Wednesday, October 20

World Women Bikers: Urjita Basu and her motorcycling adventures

tnw: Tell us about yourself.

Urjita: Hi, I am Urjita Basu. I am a content creator, a traveler and I just completed my college this year.

tnw: Are you a Biker Girl or a Car Girl?

Urjita: I am 100% a Biker girl. I don’t even know how to drive. Although in future I would like to get the taste of travelling in a car too.

tnw: How long have you been riding motorcycle?

Urjita: I am riding a scooty from as young as 15 years old. I learnt to ride a bike in 2018 and I got my own ride this year January.

tnw:  Any specific reason you ride for?

Urjita: Well, back in class 8 my dad bought me a pink ladybird cycle and it was quite embarrassing for me as I was a complete tomboy. I started riding the scooty to avoid the cycle. That’s how it started. But growing up I used to see my guy friends ride bike and it used to fascinate me. I was in class 11/12 when I saw a video of Mumbaiker Nikhil teaching how to ride. I almost saw the video a hundred times to absorb everything as none of my friends were willing to teach me how to ride. The discrimination really affected me and made my will stronger to get into riding.
Also, I loved the feeling of freedom and solace I used to get while riding, when the wind gushes you. I just loved having my own little space. There is a feeling of adventure and that’s why I love travelling with my bike so much.
A hobby that just started for competing with guys has become a passion now.

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

Urjita: When I went for a trip from Kolkata to Darjeeling with my TVS Jupiter I realized I am quite good at riding. It takes a lot of patience and concentration to ride for long hours. I loved the adventure and so after a lot of thought I opened a YouTube channel called MilesAndUs with my best friend from school who also taught me how to ride. I wanted to share my adventures and travel stories through this channel. I was also camera shy and it takes a lot of effort for me to speak in front of the camera. But the reason I am here today is just because of the emotional strength I get from riding and support of my mother.

tnw:  The first motorcycle you started riding/ learnt riding.

Urjita: The first motorcycle was Hero Splendor which I rode for maybe an hour and then after that my rides were mostly with Yamaha R15 V2 . I used to go out with two of my friends early morning for rides. Both had Yamaha R15 V2 and v3.

tnw: Your ride (motorcycle) now? Tell us about your motorcycle.

Urjita: The motorcycle I ride now is the Yamaha FZS V3 Dark knight. I named her Berry. (which is derived from my mom’s name ‘Kaberi’ ) The little setup I have done on my bike makes it look beautiful and I love it. She is not just a bike but a family member. I have craved for a bike of my own for long and so I guess I am kind of (very) possessive about her.

tnw:  Have you met with an accident or crash during rides?

Urjita: By God’s grace I have not been in a crash or accident. Although I did fall a few times on my Spiti ride which were all harmless and because of the terrain.

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

Urjita: I know a few things like starting the bike when the self doesn’t work or repairing a leak or changing engine oil. But I don’t repair anything major in my bike and also do the servicing from a very trust worthy local bike repairing shop. I am keen on learning everything and I am sure with time I will know most of the necessary repairing work.

tnw: What are your interests apart for motorcycling?

Urjita: My other major interest is cooking. Before the whole lockdown and You tube thing started I was sure I wanted to be a chef. I have done a 6 months training from a resort in Mauritius too. Now, I will probably be opening my own place.
Also I love music art and Dancing. I might not be very good at it but it lifts my mood and brightens my day.

tnw: Joined any riding clubs/ motorcycle clubs? Any motorcycling event that you try and attend regularly?

Urjita: A part of a local biking club. There are not many motorcycle events that happen in or around here but we try to attend the xbhp events.

tnw: Do you have any achievements that you take pride in? 

Urjita: Riding events are not so popular here so I haven’t got the chance to be a part of any. However I take a lot of pride in my Spiti ride. The 5000km ride started from Kolkata, covered the entire Spiti circuit and ended back in Kolkata. It was the most adventurous and difficult trip yet and I did the trip with a pillion.

tnw: 3 things your learnt from motorcycling?

Urjita: Firstly I would say, motorcycling is fun but it teaches us patience and it definitely helps to improve our mental health.
Secondly, there is no limit to learning. When I am travelling on my bike there are new experiences every day, new things to learn every day . Even the way you brake becomes better or the way you are riding on a certain terrain with passing time or experiences.
Thirdly , the height and weight really doesn’t matter while riding. You need strength till a certain extent but it’s definitely not everything. Technique is that what matters.

tnw: Do you have any motorcycling heroes?

Urjita: Definitely, it will be Mumbiker Nikhil who virtually taught me how to ride and Itchy boots whom I look up to.

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

Urjita: When I started riding back in 2018 there was a lot of judging but now in 2021 when so many female riders are out there I believe the discrimination is a lot less. Time is changing and people are keeping up.

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

Urjita: My father thinks I act like a guy travelling on a bike to places but he never stopped me. My mother is super supportive and she keeps the dream of travelling in Ladakh on a bike someday. My friends are supportive but they just want me to give them rides 😀

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

Urjita: That will be Royal Enfield Himalayan, BMW R 1250 GS and Ducati Monster. I really hope the dreams become reality.

tnw:  Message to other female riders?

Urjita: Okay so ladies it’s okay to be afraid, it’s okay to have fear, it’s okay to fall. Trust me these are the things that will make you extra careful on the ride, that will over the time build your confidence when you fight them off and will teach you to get up and give you experience to become a better rider. Just never stop believing in yourself no matter what.

tnw: How to get connected?
Through my Instagram – _urjita_b or mail me at [email protected]

 

Unedited interview as told to team technwheelz

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