The sudden rev of an engine drowns out the cheers of Koh Pich Theatre as a mysterious cat-woman on a massive black motorbike speeds up on stage.
Suddenly coming to a halt, the black jumpsuit-clad figure nimbly pounces off her bike, flings off her cape and slinks into a sexy dance.
Long blond hair flicks around as she slowly peels off her cat suit, baring her muscles - the result of many years of intense training.
The mysterious figure is Maria Carlsward Ahlberg, the Swedish superwoman behind Phnom Penh’s Bike Week and one of the only two female members of the Cambodia Biker Club (CBC).
Ahlberg’s performance is a powerful and feminine dance across the stage, around and on her bike. Her dance reflects her views on femininity and sex appeal.
“For me the show is about being strong and powerful,” she said standing next to her Yahama R1, more suitable for the MotoGP than driving around Phnom Penh.
Arriving in Phnom Penh six years ago Ahlberg has seen a lot of transformation, not only around town but in the city’s biking culture. Now there are more speed hungry motor motorbikes than before.
As a member of the CBC, Ahlberg takes part in the group’s weekly rides to Kep and Sihanoukville.
CBC riders know better than anyone else about the poor quality roads but have worked out the best spots for a good, fast, clean ride.
“We have a couple of roads but not long only short, if you go to the Vietnamese border – you have a couple of kilometres that you can go a little faster. And then if you go to Sihanoukville you have a couple of kilometres you can go faster. So we know where we can go faster,” she said.
Ahlberg said she enjoys practising on Bokor Mountain in Kampot. The curved road is easy looking but it can be a challenge for many motorists.
“The roads are bad but you know it so you ride a little bit safer and slower,” she said, “But of course I try to speed up because I love speed.”