In conversation with India’s Youngest Female Stunt Biker – Anam Hashmi
|Anam Hashmi (Image credit: Team Anam Stunts)|
They say, never judge a book by its cover. The same holds true for Anam Hashmi. The pretty girl-next-door is just another bubbly college girl in her normal attire, but give her a motorbike and she’ll give any guy a run for his money when it comes to stunt biking. At 18, Anam is India’s youngest female stunt biker and her admirers include none other than India’s Cricket captain MS Dhoni.
We caught up with young lady to know more about her stunt biking exploits.
Anam, what’s your stunt biking avatar called?
My full name is Anam Hashmi but in the biking circle they call me Anam Stunts.
What’s your current ride?
I’m currently riding an Apache RTR 180.
Tell us something about your group.
I’m a part of this group called RSA aka Rubber Smoking Angels. It’s a Pune-based group. There are three of us in the group right now, but I’m the only girl.
Which is your favourite bike for doing stunts?
My current bike – Apache 180 is just perfect for me right. Having said that, I’d love to own a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R (636) someday and do stunts on it.
What will we find in your dream garage?
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R (636)
Which has been the most difficult stunt to attempt for you?
In the beginning, doing the highchair wheelie was really difficult for me since your hands are in front and your weight is also in the front, and you’re also trying to lift the front part. It took a while for me before I could perfect it; but now, I’m pretty comfortable doing it.
Is there anything different women bikers need to keep in mind while doing stunts or are they all the same?
Being girls, our hands are much softer. Hence, when you do wheelies 2-3 times back-to-back, you get blisters on your hand. Even when we fall, due to the lack of muscles, we get hurt a lot more easily. We’re a lot more prone to cuts and bruises than guys are.
How difficult it is for someone like yourself who’s not too muscular or huge, to handle the bike?
Only time when my size pose an issue is when I fall. Like I said before, in case of a crash, being a thin person, I get injured a lot more easily.
Now that I’m 18, I’m soon planning to join the gym to gain muscles and upper body strength. Earlier, the gyms didn’t accept me since I was a minor, now that I’m 18, I can work out in the gyms with trainers. But for now, besides the usual stretches, I run a lot in order to increase my stamina.
Any do’s & don’ts for a thin person for stunt riding?
Nothing like that. Just go ahead and go for it. If you have it in you, irrespective of whether you’re fat or thin, you’ll still be able to perform the stunts equally well.
What’s the best compliment that you’ve received till date?
Just two days ago when I was at an event with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, he complimented me saying that the stunts that I do, even he can’t do. That’s probably the best compliment I’ve received till date.
What’s the worst criticism that you’ve ever heard?
I’m my own biggest critic. Most of the people in the industry as well as the fans, no one really criticizes; they all appreciate me. But I set high standards for myself and hence, when I see more experienced stunt bikers, I start critiquing myself for not knowing these stunts despite being totally aware of the fact that I’m a lot less experienced.
Do you face issues while finding the right gear of your size?
Leah Peterson has always been my idol. I would always try to colour my helmet and style myself like her. For this very reason I contacted people at Icon Motorcycle Gear and asked them when they’d be available in India. They had already heard of me and asked me to give them a list of things that I required. I did that and they sent everything without charging a penny. And since then they’ve been sponsoring me and supporting me with regards to all my riding gear. I’m very fortunate to have them as my sponsor.
Having said that, yes, before I got associated with Icon, it was pretty difficult for me to find riding gear of my size. I couldn’t even find the right fit for something as simple as riding gloves.
What does being India’s Youngest Female Stunt Biker mean to you?
It feels amazing. Whenever someone addresses me as ‘India’s Youngest Female Stunt Biker’, at an event or anywhere, I feel really happy.
Are you planning to start a professional course for female riders?
I wouldn’t mind but most girls whom I meet are not committed enough. Very often, many girls ask me to teach them, I ask them to join me at my daily practice, they come there for a couple of days and then they’ll run away. Nobody is willing to do the hard work for longer duration. If I find any girl who’s dedicated and passionate enough, I’d love to teach her.
If someone has to start stunt biking, how do they go about it?
Safety is the most important thing. You need to ensure that you have the right protective gear.
Also, one need to make sure that they have a safe place to practice the stunts. It’s not advisable to do the stunts on the open roads. Find an empty parking lot or a dead-end road with zero traffic to do the stunts.
Make sure your bike is protected too. Even before you do your first stunt, install the crash guard on your bike. It’s not a question of “if” but “when” you’ll crash.
What’s the first stunt that a newbie should learn?
I don’t really know. It varies from person to person. If you’re muscular, you might be more comfortable starting out with a ‘Stoppie’ but in case you’re thin like me, you might want to try your hand at a ‘Wheelie’ or a ‘Christ.’
Like, when I first started, I did a Christ on my Activa.
Care to share any funny/weird/unusual experiences you’ve had while doing stunts?
Once, I was doing a circular wheelie and my hand slipped, my collar bone hit the key and broke it; hence, the bike kept going because there was no way to turn it off. The bike took two full circles before crashing down. That was one of the funniest and weirdest things I had ever experienced.
What are you future plans?
If XDL comes to India this year then I’d practice for that. I’d even like to participate in XDL international, someday. If not, there are many other events in which I’d like to participate in future like the stunt biking events in Indonesia and elsewhere in Asia.