city anchor: Australia-born US biker goes cross-country in India

On May 23,Kenneth began his 9,600-km bike expedition across India,with a message to eradicate poverty.

Written by Express News Service | Published: June 2, 2012 1:13 am

“I was born in Australia,received great education and an opportunity to choose a career of my choice,” says Kenneth Maginnity,37,an Australia-born biker from Fort Lauderdale,Florida,USA.

On May 23,Kenneth began his 9,600-km bike expedition across India,with a message to eradicate poverty. Maginnity will culminate his journey in Kolkata on September 2 before joining for a short stint with endpoverty.org,in collaboration with which the expedition has been planned.

A chef by profession, Maginnity says,“About 12 years ago,I was on a visit to Ladakh where I met a couple who were on a biking venture in the Himalayas. The woman spoke so much about the beauty of the country that I went back with a dream of coming back to this country on a biking adventure. I waited and waited and finally I am here.”

Having travelled to over 40 countries over the past decade,the India experience is certainly an addition to Maginnity’s travel portfolio. But what makes the experience unique is the impression India has made on him. “The kind of life we live abroad is full of comforts. It was here that I realised what I consider hard work might not actually be hard work for many others. But what amazed me here was the warm welcome I received. For instance,when I declared my travel plans on social networking sites,hundreds replied back with enthusiastic responses. Every Indian who wrote to me wanted to show me the best part of their country. Suggestions were pouring in as to which places I must visit in order to make my trip a memorable one. Interestingly,the day I was supposed to begin my trip from Mumbai,40 bikers from the city were willing to join me. Sadly though,my visa formalities took longer than expected as a result of which I could not start the trip on the decided date. But then,the 40 bikers still went ahead and had a great ride,” he says.

But it did not stop there. “I was joined randomly by countless people along my journey. After we parted ways,they still kept in touch with me. Almost every day,I get messages from bikers,biker clubs who just text me to check if I am fine and my trip is going as per schedule. That for me is a great support. The fact that I have someone to help me in difficult times is a great support in a foreign country,” he smiles.

Maginnity will be in the city till Sunday and leave for Ahmedabad and then take the Jaipur-Delhi-Ladakh route followed by the Delhi-Darjeeling-Nepal-Kolkata route where he will conclude his journey on September 2. “I am inspired by the work of Mother Teresa. I want to visit Darjeeling because that is Mother Teresa’s birthplace. And then,I will spend some time in Kolkata working for the organisation I am associated with so that my trip gets a meaningful conclusion,” he signs off.

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