InstaScram girl powers through this episode as we feature some truly incredible women and their motorcycles. Lady riders of all ages and professions, riding all sorts of bikes, come together on InstaScram to offer a unique perspective on the beauty of Singapore. And it is not just the bikes we are talking about.
About a decade ago, the sight of a female rider on local roads was fairly uncommon. In a mode of transport that is heavily saturated with testosterone and generally seen as a man’s hobby, more and more women are picking up riding, not just as a reaction to increasing car prices or an more open-minded society, but also because they love the ride. Now, as more ladies take on the handlebars, women have the role models they deserve for responsible riding, instead of the scantily clad poster girls of motorcycling culture that pepper advertisements and event road shows.
From Ms Juvena Huang, who set off to travel the world on her Vespa scooter in May 2015 and is still travelling, to Ms Vaune Phan, who rode her DR250 from home in Singapore to Mount Everest Base Camp in 2015 to raise awareness for the Singapore Disability Sports Council, female riders are slowly but surely putting Singapore on the map.
Decked out in classy yet durable Dainese riding jackets, these women range from 21 to 36 years of age. Their occupations vary, from a senior staff nurse to an architect, civil service officer to a creative consultant. There is also a certain rugged quality that comes with a woman who rides. Syam, 28, consistently goes on touring trips to Malaysia and Thailand. Zyla, 27, has trekked to the Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal. Both Zakiah, 28, and Tetiey, 29, are avid and serious rock climbers.
And Cherie, 32, has ridden more than 30,000 km across 33 countries in an epic riding trip that took half a year to complete. On her trusty DR650 bike, she crossed the borders of Norway, Sarajevo, Turkmenistan and Iran and was even arrested at the border of Krygyzstan.
Today, they join InstaScram on a ride through Singapore to explore the undulating roads of Alexandra Park and the ever-popular eatery enclave, Dempsey Hill. Dempsey Hill is a place that warrants an outing, not just because of its fabulous range of food, but also for its historical significance. Prior to the 1890s, it was a nutmeg plantation, before being converted into army barracks for British troops, and later on, the Central Manpower Base for the training grounds of national servicemen.
It is a bit inaccessible by public transport, but the ambience of the cafes and shops that still retain its old military vibe, set against the backdrop of spacious fields of green, make up for it. You can find not only diners and patrons, but also sporadic joggers and cyclists who take advantage of the great view while getting their daily exercise. We ride to visit one of its better-kept secrets along Loewen Road.
Contemporary art all around the world is a constant trending topic, with the number of museums established to showcase such works. Not many people know that Singapore has its very own Museum of Contemporary Art, or MoCA for short. A delightfully evolving showcase of alternative local and Asian artwork, with its pristine, whitewashed walls both inside and out, makes for exceptional pictures. And this private museum, established in mid-2009, is free for all.
After a bout of riding under the hot sun, the MoCA cafe is an air-conditioned haven that is not too crowded. Spacious and with al fresco seating as well, it boasts many things. The experienced chef constantly whips up dishes made from ingredients such as basil, mint and even tomatoes grown just outside in the garden. Besides the exhibitions and sculptures that adorn the grounds, MoCA cafe also features an open space perfect for events. The cafe has hosted gatherings for dog owners, birthday celebrations and now, it can officially add a lady riders’ joyride to its list.