(FOX 9) - In Eagan, Rachel Stienstra only learned to ride her motorcycle six years ago. But in that time it’s taken her on rides across Iceland, Canada, and Mexico. This week she is just back in town after riding across Pakistan, with a good cause in mind.
"We were there for 20 days, we left on the [Sep.] 7 and got back last night," Stienstra told FOX 9 on Tuesday.
It was an exhausting trip, but she made memories that will last a lifetime, surrounded by stunning views of snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and beautiful architecture.
"The adventures that we took are permanently implanted, and you come home, and you think, ‘okay, now what’s next?’" Stienstra said.
Only a few days ago, the retired 60-year-old in Eagan was touring North Pakistan at around 40 miles per hour. In all, she rode around 2,000 miles across the country on two wheels, all the while taking in the sights of South Asia.
Rachel Stienstra spoke with FOX 9 about her 2,000 trek on a motorcycle across Pakistan. (FOX 9)
At times Steinstra found herself in the extreme heat, in the bitter cold, and at high elevations that took her breath away. But for her traveling party of a dozen women from different biking groups, it was a small price to pay towards their ultimate goal of raising money and awareness for the needs of women in a patriarchal society.
"At the girl’s house we brought them two motorcycles and brought them two suitcases of gear from America," Stienstra said. "Gloves, boots, anything that they can’t get in the country."
Steinstra says the locals were just as generous, with only one ask in return: "Please go home and tell America that we educate our daughters and we’re not all terrorists," she said. In the end, her journey was also a reminder that it’s never too late to get out and follow your dreams.
"I encourage women especially to follow your dream, if you ever thought you wanted to ride a motorcycle, it’s not too late, I started at 54," Stienstra finished.