Priya Meghwal from Gurgaon is an engineer by profession and biker by heart. She loves to live an adventurous life. Priya has done Manali to Khardungla (the Highest Motorable road) on a bicycle and now dreams to explore all the hidden places of India riding on her RE Classic 350.
Head on over to the conversation to know more about Priya.
Q) Priya, any specific reason you ride for?
A) I feel like every women should know to ride every vehicle present in their home. So that at any stage of life they don’t need to depend on anyone. Considering this reason I started riding motorcycle.
Q) Describe on how you got to where you are with motorcycling today.
A) It all started in my school days when I was in +2, when my elder brother had just learnt to ride a bike and my father, who never treated me less than my brother, wanted me to learn his bike as well. That was the first time I learnt to ride bike and it was the Rajdoot 175. I still remember my dad’s friends used to say ” Sir ji, itani bhaari bike hai kaise sambhalegi beti aapki.” (Bike is so heavy how she will handle it.) and my dad has only one thing to say “chalane k waqt kuch bhaari ni hota” (When you start riding nothing is heavy). That’s the only thing that kept me motivated that its not a big deal riding a bike. After Rajdoot the only bike I rode was my own RE Classic 350 that I gifted to myself.
Q) Why preferred motorcycle over scooter?
A) Riding a bike in India, where still it’s a taboo for gals (in many regions), has its own charm. I used the Honda Activa for 5 years before I switched to my RE. But once I started riding it, I started falling in love with it and am still in love with it.
Q) Your ride now?
A) The Royal Enfield Classic 350 Lagoon- nicknamed Iron Lady. I got it in my hand on 23rd Oct 2014 after a waiting period of 4 months. It was and is my dream bike since I came to know about Royal Enfield motorcycles and after owing it my happiness had no limits. It is well known that Bullets are not the race bikes, they are for riding at medium pace and this is the thing I like most about Bullets. One can actually enjoy the natures beauty specially when riding in hills. Till now I haven’t faced any problem with it and its only coz am taking good care of her.
Q) Joined any riding clubs/ motorcycle clubs?
A) Yes I am a part and admin of Delhi Chapter of Bikerni group. BIKERNI is India’s first all women association with maximum numbers of ladies who rides motorbikes in various parts of India.
Q) Do you have a motorcycling achievement that you take pride in?
A) Not yet. But I do have an achievement in my cycling field of covering a distance of 530kms from Manali to Khardungla- the Highest Motorable road of the World at a height of 18380 feet in just 10 days. Though not recognized by any higher authority but I consider it a big achievement for my own.
I had never thought of giving a try to this madness ever in my life but when Girish, my husband told me about his stories of exploring Leh on cycle, I got fascinated, motivated and equally determined to do it myself one day.
I did this whole expedition with one of the renowned adventurous company in Delhi called “BIKAT ADVENTURES”
Before going for this tough cycle expedition they have a practice schedule which one has to follow in order to achieve the target with no regrets. Our practice started two months before the final ride along with some long practice sessions with BIKATS & group members.
Dehradun to Mussorie, a total uphill of 25 kms in 4hrs was one of those important rides which helped me in gaining the confidence required for the D-day. Thereafter daily practice rides to BalaQuila, in Alwar, built the needed stamina.
Our journey started on 1st August 2014 from Delhi. We were a group of eight; seven boys and only one girl-that’s me. We started cycling on 2nd August 2014 from Manali and it took us 9 days to reach Leh after crossing several high mountain passes. It was on the tenth day when we finally hit Khardungla
Being in nature’s lap and exposed to its elements, the entire journey was so beautiful and thrilling that it will stay with me forever & will keep reminding me that “You can do what you can think “.
Q) Do you have any motorcycling heroes?
A) Founder of our BIKERNI Group Ms. Urvashi Patole is my only hero. She has taken a big step of forming this riding group and because of her, today the Indian society has started taking it as positive thing that there’s nothing wrong if their daughter rides a motorcycle like their son do. I really appreciate all her effort behind we BIKERNI’s.
Q) How are women motorcycle riders treated by most people and by male motorcyclists?
A) In my opinion gone were the days but if u are talking about present scenario, people started respecting ladies on bikes and getting lots of motivation from them. We have so many bikerni’s who ride solo and rarely they were treated in a bad manner. Most of the time people appreciate and praise us. This is what I have gone through till now. In Delhi-NCR we have lots of biking groups where male bikers are large in number and we ladies ride with them. They treat us so well that we enjoy riding.
Q) Parents/ Friends. How do they feel of you riding a motorcycle? Any special comments?
A) If talking about me, I think I was the luckiest one because my dad himself taught me to ride a bike when I didn’t even know how to ride a scooty. After marriage my husband and in-laws were always in support of my bike ride. In fact I bought my RE after marriage. And what I feel is if you are firm about your decision of doing and achieving anything in life, none can stop u.
Q) The motorcycles you wish / dream to see parked in your garage?
A) When I was not having my own bike, my only dream bike was to own a Bullet and I bought it and still it is my dream bike. I am in love with it and I think it will take some time for dreaming of a new bike.
Q) Message to other female riders?
A) Ride safe with proper riding gears. Don’t speed up until you have the confidence of controlling it. Learn to observe. By this I mean, observe the vehicle moving in front of you on the road. This observation will surely help you in avoiding any kind of accident because now days there are many who ride rashly on the roads without follow the traffic rules.
Image credits to respective owners
Unedited interview and as told to team TECH ‘N WHEELZ