What’s your biking story?
I bought my first moped when I was 16, but my first love was a HONDA 750 Four. I got my motorcycle licence in 1979 and set off for an adventure with some friends from La Rochelle a year later. We went from Paris to Tamanrasset in Algeria. We experienced everything imaginable, as the desert is merciless, especially on a motorcycle that's not cut out for that type of environment: a Kawasaki 750. My insurance company ended up taking me home…
Why did you decide to join Vintage Rides in Rajasthan?
With no more family responsibilities, I thought I’d make the most of being retired! After meeting Vintage Rides at a motorcycle fair in Paris in 2012, I had the urge to do a Royal Enfield tour really far away. I’m from the hippie generation, and India has always been a dream destination for me. It seems so fascinating. So I treated myself to the Land of the Maharajas tour!
What did you think about this touring motorcycle in India?
It was excellent! It was my first time in India and on a Royal Enfield. I loved it, for once I felt grounded. What a country! Indian people are so welcoming and natural. I have pink hair, so you can imagine the attention I got as a female biking through India with pink hair! Needless to say, I didn’t go unnoticed!
Did anything in particular leave an impression?
Yes, one day when we were at a market. I remember one woman; we exchanged glances and squeezed hands. It is difficult to explain what I felt. I also had a brainwave while we were going through a village and saw some children singing under a tree. I asked our tour leader, Ravi, if it was playtime. “No,” he answered, “the village is too poor for a school.” And that’s when the idea came to me.
Could you tell us what you did?
When I got back to France, my friends and colleagues donated the equivalent of 70 kg of school furniture. I would like to give a big thanks to Alexandre Zurcher, because thanks to him, a group of riders in Rajasthan were able to deliver my parcels. Then, I looked for an association or charity that I could be involved with and found Inde et Nous France. Since 2017, I have been sponsoring Sakina, a girl who lives in the shantytown in Dehradun.
Have you been able to go back to India and meet Sakina?
Yes! I went on a second motorcycle tour in Himalaya and took a detour for a week to meet Sakina and the other children. Spending time with them in their school was an incredible experience that I’ll never forget.
What projects are you involved in with the charity?
We organised a second “India charity day” at the start of September. Around 100 motorcycles took part in the ride and 200 people came to the dinner and show. I am going to go back to India later this year or at the beginning of 2020.
How can we help the charity?
Thanks for mentioning us! Inde et Nous France depends on donations, so if you would like to make a donation or are interested in reading more about the charity, please visit the website: www.indeetnousfrance.com