She deserves to be called a super woman for her badass attitude and a sporty spirit that never gives up, not even after coming down a valley while leading the race in a group of all-male riders. This is the story of Sarah Kashyap and she's not new to the many firsts that she has had to face.
The only female official rider for Royal Enfield, Kashyap, at 31, has done countless rallies, some of which scare even men.
In 2015, she became the first woman ever to have crossed the finish line of the Raid De Himalaya in its 17-year-long history. Raid De Himalaya is considered to be one of the toughest bike rallies in the world, and only pro-level bikers and rally racers dare to participate in this life-threatening race.
Kashyap trained extremely hard for this with a 2-month training course at the National Defence Academy. She broke her collar bone in the process of completing the race, but she kept away from the bike only for as long as the recovery period lasted.
In 2016, she participated in the OYA Motocross & Offroading Championship, where she won a trophy for being the best female rider. We can only imagine how satisfying it could be to ride through different towns, villages, mountain hamlets and isolated roads with just you, your bike and the open sky! While she completed her degree in England, she says she was the only Indian girl on the road to try her hands at riding a friend's bike and this was no commonplace thing.
She believes that fear is a mind game that can easily be overcome. She teaches other women how to ride a motorcycle at the Royal Enfield Rides Team, because she wants other women to taste the feeling of freedom that comes with riding a bike. "Women can travel alone for thousands of kilometres," she says, and she wants to help them be fearless by being an example for them. "Riding liberates you, and makes you courageous. It leads self discovery and self realisation," she adds.
Her bike rides have taken her through the length and breadth of the country. You can follow her travels on her Facebook Fan Page. Her work lets her travel often, and she couldn't have wished for a better job in the world!
With Sarah taking her passion seriously and pursuing it full time, she has made her dreams become her reality. She lives everyday as passionately as she can, and just like she made her sport into her job, all of us can do the same. Because, it's not really work if you love to do it. You can do absolutely anything that you want, no matter how bizarre or unconventional it may be. There is always a first time, and once you get the taste of being on the move, there will be no looking back.
I think it is high time that women in our country meet real inspirational travellers, especially if they are fellow women who can encourage us to be more adventurous, fearless and badass; just like Sarah!