An unexpected rendezvous and pit stop of sorts was hastily arranged after dad’s funeral, and the time when I would meet Deepak almost a year after he was going through his arctic circle to Antarctica trek, on a motorcycle. This time, he had a new traveler with him a young woman, Jai Bharathi. She was riding across the united states to visit all the UNESCO heritage sites for her work back in India to teach women mobility for women – using two wheels. www.mowo.in
We had an interesting discussion about the differences in culture and the invisible barriers between the stigma of caste, the reality of traditional values and occupations along gender lines particularly in the more conservative southern Indian states; and the need/desire/choice for women to build flexible work schedules, allowing for family time by teaching women to learn to drive and ride two-wheel scooters and motorbikes. (I don’t think many in the USA realize how Asia and India has so many motorcycles due to the prohibitive cost of autos and driving?)
So, with the changing of times, Jai will be teaching courses for women aged 18-58 in India. I asked about the age 58 cutoff, and was informed that to drive beyond that, each driver gets an annual license renewal. “that would be a great idea for some of the drivers in the USA! Maybe we can adopt it?”
Upon receiving their licenses, the riders will connect more with an extension of the sharing economy with uber, lyft, co-working, food delivery, and other ride/product sharing to allow more women to earn a little extra and/or more by being allowed the freedom of choice and increased mobility in their lives.
The stop was all too brief, as I mentioned they probably could beat the storm and get to their desired location before sunset, but alas, mother nature grounded the two before they reached their goal. They will make up the time with a longer ride tomorrow.
I did get to ask Deepak about what I deemed his complete adventure in going from Argentina or Chile and having a Russian sailor strap their bikes to the sailboat and go through what are some of the roughest seas on the planet.
“mark, the waves were only 5 meters high, I lost tens of kilos in just a few days, and I am thankful I didn’t experience the 10-15-meter waves!”
If you are a female motorcycle rider and want to help empower young women in India to gain more mobility, go connect with Jai Bharathi and her group at www.mowo.in
If you want a trekking partner, who loves traveling the world on a bike. Just connect to Deepak at www.deepakkamath.com