Team TNW meets Vishakha Fulsunge aka RiderGirl who took biking as a protest against the guys who bullied her.
Interviewed by: Amey Dabholkar
Q) How long have you been riding motorcycle?
A) About 8 years…
Q) Any specific reason you ride for?
A) No specific reason as such. Riding is my passion..it’s like fuel to my life.
Q) Describe on how you got to where you are with motorcycling today.
A) Well..the journey is bit filmy. I had a BMX bicycle during my school days and I used to see boys stunt on BMX cycles. I thought like if they (boys) can do stunts then why can’t I?
I wanted to prove them even girls can do far better stunts. I started stunting step by step and started competing with boys..got appreciations. When I grew a little..i always thought of doing something extra ordinary. I wanted to ride a motorcycle of my own and then started learning. Thanks to my Dad (Dhanraj Fulsunge) who supported me every time. He wanted me to learn a non gear scooter first simply thinking that it would be difficult for me to synchronize between clutching and gearing. But me..a stubborn girl decided to learn geared motorcycle first and then non geared.
Later my dad was supportive..he got to know that his daughter can ride well. My mom (Rohini Fulsunge) always supported me and kept on motivating. She kept saying that” your hatke-your my beta” – (You are extraordinary)
During my college days i started riding Bajaj Pulsar 220 of my friend Swapnil Padelkar. He is a rider and also helped me in improvising my motorcycle riding skills. He guided me on how to do cornering, leaning, cuts, braking, pumping, etc . I started imitating him in terms of the riding syles which really helped me out.
Q) Why preferred motorcycle over scooter?
A) As I said, I always wanted to do something different from what a normal girl do. I have seen girls riding Kinetic Honda the non geared one, Scooty and that was the time when I decided to learn motorcycle riding. That time I haven’t seen any women riding a motorcycle.
Q) The first motorcycle you started riding/ learnt riding
A) The first motorcycle I learnt and started to ride was the Hero Honda Passion .. followed by Bajaj Pulsar 220. The Pulsar 200 is my all-time favourite bike.
Q) Tell us about your motorcycle you are riding now.
A) KTM Duke 390..thats my ride now. ‘KASHISH’ is the nick name that I have kept for my Duke 390.
Q) Joined any riding clubs/ motorcycle clubs?
A) Yes I did..but not interested now. The reason is the plotics the memebers play in a group and I am against all such things. Atleast in a riding community such things not expected. It’s better to ride solo ..with your soulmate- the bike.
Q) Is there a local motorcycling event that you try and attend regularly?
A) Yeah. The KTM Orange Day..my favourite one. As a regular participantsince 3-4 years I am the only female participant till now. From there i got the name-the KTM girl!.
Q) How far have you ridden your motorcycle?
A) I recently purchased the Duke 390. No fixed distances as such. But I make sure that every weekend I ride a total of atleast 450-500 kms.
Q) Do you have a motorcycling achievement that you take pride in? (Winner, participant in any riding events, any special awards as such)
A) No awards or prices yet. I am a regular participant of KTM Orange Day and the guys over there really appreciate me for participating and competing against them.. and a special applause at the end of the race. What more you need.
I have also participated in Gulf Monsoon Scooter Rally.
Q) Do you have any motorcycling heroes?
A) None other than Moto GP champion Valentino Rossi..
Q) How are women motorcycle riders treated by most people and by male motorcyclists?
A) Respect and Appreciation. Whereever I go..not only in groups but solo people give respect to a women rider. When I halt at traffic signals people gives a thumbs up ..some passes on comment like.. aacha lagta hai ladki bike chala rai hai etc etc (girl is riding a motorcycle…good)
Q) Parents/ Friends- How do they feel of you riding a motorcycle. Any special comments?
A) Whatever I am now is because of them. They are responsible for whatever I have achieved in my life. Friends appreciate and support on whatever task I take on. They feel really proud of me.
Q) Message to other female riders
Just be as you are. Don’t change for the world as you are the inspiration for other female..Being a lady biker is an achievement on itself. Stay strong n keep your motive high!
(Unedited interview and as told to team TNW)
Posted by: Chanchal M. Dhavan