Vaishali Kulkarni More, a veteran female biker from Vizag, Andhra Pradesh is an educationist, a Rotarian, avid trekker with YHAI and Pinkathon Ambassador who promotes 'Be Bold for change' and' Fit Women for Fit Families.'
She started riding at the age of 17 and enjoyed dirt biking and doing stunts. The guys in college who had motorbikes always captured her attention more than the girls and their girlie talks. She joined the group Night Hawks as the only female rider and did many one day rides with them on borrowed bikes from friends. Her parents were not aware of it, as she belonged to a conservative Brahmin family, so she used to bunk college to pursue her passion. She left motorbiking in 1990 and started again in 2015. Her son and late female biker Sana Iqbal motivated her to get into solo biking with full confidence. Motorbiking is like meditation for her.
She didn’t have much choice of bikes in the younger days as she used to borrow it from her male friends and whichever was available. She couldn’t afford a bike of her own back then and her parents were not supportive of biking. She used to ride RE Classic 350cc old model, Yamaha RX, Yezdi , DT Yamaha and Ind- Suzuki. She bought her first bike in 2015, a 220 cc Bajaj Avenger Cruise, which she fondly calls as “Ellie” ( Short for Esprit Libre) named by one of her favourite student, Deeksha, who was the first pillion on it. Deeksha designed the logo for her bike and said the bike was a true extension of her personality. She chose Avenger 220 Cruise because it is more comfortable to ride long distances, manageable, and gives a good average. Also it is a beautiful looking bike with easy to learn mechanics of it. It is good for Indian roads and supports her back well, doesn’t make her tired during long rides and is shorter than other bikes that helps her ride more confidently.
Her memorable and longest ride so far has been Pondicherry to Kolkata ride on International Women's Day along the East corridor of the Golden Quadrilateral with several detours to the heritage sites en route. She covered 2548+ kms on this ride and was the team leader of the group ride that comprised of three women riders. She promoted the cause of gender equality, cancer awareness, safety measures to be followed by riders and women empowerment. She created a national record by becoming the oldest woman biker of our country to ride the East Coast.
During her first solo ride to Shirdi, she lost her way, lost the network and was in a no man’s land for about 5 hours with no sign of finding the way out. But she kept her focus, held herself together and found the way back to the highway before it got too dark. She had to divert to Gulberga which was not part of the plan. It taught her the most valuable lesson of planning well on rides.
A special message she would like to give bikers is 'Motorbiking is not related to any particular gender. Just as we can cook, we can ride motorcycles too. India is a safe country to travel, provided you take certain precautions for safety. Age is just a number, so there is no age to follow your dreams, pursue your passion and fulfill your wishes and find your happy place'.