In December as most of you know, I cycled around 400 kilometres from Delhi to northern Rajasthan. I had a fancy multi-speed bike, panniers filled with clothing, spare parts, snacks and multiple bottles of water. People along the way said how amazed they were at what I did as did many of you readers. But honestly, with training, experience, equipment, and money the trip was not too difficult. I made a leisurely 60-90 km/day, stopped for chai or snacks along the way, slept in comfortable hotels with showers and room service. It was fun and interesting but not, in my opinion, something particularly impressive.
However, the person who is impressing me right this minute is Jyoti Kumari, a 15 year old girl from a village in Bihar, India. Her and her dad were living in a suburb of Delhi as they were migrant workers. Once lockdown happened work was scarce and they needed to get home. However, trains weren’t running and her father was ill as well. This didn’t stop Ms. Kumari. With some of their last money she bought a simple bike that appears to be a single-speed bike meaning something not terribly fast on flats and difficult to climb hills. Her dad sat on the back of the bike and she pedaled him home. 1,200 kilometres over the course of 7 days – almost 170 km/day (100 miles). At times food was scarce so she was not only carrying her, her dad, and their luggage, she was doing it on an empty stomach. I hope she gains lots of support and help in the future from this.