I started riding about 2 years ago. Always had a craze for motorcycles since I was a kid, but was always afraid to ride. The parental pressure worked there. It all began when I forced my husband, my boyfriend back then to lend me his Avenger 200. Easy bike to ride, my feet touched the ground, it’s a nice cruiser to start off on. He helped me understand how the gears worked.

Knowing how to drive and ride those Goa scooties I picked up pretty soon. From there on there was no turning back.
It actually all started with a trip to Goa, when we went there for a friend’s wedding, we got a Thunderbird 350 which I rode on the tiny streets of Goa and fell in love with the bike. It felt so natural to me. The relaxed posture, the feeling you get when you ride it at 40 km/hr. I knew this was it, it’s time to get one of these.

So here it is I’ve compiled a list of 10 things that you need to do to become a boss ass b**ch rider.

1. Get a bike

This sounds a bit strange right, get a bike before learning how to ride. But it’s true, it’s only when you invest into it that you actually go through with it. Get an easy ride first, something where your feet touch the ground alright. Take test rides to figure out what suits you best, I am a cruiser gal, always have been, but to each their own, so you’ll need to figure that out. Ignore those guys that tell you the bike’s too heavy for you, you’re going to ride it not carry it.

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The decider, Thunderbird 350 I rode in Goa.

2. Learn to ride

Now that you have a bike, learn how the gears work. Get comfortable with your machine. Have a friend show you how things work, but most importantly keep at it, don’t let a fall or a silencer burn deter you. I still carry a scar, but I wear it with pride. 

3. Ride to work every day

This really helps, no matter how close you stay, ride to work, you’ll get used to changing gears in heavy traffic, you’ll not mind the summer heat on your travels. It’s better than getting stuck in traffic in a bus or a car. You get to ride in between and dodge the traffic. Another benefit you have is that all your colleagues know you’re badass.  

4. Ride at your own pace

No matter how much peer pressure you face, always ride at a speed you’re comfortable at. If it’s 40 kmph so be it. That’s when you enjoy the most. Look at the sites and sounds around you. I am more of a solo rider or I ride with friends. The bike rallies with strangers organized by bike companies are not my thing. But that’s just me, find your own thing. Organized bike rides have their benefits, they take you to places that you wouldn’t have heard of before. Meeting new interesting people can be a lot of fun. But they come with rules like you need to ride in an order, one behind the other. And these rides are organized by big companies like Royal Enfield, KTM, Triumph or Harley. I would suggest to talk to the HR of your company and ask them to start a riding group or join one if it already exists.

5. Buy good gear, a helmet, and shoes

If you’re serious about biking, get serious about protection. We got our gear from the Royal Enfield store, the jacket cost me about 14000 and the pants cost me 7k. While the jacket was a good buy but the pants I hated. They don’t really make good gear for women in India, even the RE store has those sleeveless tees for women. So do some research, don’t do what I did, another option is buy the jacket and some knee pads. Shoes I got from Columbia, they double up as trekking shoes. I bought a new MT helmet from Open Roads in Viman Nagar Pheonix Mall, they have a variety of biking gear and also some mean stuff for women. The guy at the counter was really helpful, helping me choose the helmet.

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Suit up

 

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All weather protection baby!

6. Get used to the Stares

Oh yeah! lots of them. People are mostly curious. Nothing more to say there.

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The look

7. Learn a little about your bike

Learn the small stuff, clutch wire, chain cleaning and chain spraying, oil changing and some basic maintenance. Chain spray goes on every 15 days. If you are going on a trip then it’s got to be before leaving, also clean the chain before you apply it, you can get these 2, the brush and spray on Amazon.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you ride, you’re already hardcore. But you might need help sometimes. Parking can be an issue, if you’re a girl who does not go to the gym, lifting bikes around you can be a chore, people would just park randomly around your bike sometimes, it does not hurt to take help from people in moving them. When on a ride, getting lost can be fun sometimes, but not always, so ask for directions, I bought a case for my phone to help me navigate or sometimes I keep my phone in the tank bag, which has a transparent cover, but navigation can be a pain.

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Tank bag, was pretty useful on the trip

9. Build an iron arse

Oh yeah!!. Biking is not fun for the ass and back. You’ll get used to it but riding can be a pain in the ass in the literal sense. Keep taking ass-resting breaks as I call them. Stretch every time you get off the bike.

10. Take her for a spin

Finally, give it a whirl, do long trips, short trips, everything! More importantly, enjoy your bike! You can take a pillion but there’s nothing better than enjoying it alone.

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On a ride to Lavasa. Photo credits Chaitanya Dharmadhikari

For updates on my rides and stories, follow my blog.

Happy riding!

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