Royal Enfield Off-Road Therapy: Riding in Nepal

Women riders find empowerment while touring together in Asia

By Annie Chhan

New Life

In the depths of a dark well, where cancer once confined me, I discover a world of resilience, adventure, and sisterhood while riding in Nepal. Shortly after my remission, I embark on an incredible journey—traversing Nepal’s rugged terrain with newfound road sisters on a Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic motorcycle.

FreeW tour
Women riders celebrate successfully navigating the roads through and around Nepal on my FreeW tour in 2022.

The need for an intense experience to counterbalance the previous medical diagnosis led me to search for adventure. Joining forces with Sandrine, a former colleague-turned-friend, we embarked on a journey that would redefine our lives.

Life’s unpredictability unfolded on October 15, 2022, on the roads from Kathmandu through Dhampus and Bhaktapur. Navigating the Royal Enfield through rocky, muddy, and rough roads, we laugh, cook, dance—forming bonds that transcend time. The trip, initially planned for two weeks, lingers in our memories, marking the beginning of a more extraordinary adventure.

Motorcycle Riding in Nepal

The concept of “Meet the Women of Nepal,” the tour initiated by Alison Grün, the founder of her women’s empowering tour company, FreeW, resonates deeply with me. Sisterhood, self-transcendence, adventure, and sharing are the values that connect us. The desire and willingness to embrace the unknown makes everything possible, easing the anxieties of beginners like me.

FreeW tour Asia
We begin the tour with a Puja (prayer). Throughout the journey, the Puja is an enchanted parenthesis for me and anchors me spiritually in this adventure.

In the heart of Nepal, wedged between China and India, I found a land with values of devotion and resilience. Our Nepalese team, including road captains Sushant and Yurbisha, mechanic Jnesh Sha, support vehicle driver Bijay, and photographer Bishal, became our unwavering support system. Their playful teasing and encouragement created a strong bond that transcends cultural barriers.

FreeW tour Asia
“Dance with the Women of Nepal” became the theme as we celebrate femininity during traditional dances in Dhampus and join the festival of Tihar in Tatopani. The motorcycle, a symbol of freedom, provides a platform for feminine expression, challenging societal norms.

The off-road challenges begin with steep climbs and falls, but the camaraderie within the team, especially the empowering sisterhood, help me overcome fears and celebrate each success. The rugged passages of Mustang force us to confront our fears and teach us a valuable lesson, “Don’t let fear dominate you.”


Nepal’s diverse landscapes, from the plains in Tharu to the high mountains of Mustang, offer moments of reflection and appreciation. The journey is a reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of fully experiencing its beauty.

FreeW tour Asia
Overcoming challenges like harsh road conditions like these create amazing memories and strong life bonds.
FreeW tour Asia
In the Tharu community, the distribution of eco-friendly cloth sanitary napkins symbolizes a powerful gesture, addressing the challenges Nepalese women face. As a woman of Chinese and Cambodian origin born in France, I reflect on how different my life might have been without the sacrifices made by my parents.

As we reach Bhaktapur, the journey nears its end. Overcoming a crash, I discover a determined side of my personality that had been buried within. Bhaktapur’s historical beauty, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, marked the conclusion of our adventure.


Alison's creation, FreeW, not only connects women through motorcycling but also contributes to the development of social organizations in Nepal. The trip is not just a celebration of femininity, it is a defiance against societal norms, a choice of freedom symbolized by the motorcycle.

Life is short, and through this journey, I fulfilled a dream—to travel off-road on a motorcycle. The mud, rocks, and dust became sources of newfound emotions and sensations. Just like managing the difficulty meter by meter in off-roading, facing life's challenges requires a day-by-day approach.

Like a seashell creating pearls, my tour through Nepal became one of the precious pearls in my life. It’s a daily reminder that embracing dreams and confronting fears can lead to unexpected and beautiful adventures.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited from its original form, which is published on Check WRN’s calendar of events to find out about upcoming tours like this one.

Scroll to Top