Tue. Sep 17th, 2019

TECH 'N WHEELZ

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Women Motorcycle Diaries: Divya Sagar from Kerala on her love for motorcycles and riding

7 min read
Divya Sagar from Kerala. Trivandrum, shares her love for motorcycles. Also talks on what inspired her to get into motorcycling and her dreams.

technwheelz: Introduce yourself?

Divya: I am Divya Sagar from God’s Own Country – Kerala. Born and brought up in Trivandrum, me now working in a private insurance firm (Universal Sompo GIC Ltd, Trivandrum) as Branch Operations.

technwheelz: How long have you been riding motorcycle?

Divya: I learned riding a two wheeler in the year 2002 and the Royal Enfield Bullet in the year 2006. But owned one in Feb 2015 Feb and my ride to various destinations started from there onwards.

technwheelz: Any specific reason you ride for?

Divya: I love bikes, riding them to various destinations, exploring nature. I don’t know how others can relate but for me it gives immense pleasure, relaxation, unique experiences and of course a different outlook on my life.

technwheelz: Describe how you got to where you are with motorcycling today.

Divya: My father – Makaranda Sagar is a mechanic. From my childhood itself he wanted me to have a geared vehicle when I grow up. So when I applied for driving license, I got for both geared and non geared two wheelers. Then, I never thought I would fall in love with riding this much. My first two wheeler was a Honda Dio, even though owning a RE Bullet was a dream. Whenever I get a chance, I used to drive motorcycles belonging to my father’s friends.

In 2015, I bought a Royal Enfield STD 500cc motorcycle. I clearly remember the day when I was delivered my motorcycle. I was very shy and tensed to ride my motorcycle from the showroom. My father was not in the town and I insisted my uncle to ride the motorcycle.

Makaranda Sagar

When my father returned, he came to know of this and asked me why I felt shy and tensed !! I was not able to reply. Just said – I don’t know. In school days I used to be very bold and courageous.

He said lets go for a ride to Alleppey and I will be the pillion. After riding for an hour we halted for a break at a juice shop. On returning he insisted me to ride the motorcycle and I replied- I can’t. He said, “I am not going to start the motorcycle. If you want you have to. There is no gender for riding a bike. You don’t have to be shy. It’s a privilege. May be tomorrow inspired from you, many girls may start riding bikes”.

At that moment I realized this is what I wanted. This was my dream, my inner passion which I was searching for. And we started from there- my very first ride with my dad. He was so impressed with my riding. Then I started to ride through Trivandrum city for my daily errands. Someone saw me riding the Bullet and I got an invitation from a ladies bullet club, which I joined later. Later started doing many rides. The first riding destination was to Brimoor,Trivandrum. SInce then, a lot of short distance rides in and around Kerala.

technwheelz: Your ride (motorcycle) now? Tell us about your motorcycle-

Divya: It’s a Royal Enfield STD 500cc bike, which I ride mainly for trips or motorcycling events. For daily commutes I prefer my Honda Dio. I get chance to ride other motorcycles like the old Yezdi, the new gen Benelli from my friends.

technwheelz: Do you maintain and repair motorcycles on your own?

Divya: Actually I love to. As said, my father is a mechanic and he wanted me to be a motorbike mechanic when I grow up. But life don’t go as we plan and I was forced to study another stream and work accordingly. My dad is not working now. My uncle is also a mechanic and he owns a workshop named Check N Go in Trivandrum itself. I went to him and expressed my interest in motorcycle repairing. He welcomed me saying that he knew some or the other day I would tell this to him and later joined there.

Due to official work I am able to visit his shop for once or twice in a month and that is not sufficient to learn things. But I hope one day I will fulfill this dream of mine too!!

technwheelz: Joined any riding clubs/ motorcycle clubs?

Divya: Yes. My passion of riding to various destinations actually started from a Royal Enfield group which I joined and thanks for that. But later I realized that the motorcycling club was giving more importance to fame and money than the real passion and love for bikes. So I quit.

technwheelz: How far have you ridden your motorcycle?

Divya: Actually not too much. I think I have a lot more to travel and explore. It’s just that I have started and have been to places within and nearby Kerala like Athirapally, Munnar, Vagamon, Nambikoil, Ambasamudram etc

technwheelz: Do you have a motorcycling achievement that you take pride in?

