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Milady Squad: Chasing the wind on her bike

Women bikers from Shillong dream of touring the world on their two-wheelers

In the 1970s, Anne-France Dautheville became the first woman to go around the world on a bike. She followed the wind and made the world her home. But little did she know that years later her feat would inspire a teenager thousands of miles away from France to embark on an adventure. Angela Indira Hrangkhawl was always passionate about riding motorcycles and Dautheville’s story made her chase the dream to be a rider.

Angela, who got her first bike in 2018, and a few like-minded and adventurous women came together to form Milady Squad, an all-woman bikers’ team from Shillong, last year.

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“Initially, we were five riders. Now, the group has grown to 10. We connected with each other through mutual friends,” said Angela, who is a lawyer by profession.

The Squad’s first trip was to Sohra immediately after the first wave of Covid-19. As most of the riders are professionals, it becomes difficult for them to find time for riding together.

Recently, the bikers took part at the Northeast Olympics 2022 Promotion ride and Women Empowerment, encouraging more girls to ride.

“As a biker, I would like to promote more female riders. I want women to have a sense of self-worth, so we can make our own choices. When we speak of machines and shifting gears, women are no less. If we develop interests, we can learn in no time. I also want us women to embrace each other by uplifting one another,” Angela said.

Dona R Marak, who was born and brought up in Shillong, is a homemaker and has been riding for the last 12 years. “I ride a Harley Davidson that I got in 2018. My first long road trip was to Goa in 2019. The Milady members met in 2021,” said the 30-year-old rider.

Talking about the challenges, Dona said for a woman, it is difficult to juggle family, work and passion but “if there is a will there is a way”.

The women riders’ wanderlust and their zest to see the world are commendable. But they are taking one step at a time. For now, they will be travelling to Kaziranga in November end.

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