In 2019, Naresh Kumar pedaled from India to Germany aboard a tandem bike, inviting strangers to join him for any length of time. His goal was to raise awareness and funds to combat human trafficking, and he created a powerful film, “Freedom Seat,” along the way. Today, he’s beginning Freedom Seat USA, a 3,500-mile ride across the US with a mission to raise $250,000 for the cause. Learn more and follow along here…

Naresh Kumar’s evocative film Freedom Seat documented his 8,500-kilometer ride across 13 countries on a tandem bike, during which he carried a spare helmet and welcomed strangers to accompany him in the stoker seat for as short or long a time as they wanted. He picked up countless passengers between India and Germany and used the time to make connections with folks from a broad range of cultures and have one-on-one conversations to raise awareness about human trafficking. His documentary took home the top honor for Best Independent Film in our 2021 Bikepacking Awards, and we’ve been eagerly awaiting Naresh’s follow-up journey in the time since.

Freedom Seat, Naresh Kumar
  • Freedom Seat, Naresh Kumar
  • Freedom Seat, Naresh Kumar
  • Freedom Seat, Naresh Kumar

Delayed several years by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing logistical challenges, he’s finally back on the bike (aptly named “Kindness”) in Astoria, Oregon, and he’s headed across the United States to Washington, DC, via Adventure Cycling’s TransAmerica Trail. Along the way, he’ll pick up passengers in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He aims to raise $250,000 for the Rotary Action Group Against Slavery and 3Strands Global Foundation’s work to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. You can make a donation to support Naresh’s ride here and follow his progress below.

We’ll be sure to share updates from Naresh’s journey, and maybe someone from the team can even get out to share a few miles with him. For now, you can learn more about Freedom Seat USA over at and follow Naresh on Instagram And if you missed it, be sure to catch Freedom Seat in the Further Reading grid just below.

Further Reading

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