“And miles to go before I sleep.” The fire of passion burning within one and all should not be hosed down solely because the dreamer is a woman. It is no secret that a woman has to face more ordeals than a man to live her dreams in a free-spirited manner. And if that dream is a “man’s job”, it is a Herculean task for women to make it a reality. Even in the 21st century, some women are not allowed to drive, let alone ride a bike. This is where we have a few outliers who are rewriting history in Vizag. As a part of Yo! Vizag’s International Women’s Day series, we have a dynamic story of Vizag women riders today that celebrates the wonders of womanhood. Our sole purpose is to inspire, educate and empower others.
Ellie – Vaishali’s Ride or Die
They say that our passion finds us. Yo! Vizag presents one such story of the first solo woman biker in Andhra Pradesh who says, “My bike found me.” Her first motorcycle, a Bajaj Avenger Cruise, is dearly named Ellie. “Ellie and I have done about 47,000 kilometres of riding across India for cancer awareness, genital hygiene, and women empowerment”, says the founder of the Vizag Women Motorbikers (VWM) club, Vaishali Kulkarni Moré.
The purpose of forming this club was to give a platform to more women motorcycle enthusiasts and to build confidence to ride better and safer. Breakfast rides every Sunday are popular among the 15 members of the club currently. As the leader of this dynamic group, Vaishali wishes to create more leaders to take the legacy of women motorbiking forward with dignity, compassion, and purpose and wishes her members to log in as many road miles as possible. The club is planning for their Ladakh trip this year and creating a new chapter in the history of Andhra Pradesh.
“Heels and Wheels Rally 2.0”
Vizag is a popular pit stop for bike riders from all over India riding along the coasts. This resulted in a collaboration with Riders Ahoy for the momentous “Heels and Wheels Rally 2.0” on 6 March 2022. The VWM club in light of International Women’s Day, rode through Vizag, covering approximately 75 kilometres, forming a ‘W’ on the Google map. Supriya Goel, Lavanya kopisetti, Sudheshna Datla are other members of the club who have always advocated for the cause and have taken part in this rally. The rally was conducted in 17 cities across India to celebrate International Women’s Day promoting the theme for 2022, ‘Break The Bias’.
While Vaishali herself draws inspiration from Gloria Struck, an American motorcyclist, she has proved to be one of the young women riders in Vizag.
On 8 March, at Novotel, speaking on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Vaishali gave a very empowering speech. In conversation with Yo! Vizag revealed the 3 important C’s of life – Chance, Choice, and Change. She spoke about how at every turn, challenges throw us each of the C’s.
As we continue to ride through our lives, let us all remember to follow our dreams and the wise words of Vaishali Kulkarni.