Have you ever seen a woman racing on a KTM Duke or an Enfield at a horse speed of 100kmph? That’s a rare thing to envisage in a country like India with gazing stereotypical eyes of men - Isn’t it? No surprise, because till yesterday, the majority of the public supposedly believed that racing is a man’s sport, and women are frail to handle it.
However, that has changed today, where women are showing up in every sport, winning championships, and proving their competency of nailing every sport like a pro, just like men do. R V Czimkhy is one of those valorous women who is breaking taboos in the bike racing zone.
What gave Czimkhy the calling for racing?
Known by her pseudonym lady_rover_23 on her social media handle, Czimkhy hails from Trivandrum, Kerala. From her childhood, she has an extensive passion and obsession for bikes. Currently pursuing her third-year of B.H.M.S at White Memorial Homeopathic College, Marthandam, she always wanted to choose racing as her career in life.
Having supportive parents, Czimkhy is lucky enough to get an electric scooter while she was in her 7th grade, which doesn’t require any license to ride. And Czimkhy used to go riding to school regularly on it. As soon as she turned 18 years, she got her driving license, and her career took a U-turn since then.
Being a girl, she struggled a bit to convince her mom to ride and tour places, but eventually, she let her go. Thanks to her parents for believing in her dreams, today Czimkhy made a difference with gears and wheels crushing the ground.
Post getting the bike license after meeting the age criteria, she also got the FMSCI License at 19 years and from then there is no stopping Czimkhy from racing like a bullet.
“As the adrenaline rush was high I always wanted to try more than just normal riding so I started exploring the internet about academies that teach Bike stunting (I was so keen on it) but I found Racing academies instead. That made my heart racing wanting to try and experience track racing”, said Czimkhy.
Training, Hurdles Faced
Before entering the big leagues, Czimkhy has trained herself well at Apex Apex Racing Academy, Bangalore (under the coaching of Mr. Anil). The training used to happen mostly on weekends, maybe 2-3 days a week.
The academy teaches the basics of racing, which involves unlearning the old self-learned stuff and receiving the certification after the completion of three sessions.
With dexterity and confidence, Czimkhy has completed her training thoroughly and got her official racing license from the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI). Although she had to lie to her mom at first for registering to attend a practice session. She believed that she could do pretty well and gave her first shot on a race bike.
“It was so addictive that I decided to take it forward as a career. Later, in due course, I did my Level 1, 2, and 3 and a few practice sessions with Apex Racing Academy, Bangalore, and obtained the FMSCI 2W Racing License”, she professed.
She further added, “I was always a shy person from childhood, although I am still not outspoken. And I wanted to break open the shell I was in and go behind my dreams. Motivation has always been my family. My father mainly. He taught me 'there is nothing impossible in the world if you focus on something and work hard to achieve it.”
Amid racing, she faced a slew of challenges, especially a lot of opposition from society and relatives during the nascent days of her biking. As the air settled in, which is seen from her victories, all started to support.
Unfortunately, there’s one greatest challenge that she’s trying to overcome to date was the fear of a crash during a race at Chennai, which left her with a spinal injury. “I am still trying the maximum to push myself harder to do my best on track”, she claimed confidently.
Contests, Triumphs, Collaborations
So far, she has approached several companies asking for sponsorship, but haven’t received any yet. But still, there were happy bells around the corner. “Happiest moment was when I came home with two trophies after FJRS 2018 and saw that my mom was very much proud of me”, she says with a smile.
Now that she's a full-time racer, she gets every chance to attend various National level events all around the year. She continued saying, “each session I attend now is indeed a new experience for me to try new things and more precisely to sharpen my skills”.
Some of her victories include FJRS 2018, TVS 2018, INMRC 2018, FJRS 2019, TVS 2019, INMDRC 2019, INMDRC 2020 overall championship second runner up.
A Word Of Advice, Plans Ahead
In an ocean full of fish be a mermaid, and for that you need a safety shield around you, protecting from all sorts of obstacles.
“The main problem that every girl who loves to race faces is the challenge of getting approval from their parents. Of the many girls who have approached me for guidance and advice, I tell them to make sure that they have the right gears with them to ensure safety while traveling and on track” advises Czimkhy to all the girls who want to race.
Moving forward, Czimkhy has certain plans to start a club to train women/girls to learn racing soon after she achieves the National Championship that she always wished for in her racing career. And the only goal that Czimkhy has right now is to represent India once in her life. She concludes with a short note saying, “Always dream and dare to go behind your passion”.
All the images are sourced with permission from R V Czimkhy.