roads.
This journey not only commenced a new chapter in Vaishali More’s life but also embarked the beginning of a revolutionary progress in the Indian society. The woman from the Port City describes it as a “dream ride where the journey is the destination”