I remember the first time I rode on the back of my father’s motorbike as if it was yesterday. I loved feeling the wind on my face as we cruised through the streets – it’s a vivid memory I will have forever.
When I told my dad motorsports is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, he finally allowed me to ride his new Hero Honda Passion bike. There was no turning back after that. I used to sneak the bike out with the help of my mother and we’d practice for hours together. Until one day, I purchased my own.
How motorsports transformed my life
Motorsports and bike riding have taught me so much about myself— especially during those solo rides. I can affirm who “Vishakha” is; what I like, dislike, what I stand for, and what drives me. I can be creative and innovative, channeled through the bursts of inspiration while driving.
When my father passed away, riding was one thing that helped me move on with my life. Through the bad phases, riding has remained my constant and has given me the courage and strength to overcome the most challenging times in my life.
Turning my passion into my career
After finishing college, there always comes the pressure of having to choose a “career”. How do I make a career out of biking? After months of research, the idea of motovlogging came to me. Four years later, I turned it into a profession.
Being a woman in motorsports
I faced challenges right from the moment I decided to step into the world of motorsports. Naturally, when you decide to step into a field that is considered ‘unconventional,’ you are asked questions about its financial success and longevity. And, I faced the age-old “who’s going to marry a biker girl?” stereotype.
My goal was to make my family understand how serious I was about making this a career. My first ride was with my mother as pillion to Lonavala, 149 kms away, during the monsoons. I took great care of my bike (and my pillion), which is why that was the day she gained confidence in me.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t only my family that needed convincing, but the entire motovlogging industry. My fellow motovloggers wrote a 9-step thesis on becoming a female motovlogger, trolled me endlessly on social media platforms, and posted hurtful comments. I took this to heart and found myself in a dark place because of the harassment. However, I started getting positive responses from my audiences. Receiving the encouragement and support of my audience and fans helped boost my confidence.
And then came GamerGirl
In addition to motorsports, I also have a great passion for gaming. I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember. By the time I was 9 years old, I owned about 650 cassettes. My father bought my brother and me PlayStations which inspired me to delve into the world of adventure gaming even more.
I grew up in a colony with only boys, which influenced me a lot. During my college days, I remember playing CounterStrike with all the boys, and even representing my college and winning gaming events. Gaming has taught me how to win and cherish each victory. When I lost my first game of CounterStrike, I broke down. You only enjoy victory once you’ve lost. And that’s what gaming has taught me.
“You only enjoy victory once you’ve lost. And that’s what gaming has taught me.”
After completing my MBA, I took a break from gaming, but I couldn’t shake the gaming “bug” in me. So, I decided to launch my own YouTube channels – GamerGirl and RiderGirlVishakha – to showcase both of my passions.
A month later, I became a proud member of the Lenovo Innovators program. This opportunity gave me the push I needed to chase my dreams and get me back into the gaming world. Lenovo’s support is something I’m truly grateful for.
With Lenovo’s Legion gaming products, I have everything I need to successfully launch, maintain, and grow my new gaming channel with the ability to stream for hours on end. I am hopeful that with this new technology I will have a greater reach and inspire other girls and women within the gaming community.
The role tech plays
In my life, technology has been ubiquitous. I use it every single day. As times have changed, communication has too. Our world has moved ‘online’, making it easier than ever to communicate with my followers, brands, and other people. Everything is one tap away.
During rides, I use GPS to find my way. I can share my location with family and friends, and locate petrol pumps, halt stops, restaurants, chemists, and hospitals. When it comes to day-to-day life, I use my camera to record my rides and my Lenovo laptop for editing video. I sleep with a gadget and wake up with another. Technology is simply a part of who I am now while helping me reach my next goal.
If you’re interested in learning more about motorsports, gaming, and my #LenovoInnovators journey, follow along on Instagram @ridergirlvishakha & on YouTube at RiderGirl Vishakha.