Divya: Nothing as of now. For achieving something it requires a lot of hardwork, patience, time and of course money. I am stuck up with my schedules and finding time to explore my real passion for riding is still in progress. But yes, time will come !!

technwheelz: 3 things your learnt from motorcycling

Divya: 1) It is a machine. It doesn’t know the gender of the person riding it. What matters is our passion towards riding.

2) Riding motorbikes give you joy, a state of being free from tension and anxiety. I would compare that feeling with meditation. I am waiting for that feel of 2-3 days where you go to a riding destination away from everything you have.

3) Never love motorcycling for fame or money. We should ride with love and passion and of course the happiness we get from riding.

technwheelz: Hobbies / Interests that you spend time on apart from motorcycling?

Divya: I do classical dancing but not when I get bored. I dance when I really feel to. I am a foodie and love to explore food. I also love to cook.

technwheelz: Do you have any motorcycling heroes?

Divya: My first and forever hero is my Father. My Mother says that he used to take me with him when I was just 6-7 months old. He used to place me over the fuel tank of the motorcycle and roam around the city. Also my uncle Dinesh who always gives advice regarding bikes and riding.

technwheelz: How are women motorcycle riders treated by most people and by male motorcyclists?

Divya: I have personally felt both positive and negative versions of it. I have many male friends both rider friends and regular friends- who support me very much. Rider friends do suggest me with new riding destinations, information related to bikes and regular friends appreciate my passion and attitude towards motorcycling. The encouragement and support that I get from them is huge.

Also I have experienced many stranger riders on road giving me thumbs up, wishing me the best and all when I am on the motorcycle.

But there are some male bikers on the road who don’t want a girl riding a motorcycle to go faster than them. They cannot even accept that. They will try overtake and ride with stupidity. They like to watch a girl riding a motorcycle but they cannot accept if she rides better. They want to see them struggling with the motorcycle and make fun of her. I always wonder about that kind of attitude these guys show. Why male, there are some females who responds like why can’t you sit at home helping your mother in cooking. Why behaving like boys? and kinda look at me!!

technwheelz: Parents/ Friends- How do they feel of you riding a motorcycle. Any special comments?

Divya: As I said my father loves me riding a motorcycle. In fact sometimes I felt that he admires me showing the love which he had always towards bike. He is the real backbone of my love towards motorcycle.

Weeks before me and some of female rider friends planned for a bike ride toward Vagamon and due to heavy rains a red alert was declared by the Government. So decided to postponed the plans.

I shared this with my father and his response actually astonished me. He just came from Idukki after a car trip with my cousin and he saw the heavy rains and landslide situation there. But he told me yeah there are landslides and all but it’s all about the thrill…. Go and enjoy an adventurous bike ride trip. He is that encouraging. A father who believes in his daughter.

Mother is also very supportive but a little bit anxious and tensed over my passion for riding. She never said no to my riding trip but insists to take care. Also I am blessed to get a very supportive gang of friends and relatives. They use to tell me we like this bold Divya. Some do tell me not to ride a scooter anymore because I look great on a Royal Enfield!!

Some friends love to join me in my rides as pillion and I used to take them whenever possible.

technwheelz: The motorcycles you wish / dream to see parked in your garage?

Divya: OMG ! Soooo many I wish. There’s and endless list. The first 3 important motorcycles I wish is

1. Yamaha RX100 2. The classic Jawa Yezdi motorcycle 3. A super bike from Kawasaki or BMW. Not yet shortlisted which one but yes will be informed soon.

technwheelz: Message to other female riders?

Divya: When I started riding motorcycle I think, there were 15-20 female riders in Trivandrum. But now I see many girls in the city riding bikes. It is such a great feeling.

I always dream of a road that have equal no of male and female bike riders. And I hope that time is not so much beyond.

As I said, the motorcycle doesn’t know the gender of the person riding it. What matters is the care and passion towards it. So if you have that passion, girls go ride your bike and explore the world.

Even though I am engaged with lot of activities, as a female biker I am always happy to help girls who wish to learn motorcycling. I will teach how to ride a motorcycle with proper guidance if needed.

Follow: Divya Sagar on Instagram

Inteview as told to team technwheelz.
Image credits to respective owners

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