Adventure biking comes in all shapes and sizes…
It can be riding round the North of Bonnie Scotland where I live, or heading for a hill loch on my trials bike for a days fishing miles from anywhere, always an adventure and better with like minded people. The adventure starts with preparing the bike and riding gear, deciding where you’re going, who you’re going with, then you’re off.
It’s the same when I decided to go to India with Nomadic Knights. That started with a very strange phone call. I saw the advert on the internet, 10 or so riders required for a recce to North East India and showing only 1 place left. Now, I’ve been to India and ridden bikes there many times but a recce to the North East, I’ll go for that, so I tried to book and pay but it wouldn’t take my money. I e-mailed Nomadic Knights for advice, and minutes later the phone rang, Mr Alex Pirie called to talk me through it.
First I noticed the Scots accent, we do get around. I explained I had to book a flight to get South for the main flight and he asks where I was, “a wee Highland village north of Inverness”, “what’s it called” he says,“Brora” I replied, “is Rapsons garage still there, and the wee harbour” he asks, bleedin’ heck, “where are you” says I, “India” he says, “but I used to live in Brora when I was little”. We talked a bit and he asked “have you been to India”, “many times” says I, “riding bikes every time”, “when were you last there?” he asked, “2-3 months ago”, “where were you”, “South Goa”, “what hotel”, I told him and he replied, “that’s just along the road from my house”. Coincidences or what?
I joined the trip, met up with a brilliant gang of bikers and had the time of my life. For accommodation riders doubled up i.e. 2 to a room, I shared with a grand Scots bloke, Scott Niven, unfortunately Scott fell foul of a poor Indian curry and that night we were all to go for a traditional Nagaland meal, I stayed with him for company while everyone else got wined and dined on local nosh.
After they left we made our way to the bar, as you do, Scott feeling very poorly, the last thing he needed was a meal of traditional Nagaland delicacies. We enter the bar, cold beers are served, very agreeable, looked at the menu to see what curries Scott couldn’t eat and low and behold, first meal on the menu… fresh roast chicken and roast buttered vegetables, thank you Lord.
The rest came back with horror stories of being served cooked beef skin, pigs intestines, fried silkworm grubs and a selection of other traditional Naga morsels… and they couldn’t believe what we had just eaten.
IAIN’S ADVENTURE TIP
Don’t think about it too much, just do it. You’ll be up to it and on these trips everyone helps one another so just go. You’ll make new friends, I’m still in touch with most of them. You don’t know who you’ll meet up with on an adventure bike ride, I even met and rode with a couple of brothers, Harry and William, Princes that is… nobody knew they were going to be on the trip but they rode with us ate with us drank with us but alas we’re not now in touch. So… go and see where you end up and who you end up riding with. You too could be surprised.
ABOUT ‘ADVENTURER’S TALES’
A compilation of recollections in celebration of 10 years of Adventure Ashram, ‘Adventurer’s Tales’ is a true celebration of a decade of purposeful adventure by our charity partner Adventure Ashram, a small but mighty charity.
Complete with some great adventure tips, it not only provides handy pointers for when out ‘on the road’, but also some thought-provoking insights into the heart and spirit of adventure. Written with humour, passion and integrity, this wonderful book is a fine tribute to 10 years of Adventure Ashram. Click here to buy a copy.
If you are planning an adventure with Nomadic Knights, please consider raising funds for one of Adventure Ashram’s projects and help to make a difference to the people and places you explore. Anyone planning an adventure can choose to support Adventure Ashram.