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  • Writer's pictureReshma Jain

Vrooming her way from Italy to India to fight stereotypes

An offroad trip from Italy to the deserts of Iran and the peaks of the Himalayas in India, vrooming on her Yamaha Ténéré 700, covering a distance of approx. 17,000 km, I was thrilled by her courage and adventure. 34-year-old biker Francesca D’Alonzo shares her journey following partly the TET (Trans Euro Trail) and largely on untrodden roads and off the common routes.

“I grew up without having ridden a motorcycle. ‘It is not a girl thing,’ my family said. However, nothing could deter my passion. The first time I rode a motorbike, I said to myself, ‘With these two wheels I will go far’. I got my license later and I decided to build a professional future around it which would involve the travel dimension that I love,” said the young biker who is a serial experimenter in sky diving, canyoning, surfing, paragliding, and downhill skiing.

The world of motorcycling, like so many other sectors, is still dominated by the male gender. She strongly wishes to fight against stereotypes and build a culture that goes beyond appearance and gender. She wants to offer varied perspectives to look at things and encourage and inspire people to step out of their comfort zone and pursue their dreams. The motorbike is the medium she has chosen to tell the story of how there is no gender that can stand in the way of such passion and care for what is important and what makes us happy to do it.

“The dimension of travel, in my view is not only about the discovery of places, cultures, and stories but also a self-discovery, challenge, and testing, letting go of what is not needed, and looking with curiosity at the road ahead. The idea of overlanding from Italy, through the Balkans, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, crossing the border, and reaching India was a big dream come true,” she said.

She further said, “My idea of India was a complex, colourful mosaic of diverse cultures, gastronomy, minorities, ancient traditions, rich artistic heritage, and breath-taking landscapes. I love and I’m fascinated by the complexity of the world, and I was sure that India, with its extraordinary diversity scattered over an immense territory, would enrich me.”

“I particularly love the stories of those women who dream big and follow their uniqueness. These are the stories that help girls imagine that they can become something other than what has always been told them as possible. Isn’t this hope that propels us forward after all? And hope to me is the possibility of change,” stated the young adventurer.

In her concluding lines, Francesca said, “We probably all doubt our skills, our strength, our intellect, occasionally. Sometimes, the gap between where we are and where we want to be, seems too wide. So, we don’t take the next natural step. But there’s no other way to progress than to take the next step. Whether it’s a small one or a giant leap forward, just take that step. ‘When you take a step, we all move’. Well, that step you take may be powerful not only for you but for many more,” she added.

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