Monday, 1/3/2021 | : : UTC+0

Me, my bike and the open road

Me, my bike and the open road

Known for riding her Harley Davidson at 180 kmph, one of India’s top female bikers, 44-year-old Veenu Paliwal, was on a nation-wide tour on her Harley Davidson along with her friend and fellow biker, Dipesh Tanwar, when her bike skid off a road near Gyaraspur in Madhya Pradesh; Veenu lost her life in that fatal accident. A responsible rider, it was reported that she was wearing all her protective gear when the accident took place. Despite her untimely end, Veenu is an inspiration for women as she fought against many personal odds to pursue her passion for riding. She is survived by a son and a daughter.

Cafe finds out what difficulties women riders have on the Goan roads:

As far as possible, I ride along with a friend because there can be issues or difficulties with my 250kg Harley Davidson bike. I don’t know the in and out of the bike well so it always helps to have someone who knows bikes well. I have noticed that people come to one’s aid in case of an accident in Goa. I was recently run off the road by a Karnataka registered car which was overtaking a Goa registered vehicle on a blind spot. Nowadays, everyone is in a rush to get somewhere and it is better to ride on the defensive as you don’t know how the other driver/rider will react. The under construction roads in Goa make it an even worse situation for riders. It is also important to have your safety gear on when riding. The leather jacket you wear is less about style and more about safety; a padded jacket helps against impact on the shoulders and elbows.AYESHA BARRETTO, Dona Paula

One of the biggest problems for riders is the increasing traffic jams where 18- and 19-year-old boys try to cut you off while riding. Usually there is never a problem with the bike when it comes to performing well, however, some riders are more curious on the road. I have often been disturbed as other male riders slow down and ride alongside asking questions about the bike and whether I am out on a long ride. Their lack of concentration on the road ends up being a disturbance for me too. Another issue is that when male riders see a lady riding, no matter which bike, they will overtake and then slow down again, just to be bullies on the road. This can be quiet risky, sometimes even leading to accidents. SIMRAN GADEKAR, Aldona

Bikers have to deal with different kinds of situations such as unruly drivers on the roads, sudden punctures, bad roads, no street lights, and even stray animals that suddenly dart across. Women bikers in particular are confronted by added problems, such as when a guy purposely overtakes you and then keeps watching you from his rear view mirror, or when a guy overtakes you and then slows down, and when you overtake him, he again crosses you with a ‘vroom’ and slows down once more, just to annoy you. I have even come across some weird guys who deliberately cross me and then start doing lame stunts on their bikes. However, the exhilarating rush that one gets while riding a bike definitely trumps any adversity one may face along the way. FIONA CARDOZO, Merces

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