What do you do in Iran if you’re prevented from riding
motorcycles because you’re a girl? Nora Naraghi figured it out.
She took her bike off road and learned her chops so well
that now, at 20, she is an Iranian champion in MX2, the motocross category in
which she competes.
Naraghi’s father, mother, younger brother, and husband ride
motocross, but as a woman she is prohibited from riding a motorcycle on public
roads in the Islamic nation.
She told Agence France-Presse that she began riding around
four years of age. She said her father let her sit on a Montessa and ride
circles in front of his motorcycle shop.
She wants to race in the United States against 2008-2009
women’s motocross champion Ashley Follek, but doubts that she’ll get the chance
any time soon.
In October, however, she beat her 38-year-old mother,
Shahrad Nazifi, in Iran’s only motocross race in the MX2 category. And when she
raced against her husband, she held back nothing. When he fell in a race, she
kept going, and told people at the finishing line that there was a casualty on
the track, her husband remembers.
Naraghi is barred from practicing at the Azadi stadium, a
major sporting complex, but practices in the hills of northwestern Tehran,
where her father, who is a motocross champion, set up a track with the basic