Grandma- to- be Rides Around the Globe

On the In­dia- leg of her bik­ing ad­ven­ture, takes a short break to chat with

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE -

The only thing I fear is fear it­self,” says Welsh grandma- to- be Steph Jeav­ons, who kick- started her at­tempt to cir­cum­nav­i­gate the world with Rhonda, her trusty 250 CRF Honda, at the Ace Cafe, Lon­don, a lit­tle over three months ago ( 23rd March 2014). She’s trav­el­ling with 35 kgs of bare es­sen­tials— pri­mar­ily a two- man tent, a stove, a few trousers and t- shirts as well as lay­ered jack­ets ( for both the warm and cold coun­tries). Cur­rently rid­ing to­wards the Hi­malayas ( through Ahmed­abad, Udaipur, Am­rit­sar and Leh), she rode through France, Bel­gium, Ger­many, The Czech Repub­lic, Poland, Hun­gary, Slo­vakia, Ser­bia, Ro­ma­nia, Bul­garia, Turkey and Iran, and sailed to Dubai, be­fore fly­ing to Mum­bai.

While she’s tar­get­ing be­tween 15 months and 2 years, to cover 7 con­ti­nents, 42 coun­tries and around 40,000 miles, on a daily budget of £ 5 for food, she’s hop­ing to make it to Ushuaia, South Amer­ica, by the end of Jan­uary to catch the yacht she has char­tered to Antarc­tica. Of course, her mak­ing it that far is con­tin­gent on the gen­eros­ity of strangers, spon­sors, the ever- sup­port­ive global com­mu­nity of mo­tor­cy­clists, and her own in­domitable spirit and in­no­va­tive think­ing.

Ap­pro­pri­ately swad­dled in a hi­jab clamped to her head with hair clips, she has rid­den through Iran, whose women are still not al­lowed to drive, dodg­ing dust- devils and tum­ble­weed on her way to Perse­po­lis. She’s run out of petrol on a road where only diesel was sold, and on an­other where no plas­tic ( credit/ debit cards) was ac­cepted. Her tent and com­pres­sor have been stolen off the front of her bike. She’s learned that some­times places aren’t as good as they look on the map. She has sur­vived a night of camp­ing on a sup­posed mine­field in Iran that lo­cals told her was once part of Iraq, and eaten eggs and tea prof- fered by the said lo­cals. Taxi driv­ers in a few coun­tries have at­tempted to swin­dle her. She found cru­cial bike pa­per­work miss­ing in Dubai. Her bike was given a tour of Delhi, Chicago and Hy­der­abad, while she waited rather anx­iously for it to be flown into Mum­bai. Get- ting Rhonda through cus­toms could have been an­other or­deal, if not for her tact and some help­ful of­fi­cials who, “got it out in the fastest time, it has ever taken to get some­thing out of there”.

Steph, who would like to be, the first Bri­tisher to ride across all seven con­ti­nents on her own, and all in one go, tells us, “this ride has re­stored my faith in hu­man­ity”. Read more on­line at dnai. in/ cfZG.

F o l l o w Stephs’s ad­ven­ture around the globe, at www. steph­moto- ad­ven­ture­bike­blog. com The mon­soon may be the best sea­son skin­wise, with the hu­mid­ity in the air leav­ing your skin feel­ing nice and moist. Do note the few points listed be­low to en­sure you make it through the sea­son with­out a sin­gle com­plaint. 1) Do not panic about fall­ing hair: In­creased hair­fall is typ­i­cal dur­ing this sea­son; the best thing you can do is avoid pan­ick­ing and caus­ing ex­tra hair­fall by stress­ing out. 2) Don’t tie up wet hair: This could lead to a fun­gal in­fec­tion that may re­sult in dan­druff. Also do re­mem­ber to use a light con­di­tioner ev­ery time you sham­poo your hair. This helps re­pair hair qual­ity and re­stores the mois­ture lost while sham­poo­ing it. 3) Wear open footwear: Closed footwear in­evitably means mois­ture re­ten­tion, which can cause fun­gal in­fec­tions on your feet and legs, es­pe­cially in the web­sec­tions be­tween your toes. So ei­ther wear open footwear or if you pre­fer closed footwear to pro­tect your feet from the muddy Mum­bai roads, air your feet as soon as you can. 4) Change out of out­door clothes: As in sum­mer, ex­ces­sive hu­mid­ity can cause per­spi­ra­tion, which can re­sult in fun­gal in­fec­tions. So do change into fresh at­tire if you are prone to per­spi­ra­tion. 5) Shower: Given the pol­luted times we live in, the mon­soon of­ten pours down pol­lu­tants, so it is ad­vis­able to shower with a soap- free cleanser once you get out of the rain. Don’t for­get to ap­ply a light mois­turiser.

@ Aver­ilNunes

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