How to get our attention at Underground?
- Girl Bikers putting out a statement that Bikes are for non-gender
- A discriminated against group fighting prejudice and threat
- Bikes- that are badged British Enfield
We best take a look:
We’ve got bike culture in our sub-culture gene somewhere and a bit of throttle will get us going. We have taken a look at some bike cultures before now including those in Botswana and closer to home with VC club in London. This time around we just have to take a look at this scene in India. First of all, its great to see that biking’s race to being genderless is gaining speed. Around the world there are clubs springing up that promote biking for Girls or the doors of the clubs dominated by men are starting to open up. From place to place that pace of change depends on general attitudes to gender equality and the distribution of wealth. Biking for Girls assumes that there is social acceptance and the financial means to pursue it.
With its varied geography and the size of the country India is something of a Biker’s paradise. Endless roads that are clear of traffic, people and more or less anything. But the rise of the Biker culture for Girls in India is set against prejudice and privilege, that’s what makes the story and cause interesting for our blog.
India is a biker country. The streets might be filled with the predictable Japanese Hondas and Suzuki’s or the Indian owned and built Hero but take a closer look and you will find bikes that reflect an earlier age of the British Bike- the Royal Enfield. As British as it comes the Royal Enfield is one of the great British bike brands and dates from 1893, the bikes are now built entirely in India and global sales are even greater than the mighty Harley. That British Bike legacy is probably one of the reasons for the interest in bikes together with the need for an affordable form of transport in a nation that it is still finding its economic feet. There have been male biker gangs and clubs across India but the first time a girl group emerged was The Bikerni that was kick started by Urvashi Patole in January 2011. That was the first time that the Girls stepped up to knock down the prejudice and start to gain some equality.
“The Bkernii” (Hindi for female biker) inspired others to go out and do the same. Resourceful, determined and resistant to the opposition from some parts of society the Girl Bike Gang gained respect and kudos for their technical knowhow and counter culture spirit. Now there is a whole generation of girl biker gangs including the Lady Bikers, Lady Riders, Hop on Gurls, Biking Queens and ReGals.
A girl interested in biking is going to find it hard to get support from parents who will see it as too unconventional in a strict society so the biker gangs offer great mentoring and training for the aspiring biker. In a society that has been hit by the recent gang rape cases this is a chance for girls to gain some independence and empowerment. The biker gangs also support other social causes across the country, with the Biking Queens for example, undertaking a campaign to raise awareness of Breast Cancer.
The stats are actually looking good. In the India Bike Week of 2015 the male to female ratio of riders was 70/30. 50/50 its not, bit from a standing start its impressive.
There you have it. Raw, un-diluted spirit, a breakthrough and the open road ahead
Go read more about them at
The Bikerni https://www.facebook.com/TheBikerni/
Biking Queens https://www.facebook.com/BikingQueensSurat/
Lady Bikers https://www.facebook.com/ladybiker13/
Lady Riders https://www.facebook.com/ladyridersofindiapublic
Hop on Gurls https://www.facebook.com/HopOnGurls/
If you are in India go support them.
If you are a bit closer to home, go check out VC London http://www.vclondon.co.uk/