The Rapidly Growing Motor Biking Culture in India
For some people, biking isn’t just a way of travelling, it’s a passion that drives them forward. For others, it’s the lifestyle… living on the edge, balanced upon two-wheels. Here’s a celebration of that spirit.
For the most part in India, bikes are the cheapest form of fuel-driven transport one can own. It’s the force of sustenance, the two-wheeled approach to the mundane. The roads glisten with families piled one on top of each other, making their way through the grind, giving the world direct access to them, shielded by nothing. For others, it is the swiftest machine their money can buy – the thrill lingering in every turn as they make their way through hordes of traffic. But for some, motorbikes are so much more than that.
The rev of the engine and the propulsion of each rotation are nothing short of wings, pushing their riders further than anyone has ever been. For them, what they feel for their motorbikes isn’t just love. It’s life in absolution. They live simply to accelerate, and cruise.
Over the last few years, a community that once existed well within the by lanes, and hidden behind urban lore has now emerged onto the metaphorical highway, only too ready to take on the world. We’ve seen a drastic rise in the number of people heading out on road trips that are fit for the books, forming communities for people to meet and ride with one another, breaking gender norms when it comes to riding, and the creation of an entire secondary industry to support this trend.
You might make the argument that travel today has largely become a whole lot more accessible and easier than it has ever been. While this might be true, people’s journeys to get them to that point will always be worthy of a story. Take Atul Warrier –the man who sold everything he owned to ride his bike around the world. And ride he did. Warrier took about 20 months to plan his entire trip. He researched into this kind of travel, planned the route, got his visas and permits for his bike, shipping formalities and rebuilt his bike to tackle all kinds of terrain (he had to research all the different modifications he would have to make for such a ride). This is no simple feat – but there is no limit to passion and this story is telling of that fact.
While Atul went on the ride of his life alone, not all riders enjoy being lone wolves. And not all riders are men. Taking the communal element of riding forward, Urvashi Patole’s love for long-distance riding has long translated into the backbone of a community of women riders who call themselves “Bikernis” – a Facebook group created by Urvashi to celebrate their cause. Today, the country is accepting of Indian Female bikers like never before and women are confidently competing in championships, track races, and rallies. They are buying motorcycles to suit their riding styles and going on long-distance road trips – kicking gender norms aside with each rev of their engine.
It is only natural for a community growing as rapidly as this to fuel the growth of independent industries that are derived from the motorbiking culture. High on this list is travel, and bike modification/repair. Take Garage 52, for instance. According to this blog, “At Garage 52 you can come and rent a lift to work on your motorcycles. The crew at Garage 52 will explain and show you skills like basic welding, electrical wiring and basic metal fabrication, so you can improve your motorcycle building/repairing skills in a fun, relaxed, conducive environment. If building and working on your bike is not your thing then come hang out with like-minded motorcyclists, plan some rides to exotic locations or just come and hang out and have a cup of coffee.” What more could an enthusiast want?
With the rise of supplementary industries and a constant sense of community, we can only count on this lifestyle choice to gain speed and momentum. Each of these people has revolutionised the way we speak of motorcycle riding in India, and they are nowhere near being done. This is inspiration enough for a whole generation to take note, get on their ride and head out on the journey of a lifetime.
© Gut & Flow Media Pvt. Ltd.
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