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“My First Ride” by Kanu Priya

India is very famous for its cultural heritage, traditions, civilization, religion and geographical features from the ancient time. On the other hand, it is also popular as a male chauvinistic nation. Time has taken a new leap and we have seen a tremendous change in the society and many women have come forward to match shoulders with men or taken it much higher. The Motorcycling world has also seen many accomplished lady riders. It’s also very encouraging to see a supportive family behind many of these riders.

Motorcycle Diaries would like to share an experience by a 21 year old girl who is a Special Educator by profession, a classical dancer, an orator, and is currently associated with different platforms working for children with special needs.The first riding experience is always special. It can be the right spark in the right direction. Let’s hear it from Kanu Priya in her own words how it felt to take her first ride and how the world around her has changed thereafter.

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“Goodmorning baby”, a voice echoed in my ear and I felt a chill in my spine, as I was still half asleep. It was my father, who surprised me by waking me up at 3 am on 1st of May, 2016. “Get up sweety! It’s your first ride and you need to be there on time”, he said.

As I headed for the washroom, I inquired him how he felt about returning home every morning after doing the night shift. He is a Delhi Police Personnel and worked night shifts and slept the whole day.

“I feel excited”, he replied with a smile.

It took me hardly 15 minutes to get ready with the leg guards that I had borrowed from my coach a day before the ride, with my helmet, the fascinating smart jacket, a small white stole (as I didn’t own a balaclava at that time) and the keys.

We sat down in the drawing room, and he served me a sandwich along with a glass of milk. “Are you nervous?” he asked me before I was about to finish the last bite of the sandwich. “A bit” was my reply.

Till the age of 21, I had never been out on rides before in this manner “without Papa” and with other people, who were completely unknown.

“Don’t be nervous, you’re my daughter, Ride Hard, Ride Safe!” He said. It was 4:30 am by now and I was ready to start from home. He, just like all elders do, offered me a spoonful of curd (a tradition followed mostly by Indian families on auspicious occasions).

I put on my helmet, pressed the clutch, shifted the first gear and headed towards Kakrola Mor, where my coach was waiting for me. I observed a lilting smile on his face. We together rode towards Meenakshi Dhaba/FSRMC Dhaba at Qutub Institutional Area, Delhi where for the first time I saw hundreds of Bullets and Bulleteers together at one place, everyone in similar attire. Everyone shook hands, returned hugs, shared cigarettes, and few flaunted their ‘bullet’ (bike)’.

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Few minutes later, a very smart rider, tall and confident, gathered the crew of FSRMC (Free Soul Riders Motorcycle Club) and started introducing everyone. This was a briefing actually and new to me. New riders to the club were being prepared for the ride, the formations, rules and the routes were discussed.
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Photographers were busy doing their job. Riders of different clubs were taking positions. It was 6 am. I too was guided to my position. No one considered me as a new rider. Everyone gave me a suspicious look, my potential was in for gamble! But I had to prove it to myself and also make my father feel proud.

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I observed that all females were posing as pillion riders, and I was the only one riding a Royal Enfield (classic 350) on BOBMC Day- (Brotherhood of Bulleteers Motorcycling Consortium).

Finally, the ride started from Meenakshi Dhaba to Botanix Resort, Sohna Road. This riding experience turned into an unforgettable experience for me because at one point of time I felt like a celebrity. On Gurgaon highway, people and passersby were shooting videos and clicking pictures.

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When we reached the destined place, all motorcycles were placed in a row complimenting each other. I even asked a few them to let me sit on their motorcycles for a click. I was very excited to see my favourite bikes. This was a BOBMC event so all of them were on Royal Enfield Bikes. I would like to sum up my first ride by saying “Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”

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I am fortunate to have a supportive family and circle of friends who have supported me every time. I am happy that I can live my passion. My world has changed since that day. It has also changed the way people look at me and the way I look at the world and possibilities.

 

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