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Out of the world, a friendship built on dirt and a 50cc . engine

Pregnant got his first dirt bike when he was 4 years old, an Italjet with a 50cc engine. She is a quick study. Ms. Bau, 45, who lives in Turate, Italy, said: “It was 6 years old when I started racing, but now call the open road home digital nomad.

Tanya Muzinda got her first motorcycle when she was 5 years old, a Yamaha PW50, cousin to Mrs. Bau’s Italjet. One day a year earlier, her father had picked her up from kindergarten on a motorbike and “it was the first time I had the feeling of riding a bicycle,” said Muzinda, a 17-year-old high school student. from Zimbabwe said.

In 1982, Mrs. Bau’s father, a butcher in Saronno, Italy, bought a two-stroke KTM 350 enduro bike and rode the trails on weekends. Soon after, motocross – the sport of off-road cycling over challenging terrain – became a family favorite, with motocross magazines posted around the house.

“I learned about the sport even before I learned to read and write,” says Ms. Bau. “I am identifying the color name with the name of the motorcycle.” Each brand has its own color scheme: Honda in red, KTM in orange and Yamaha in blue. “For me, the colors are KTM, Honda and Yamaha.”

Ms. Muzinda (full name is Tanyaradzwa Adel Muzinda) grew up with different expectations. She was born in Harare, after her family moved to the capital from a nearby village – the first generation to do so.

“A lot of people, mostly Africans, look down on women and girls,” she said. She said that women should “stay at home, wash dishes, do laundry, cook and wait for men to come home”. If they had only enough money to send one child to school, most families would send “a son because they see no point in investing in their daughter’s future”.

Two wheels changed her life. Muzinda’s uncle owned the family’s first pedal-powered bicycle, passing it on for generations. “When it was my uncle’s turn, he upgraded it to a gas powered, kinetic motorcycle, until it got to my dad,” she said. Her father, Tawanda Polycup Muzinda, later exchanged it for a Yamaha YZF-R6 Supersport motorcycle. It has a larger engine and is “a lot faster”, Ms. Muzinda said.

This is a pickup bike for preschoolers, creating a life-changing dream. Mr. Muzinda eventually sold the motorcycle to buy his daughter her first motorcycle.

They broke a family tradition: The family bike is often passed on to the first son. Ms Muzinda said: ‘My father passed his bike to me, a girl, which caused a lot of arguments between him and his father and the whole family. Her family doesn’t see the point in her daughter having a bicycle, especially at her age.

Before that, however, she had entered races in Zimbabwe – and won most of them. Then there are the races, and the finish in second place, in England. While competing in the United States in the Regional Bartow MX Championships in Florida, she scored more wins and won the 2021 overall championship in the men’s and women’s 125cc divisions.

After moving to Florida in 2019 with her family, she is racing in small local events and preparing for larger ones. “I hope to one day be part of a bigger team with other great riders and gain more experience,” she said.

Mrs. Bau had an easier time supporting her dream with her family, traveling around Italy and then Europe. When she was 6 years old, she recalls, “I looked my dad and mom in the eye and said, ‘One day I’m going to be the best racer there, and I’m going to race in the United States'”

Her teenage years were filled with races and long hours in Europe. While winning, Mrs. Bau also earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

In 1998, the Italian Motorcycle Federation rejected Ms. Bau’s attempt to become the first woman to compete in the FIM Men’s World Champion. However, she raced at the women’s world championships in the United States at the age of 21. Neither she nor her mechanic knew a word of English. (However, Mrs. Bau packed an Italian-English dictionary.) She won her first international title.

“With all my successes in America, Italy has called,” she said. “It was in 2005 that I was asked to be the first woman to race in the FIM World Championship. Now with my condition, I have been able to fulfill my lifelong dream.” In addition to three world titles in the women’s events, Bau became the first woman to race alongside men in FIM World Championship and race on Supercross stage.

However, in October of that year, Mrs. Bau’s life changed immediately: She suffered an injury and ended her career. After most of 2007 to practice walking and fight depression, Ms. Bau became the general director of the recently established company. Women’s World Motorcycle Championship.

“It’s a way to get back into the sport and share the know-how with all the female athletes to help them grow professionally,” she said.

In 2013, Ms. Bau received an email from Zimbabwe. A young girl named Tanya has a passion for motorcycles; The family wants Mrs. Bau to be their coach and mentor. Ms. Bau said: “I deleted the email. “Then a second email came in. Same story. When the third email arrived, I decided to take a look at it.”

Mrs. Bau flew to Zimbabwe. “It was one of the best things I have ever done in my life,” she said. “From the moment I saw this 9-year-old boy at the airport, I was amazed. The energy I feel in her presence makes me want to do anything in my power to help.”

Ms. Bau worked with her motorcycling contacts to help equip Ms. Muzinda with the right gear, taking her from flip-flops to full racing gear. Sponsors helped with products and equipment, but it was difficult to earn dollars.

“The problem is that to compete at a higher level, there needs to be funding for travel, and it can be quite expensive,” Ms. Bau said. “Her father is doing everything he can, working two jobs and all, but it’s still not enough to cover the family’s daily living expenses.”

Mrs. Muzinda got a job and Mrs. Bau also helped financially. “It is very difficult to sponsor a sport like motocross, especially since I am a girl,” said Ms. Muzinda. “Motocross is not a hot sport in Africa. When looking for sponsorship, the majority of potential sponsors have no clue about motocross. ”

Ms. Muzinda added: “I have had times when I had to sit at home because financial problems prevented me from continuing. “I know how sad and dismayed it is to see and hear people go to school while you’re at home hoping you can join others.”

However, Ms. Muzinda seems to maintain the attitude of “never giving up no matter what”. She is helping girls and young women “open up better opportunities for generations to come”. To date, she has donated a portion of her grants and grants to help with the education of more than 200 Zimbabwean girls, as well as a number of boys with special needs.

“Other women have had to fight and win rights for us to get where we are,” she said. She hopes future generations have more freedom.

Ms. Bau said: “We are fortunate to have gained media attention thanks to her powerful story. “We hope to also attract philanthropists and brands with similar values.” Ms. Bau assisted in funding negotiations, approving Muzinda’s website.

The women formed an immediate friendship, “an inner desire to give a chance to someone born in a different culture with the same passion,” as Ms. Bau put it. .

For Mrs. Pregnant, Mrs. Muzinda is much bigger than motocross. She sees a girl with the same passion as her, with the desire to help others and change the world for the better. So much so that Mrs. Bau helped the Muzindas move to Florida in search of their daughter’s dream of riding a motorcycle.

The transition wasn’t always easy, she said, but as time went on, I gradually started to feel more comfortable and used to the way of life here despite the homesick days. ”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/03/business/motocross-women-girls.html Out of the world, a friendship built on dirt and a 50cc . engine

Fry Electronics Team

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