Meet 53-year-old solo female biker who is touring the world – VIDEO
The first Malaysian Muslim woman to ride solo across 70 countries on a motorcycle was currently in Kenya to launch the second leg of her world tour on two wheels.
Fifty three year-old Anita Yusof, arrived in the country on February 20, 2020 from South Africa and left for Ethiopia on March 2, 2020.
Anita, who is a mother of two and a former lecturer at Sultan Idris Education University (Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris), is on a solo worldwide solo on her FZ150i motorcycle equipped with Givi products.
She started riding in 2012 to keep herself from what she called “serious relationship conflict” and because she wanted to tour Kyrgyzstan she decided to start riding.
Riding a motorcycle to Kyrgyzstan was the cheapest way for her since the country had a bad transport system and the ones available were expensive for her (Only 4WD was suitable to crisscross the terrain).
While riding was initially a hobby for her, it later occurred to Anita that she could use the opportunity to raise awareness about Islam and try to make history around the world.
“For my first few rides I set out clear objectives. I not only wanted to create history by becoming the first Muslim woman to ride solo across the world but also to correct the negative perspective about my religion. My religion has been said to be a terrorist religion and Muslim discriminate women,” she says.
Anita argues that in Islam men and women are equal.
“I am also riding to inspire other women out there. I want them to know that they can be anything they want. It’s the best opportunity to find your inner strength,” she says.
In her first leg, she has ridden across four continents and 60 countries covering about 65369km.
The second leg of her journey begins in Nairobi.
“I will ride to Ethiopia, go North to Sudan, then Egypt and cross over to Saudi Arabia through the Red Sea. And since I’m a Muslim I will use the opportunity to tour the holy city Mecca and perform my Hajj prayers. I will then cross to Iran, Uzbekistan all through to Russia, Scandinavia, zigzag in Europe until I reach London,” she says.
Thereafter she intends to fly her bike to Toronto, Canada and head to Alaska then down south to Ushuaia in Argentina.
“My journey will lead me south to Antarctica and from there I will head to Australia, Indonesian and back to my country Malaysia.”
Anita says the best part about riding is that she gets to see many beautiful places and meet amazing people.
From Kenya, she says she will take with her memories of the good mukimo she ate.
MEMORIES OF KENYA
But mostly she was touched by Victoria Musyoki a Kenyan lady biker who is a member of Throttle Queens who hosted her during her stay in Kenya.
“Just two days before I started my journey to Kenya, she (Victoria) contacted me and said she would host me while in Kenya. It was so heartwarming; we had never met but she took me in and treated me well. I do not know how to repay her,” a grateful Anita says.
It has however not been an easy journey for her Anita as she has encountered many challenges along the way. For instance, she has ridden on a very rough road for about 4148kms then another 1250kms pure off-road.
Afghanistan welcomed her to sand storms while Port Elizabeth in South Africa had very strong winds.
She has been to places with extreme temperature and her worst experience was water poisoning and diarrhea in Tajikistan.
Language has also been a hindrance in her solo journey around the world while crossing one border to another has not been easy.
But all in all she has kept her dream alive.
WHAT KEEPS HER GOING
Ironically, with all her years of biking, Anita admits that she doesn’t know how to repair her FZ150i motorcycle, since it has never developed any mechanic issues while she on the road.
She, however, can change the engine oil and oil filter, lube the chains and pump air in the tyres.
Anita is the proud holder of three records; the first Malaysian woman to ride solo across five Central Asian countries on a motorcycle, first Malaysian to ride solo on a motorcycle around the world and longest bike solo ride across the world for a woman.
So what keeps he going in her world tour? Her three-month-old grandson whose picture she keeps on the front of her bike.
She says seeing him there gives her the motivation of riding on and knowing she has her family with her through her journey.
Her parting shot to those who want to join motorcycling?
“You are never too old to start an adventure of your lifetime. Just do it!”