Wednesday , 11 December 2019
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Gearing up towards Vagator

India’s largest motorbike festival – India Bike Week – will be held on December 6 and December 7 at Vagator. ‘The Great Migration’, as it is called brings together bikers from across the country and beyond. NT BUZZ speaks to a few biking enthusiasts who will be present at the festival

ANNOUSHKA FERNANDES

The sixth edition of Asia’s largest motorbike festival will witness thousand of bikers from India and across the world coming together to celebrate their passion, which is their love for biking. ‘The Great Migration’ has become an annual tradition with a mixture of fun, music, adventure and more.

Some of the world’s accomplished bikers will conduct various sessions, workshops and display their biking skills at the festival.  

Iranian-born, motor-biking world record holder, fashion designer, artist and marketing professional, Maral Yazarloo-Pattrick will be present at the festival. Her solo bike ride is set to break stereotypes and create the world record for women bikers in Asia and Middle East.

However, her journey as a biker began when she was not allowed to hop on a bike by her companion. “My biking journey began when I bought a Harley Davidson 48 on impulse. I was in Pune at that time and was not allowed to hop on a bike by my fellow student just because I was not a rider. That moved something in me,” she says adding that this incident made her book a Harley Davidson 48, making her the first woman in India to own a Harley Davidson.

Pattrick is also known for her solo biking tour across the seven continents – Asia, Australia, North America, South America, Antarctica, Africa and Europe – with no backup team. “After 12 years in marketing and retail, I decided to see the world on my motorbike. I covered 110,000 kilometres nonstop on my bike in one round trip. I backpacked to 67 countries before my world ride and then decided to go around the globe on my motorbike,” she says. Pattrick has been to over 112 countries and says she still has 93 more to go.

Pattrick holds the record for the highest mileage on a superbike for ladies and her achievements have earned her the title ‘Queen of superbikes of India’. “It feels great to show the world that nothing is impossible and tell the girls and boys as well that they can be who they want to be, and if I did it everyone else can do it too,” she explains describing how elated she feels to be conferred with the titles.

In fact, Parttick is also involved in campaigns for Iranian women to get permission and licences to ride motorbikes. “Yes, after travelling to seven continents and 64 countries, I entered Iran officially as the first Iranian woman to ride a bike with a licence and rode across my place of birth. I requested the government to relook into the matter and change the law for Iranian woman to be able to get a motorbike licence,” she says. However, this is not the only cause she campaigns for. She also advocates for awareness against rape and domestic violence against women. “Rape and domestic violence against women makes me really angry and India needs to change the law. This campaign is very close to my heart. I also deliver lectures in schools and am a part of different campaigns for women empowerment,” she adds.

Having so many roles to perform, Pattrick says, one must set their priorities right to achieve their goals. “You should be a 100 per cent in all the roles you take on in life and master balancing them. I enjoyed Maral the biker and then the wife, and currently I’m a happy mom,” she adds.

For IT professional and biker, Candida Louis, her love for biking began at a young age while travelling from Karnataka to Goa with her father.

Louis is currently on a mission to educate the world about travel. After completing several biking journeys in India, Louis was selected to be a part of the ‘Change your World’ travel project. “Change your world is a non-profit organisation set up in the memory of Alistair Farland, the Australian biker who met with an accident and passed away. The project aims to fund and support wayfarers like Alistair, whose travels are much more than just individual goals,” she explains.

Having been shattered by Farland’s death, Louis decided to journey all the way to Sydney and meet Alistair’s family as a tribute to him and his journeys. As a part of this project Louis made it a point to not just travel, but also make a change by stopping at different schools and talking to people along the way. Elaborating about this journey she says: “It got very emotional for me riding the last few kilometres to Sydney Harbour Bridge viewpoint. It was the sight of Alistair’s mom, who had been following my ride ever since I left India that got me very emotional.” Apart from Australia, Louis has also travelled extensively across South Africa, Swaziland, Indonesia, Cambodia and USA.

Her advice to young women riders is to get out there if they have a passion for riding. “Go out there and start riding. There will always be hindrances, problems and situations that will make you feel like quitting, but only if you manage to remind yourself why you started in the first place, will you be able to achieve success and stand out from the crowd,” she says.

The festival will also witness stuntman and YouTuber, Rok Bagoros from Slovenia who will be arriving in India for the first time. “This will be my first visit to India, a moment my fans and I have been waiting for years. So the expectations are high. I couldn’t have wished for a better event to perform at for my first visit to India.” says Bagoros. As KTM’s official stunt rider, Bagoros considers India as the most developed country when it comes to stunt riding. “A lot of freestyle talent is coming out of India and by any means, the tricks are the most difficult and craziest I’ve ever seen,” says Bagoros adding that he is looking forward to perform stunts alongside KTM’s Indian stunt teams.

The audience are in for a treat as Bargoros will be performing stunts on both days of the festival while also judging KTM National Stunt Battle. “I am performing on both days at India Bike Week. There is also a fascinating KTM National Stunt Battle planned among KTM’s Indian stunt teams and I will be the main judge for this competition,” says Bargoros. 

During the 10 years as a pro rider, Bargoros has travelled to remote parts of the world, chasing unique locations to perform tricks on KTM bikes. “The most memorable story is the quest to reach the highest paved road in the Himalayas in 24 hours and perform a show there. After 17 hours of bumpy ride, we reached the Mustang Area in Nepal, where we found a perfect location to perform a show at 3664 metres,” says Borgoros.

Besides being an athlete who perfroms shows and competitions around the world, Bargoros is also a successful YouTuber with nearly a million followers. “We create vlogs and videos on a weekly basis where we build KTM bikes, race with them, improve their performance; we also document our travels,” he adds.

Among the thousands of bikers who will be present at the festival one will get to see pen and ink illustrator, Sneha Yadav. Hailing from Mumbai, Yadav encapsulates her love for machines through ink illustrations and water colours. From cars, jeeps and bikes she moved to sketching defence, construction vehicles and aircrafts. Yadav realised that it was drawing machines that made her content. “I didn’t pursue a degree in art, but deep down I was always inclined towards the art form and knew that someday I would be involved with art. And here I am today, doing the Moto Art Collective this year at IBW 2019,” says Yadav.

Having started her painting career by drawing cars, jeeps and bikes, Yadav gradually moved on to draw defence vehicles, construction vehicles and aircrafts. “I have never been a person who would stick to just one genre of automobiles. Since childhood, I have been in awe of machines be it cars, bikes, jeeps, tanks, aircrafts or construction vehicles. Everything about them fascinated me for the fact that they could move from point A to B along with their aesthetics,” says Yadav. She further states that the fact that they have different features adds to the beauty of these machineries while they serve their purpose. 

However, Yadav does not limit her artistic skills to paper. She has even doodled on bikes. Comparing the difference between painting on a paper and doodling on bikes she says: “Doodling on bikes was a whole different experience and came with its own set of challenges. I experimented with different kinds of materials, paints and pens to achieve what I had in mind. Not only was the process fun, but it also taught me about application of certain inks paints, certain dos and don’ts.”

During the festival Yadav has decided to leave behind the papers and bikes and doddle on something else. “This year, instead of working on a bike, I might doodle on helmets or maybe something totally different and unexpected,” says Yadav.

At the festival Yadav will be conducting various workshops that will provide an insight into illustrating machines and teaching participants to paint on bikes. “For those who are really interested, I shall be teaching how to paint on bikes with a limited set of colours yet make it look interesting. I am more than excited to meet like-minded people who share the same passion about automobiles and also learn from them,” she adds.

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