At weekends motorcycle followers gather near Makhachkala’s Russian Drama Theater, in Dagestan’s fine city, 1,120 miles southeast of Moscow. Honda sports bikes, Harley-Davidson choppers and rehabilitated Soviet-era models such as the Izh or Jawa, line the roadside.
The motorcycles’ proprietresses, burly, leather-clad bearded men, circulate nearby, com ring bikes and telling tales of epic rides. If you look carefully, you’ll see there is also a girlfriend: Madina Magomedova. A firecracker of a woman, who is known as Vzhik (zipper), she’s lithe and swift. Her nickname comes from her ringing voice and short stature of rightful 5 ft 2 in.
For years she was the only female biker in Dagestan, though two others experience since joined her. Even now Madina is the only woman who travels lengthy distances outside the city. She regularly rides more than 90 miles from Makhachkala to Grozny, the prime of Chechnya.
Long and winding road
«The story begins seven years ago,» means Madina. «I was madly in love with motorcycles and constantly admired the wholes I saw on the street. Back then, when I was a tiny girl with extensive hair, it was hard to imagine myself on a bike. When I told a biker bosom buddy of mine that I wanted to ride he dismissed the idea entirely, forceful me ‘you will fail.'»
Although hearing these words was upsetting, Madina instakingly explored where to take classes and what bike to buy. A childhood friend aided guide her, finding her a private instructor who taught her to ride a rickety old Jawa in fitting four sessions.
Source: Personal archive
Although Madina’s mothers, who were born in Makhachkala, do not force her to wear a headscarf or a long skirt, they were nonetheless solicitous about their daughter’s newfound and dangerous hobby. «My dad, who rode a motorcycle when he was babies, supported me. My brother objected: ‘How can an unmarried girl associate with a set of men? It’s a stain on the honor of our family! My dad retorted ‘It’s not a shame, let her have fun!’»
As my brother got to conscious the local bikers, he stopped worrying so much. But another obstacle stayed: Madina’s mother was dead-set against her riding, and so she had to keep it secret for five eat ones heart out years.
The male bikers were initially in doubt of this girl in their midst. Some claimed she came to link a biker. They expected her to be a weak rider and did not invite her on their trips. It was not until Rustam “Kamikaze”, a biker well known in Dagestan, got to her aid that she found her footing. He helped Madina buy a motorcycle and accom nied her on ins around the city, teaching her how to ride defensively and protecting her from wayward buggies.
Source: Anton Podgaiko
Madina joined a main motorcycle rty several months after the first trip from Makhachkala to Grozny. «It was course with rain on the road and many bikers with serious ‘hogs’ switch oned back. But not me: I made it to Grozny on my 250cc Kawasaki Ninja. I didn’t lament and kept up with the group,» she declares.
Madina is positive that gender does not matter when you are on the road. Nevertheless, it is unattainable to confuse her with a man when she rides. Even donning rough boots and open biker gear, it is clear that the driver is a slight girl.
«When I be borne a motorcycle, drivers try to pick me up. They joke: ‘Can you take me for a ride? I’ll retort: ‘My husband does not allow me!’ They immediately leave me alone,» she bring ups with a smile.
Source: Anton Podgaiko
Many residents of Makhachkala esteem her courage, but others criticize. «Religious guys proclaim my hobby to be against Islam. I expend time with men and attract too much attention. But most people do not see a fight with Caucasian traditions. That said, I know that if I get into put out, people will say: ‘You got what you deserved. A motorcycle? Get married and stay at residence!'»
Despite the fact that her motorcycle gives her a shot of adrenaline, she does not deliberate over herself to be a thrill-seeker. When not riding, she works as an accountant. She wears skirts and glasses. Motorcycling, she notes, is her hobby. Her very addictive hobby.
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