I have been running motorcycle tours on an ad hoc basis for years my first was back in 1982 when I took my CX 500 and girlfriend along with twelve other bikes across Europe. No sat-nav No mobile phones and believe it or not NO emails, everything was done by post with an envelope and stamp and took a minimum of two weeks to get a reply, Hence us turning up at our Youth Hostel in Amsterdam to find it had burnt down three weeks earlier. that’s another story for the bar
On the ferry back from a Le Mans tour good old TED suggested we did the Enduro India Rally, which we did in 2005 I must say it was fantastic and I loved India and riding in the hills however I didn’t sit comfortably with the status of the event and was proved right when in 2015 the director was banned over the companies debts to five of the so-called “supported” Charities
I was however bitten by the INDIA bug and arranged my own trip the following year, just two of use, hiring bikes and riding around the country despite some quite major problems including hitting a massive pothole and wrecking the rear tyre, which is a story in its own right, My bike was in the back of a lorry within 7 minutes of coming to a stop and taken to the next village where the tyre was sewn up and innertube patched and I was back on the road within a couple of hours. Part of the reason for the tyre blow out was the weight the bike was carrying. I would like to think it was all down to the luggage but I think my reserved fat supply did pay some part, having luggage on the bike also limited where you could visit.
I realised that the only successful way to do India for me would be to have a backup vehicle and all that involves. There had been quite a few friends that had become interested in coming to India so I married the two and arranged a trip.
About a month before we left, I woke up in the middle of the night with the “what ifs”?
I shouldn’t have worried but I am a belt and braces kind so tried to cover everything at least twice. it’s hard to think back to the first trip all I can really remember is bursting into tears at the sight of Shafi, no he is not that good looking, but here I was sending quite a lot of money to someone that I had never met, ( I had done as many checks as I could) but still had this premonition of me, still at that time a police officer, sitting in a police station making a report of theft or whatever and the policeman interviewing me a saying and “you sent HOW much to someone you didn’t know“
Nevertheless the trip was a fanatic sucsess. and I brought back a group of very tired motoryclist who had the jouney of their lives many of then booking for the next before I had even annouced there would be one and thats how we progressed.
Over the years I have simplified things by putting things i have learned into practice one of which is the road book this contains not only details of the route but also essential information for the hotels which then eliminates the need to hand in passports each night, and the subsequent risk of someone leaving it behind