Michael Hobbs: Adventure Story "India Stole My Heart on a Motorbike"
It all started in 2011, with a mad trip round southern India on a Royal Enfield Bullet.
I had my midlife crisis in 2010 and encouraged by my wife, took my motorbike test, bought a triumph and booked a 2000km trip around India. It changed my life. A whole new world revealed itself, centred on that wonderful word “Adventure”. I felt more alive than I had in years, made authentic friends and laughed, laughed and drank a lot! There is a common bond between these adventurers and I was proud to be one of them. Riding through the back roads of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu I witnessed things that made me feel alive. A tear in the eye was a common occurrence, a feeling of pure joy and excitement, especially when feeling free and un-cluttered from the normality of everyday life. The people in India helped re-instate my faith in humanity - their smiles and generosity were the start of a long-term romance.
Four trips later, The Himalayas/Lost World and South India (again), and I feel I have only scratched the surface of this amazing country. I am proud to have introduced friends to India, and to motorbike riding, but mostly for them having helped ‘The Bullet Boys’ to raise over £25,000 for the adventurer’s charity ‘Adventure Ashram’. Becoming a corporate sponsor has allowed me to combine a desire to help vulnerable children with my ‘mid-life crisis’ need to live life to the full and push out the boundaries.
To experience first-hand the difference the money we raised has made is truly wonderful. To see the children’s smiles, help at their refuge and hear their stories of how life has improved because of the work of Adventure Ashram, puts things into perspective. The added benefit of going with four good friends helped enrich our lives and those of the children supported by Adventure Ashram.
These adventures were challenging but life enhancing, and I have made some of my favourite memories travelling through India on a motorbike.
One of the most recent was in March this year riding through the Lost World of India with Nomadic Knights, led by Alex Pirie - the man with the brightest torch in the world! Riding up into the foothills of the Himalayas we arrived in Bomdila (Arunachal Pradesh), having been promised warm temperatures and a hot shower. We were freezing, dressed in our riding gear, and whatever else we could find to wear, we huddled in the small dining room to keep ourselves warm. Probably the only time a warm Kingfisher strong beer was a welcome sight! I laughed till I cried, especially when Abhi turned up in his Rasputin hat, god knows how he knew to bring that hat with him. He was a true adventurer who has taken his final trip to the other side, he will be sadly missed but I have so many lovely memories riding through India with him. Life’s about not knowing what’s around the next corner and loving it. I agree!
Michael Hobbs, Adventure Ashram Supporter