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16th September 2009


An Indian Adventure
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Raining again? You might want to consider planning a different kind of motorcycling holiday for next winter, away from the usual UK climate...

Anyone who's kept up to date with Steve Wilson's account of his epic African adventure (which has been running in the monthly magazine) will have gathered that if you want to see the hidden world on a classic motorcycle then you have to take the rough with the smooth. Except in Steve's case there's been precious little smooth and an abundance of rough -- not easy for a solo traveller, dependent on the generosity of the locals while attempting to keep an old Ariel in working order.

Struggling with the practicalities of riding in a foreign land on top of mechanical mayhem means that most of us simply don't seriously consider adventures of this kind. It's also tempting to take the easy way out and ride a modern motorcycle, even if your dreams lean towards classic machinery and you're more familiar with old Brit bikes.

Mike couldn't shake off the nagging doubt that he'd left the gas on...

Still, if early retirement or an unexpected sabbatical means you'll have some time on your hands next winter, then there is a way to experience an almost undiscovered - and rapidly disappearing -- world astride a traditional motorcycle. OK, it's not an old motorcycle (we're talking about the inevitable Indian Enfield here) but there is a way of letting someone else take the strain so you can make the most of your trip.

Enduro India organise what they describe as 'the adventure of a lifetime', an unashamedly gruelling ride on Enfield Bullets across southern India, through some of the most beautiful and demanding terrain you could imagine. They've taken four years to research and plan their current route to create a demanding ride which crosses some of the most challenging and dramatic scenery of Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, often through mountain ranges, desert plains, ancient forests and wildlife reserves with normally restricted access. On the agenda are some stretches of road which weren't used by motorised traffic for decades until the path was cleared for the Enduro India riders.

Although the participants spend long days in the saddle, there is rarely a feeling of having to rush. The ride is a team event and you will be looked after by your team-mates at every stage.

There is full medical support, radio communication and breakdown recovery and every team will have an extremely experienced team leader to see them through. Most of the roads have reasonable to good surfaces, the accommodation is clean and basic and the food is excellent.

We sent our ad manager, Mike Powell, on the 2008 tour and he came back fighting fit and full of enthusiasm - joining some 800 other riders who've completed the tours in the last six years or so. (Mike's report on that adventure can be read in full here).

Proper adventure motorcycles on

The 2010 proposed itinerary extends to a full 15 days, well paced to ensure that man and machine stay in fine fettle to enjoy the riding and the environment. All of this organisation, planning and back-up does not come cheap, however, and Enduro India use their tours to raise funds for charity. Their last eight events have raised in excess of 1,000,000 for groups including the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity, UNICEF and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

So you'll need to contribute the required amount of sponsorship through your own fundraising efforts; the 2010 trip costs 4750, of which a minimum of 1500 goes to the charities. The fee covers all your trip expenses, Enduro India wages and running costs, team leaders, medics, mechanics, food, bikes, flights and accommodation. It's not cheap - but the adventure of a lifetime isn't likely to be, is it?

Valentino Rossi's post-race celebrations are getting more and more inventive...

Enduro India are now booking for their 2010 adventure from 24th January to 7th February. There's plenty of information on their website; www.enduroindia.com or you can call 01225 33 33 00.


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