Women Riders World Relay to inspire a 'global sisterhood' of riders
They ride far and wide carrying an important message - that women matter.
The Women Riders World Relay (WRWR), which started in February in Scotland, is an initiative to "ignite a global sisterhood of inspirational women to promote courage, adventure, unity and passion for biking from all corners of the world," said founder Hayley Bell.
The ongoing event requires each female ambassador of WRWR to pass a baton, which has a scroll and a GPS tracker, to the next riding ambassador. The baton is now in New Zealand.
For local WRWR ambassador Juvena Huang, accepting the baton in Johor and riding back to Singapore on Aug 13 was overwhelmingly memorable.
The 32-year-old freelance teacher told The New Paper: "Aside from our small delegation of Singapore riders, we were escorted by 65 Malaysian bikers. The convoy was so long that I couldn't see the head."
Ms Huang, who is no stranger to long distance rides, decided to volunteer with WRWR to provide contacts on the relay route.
In 2015, she set off on a 27-month solo scooter trip from Singapore to Europe, making friends along the 44,000km journey.
She feels strongly about WRWR because of her personal experiences.
Ms Huang has had people telling her many times not to go to a particular country because it is "not safe". Others told her "you can't do it yourself".
She proved them wrong, and is planning another epic ride.
"I'm part of this global movement to change people's perspectives about women," said Ms Huang, who handed the baton to the Indonesian ambassador of WRWR. "If you never try, you will never know the possibilities."
The participants of WRWR are a motley crew - some are single, while others are grandmothers, mothers and professionals from all walks of life.
Among them is Indonesian Shinta Utami, who had accompanied the WRWR ambassador on the Indonesian leg.
With a third rider, the 35-year-old, who suffers from polio, rode her modified Honda Forza 150 scooter from Yogyakarta to Lombok.
The trio attracted curious stares as they made stops in villages on the roughly 2,000km route as Ms Shinta had loaded her wheelchair at the back of her three-wheeled Honda.
"I was so depressed previously as I faced much discrimination," said Ms Shinta, who has legs affected by polio. "People would say I'm useless because of my disability."
But the determined teacher was not discouraged.
After learning how to ride a special 110cc motorcycle, she went on a year-long solo trip at 29, covering Borneo, including Sarawak and Sabah, in 2014.
The wooden baton, a symbol for the WRWR, holds much meaning to each participant.
It was a logistical challenge to coordinate the handing over of the baton to riders from different jurisdictions - some of the bikes broke down and riders got into small mishaps.
At the BMW motorcycle distributorship in Singapore, the baton was opened at a ceremony and participants wrote messages on the scroll inside.
Said Ms Huang: "Some had put stickers on the scroll or signed their names. There was also a lipstick mark on it."
When the baton made its way onto Indonesian roads, it was Ms Shinta's turn to leave her mark on her scroll. She penned a simple yet powerful message.
"Everything is possible."