A lesson of discovery in India
When he arrived in India at just 19 years of age, Alex didn't know what to expect. On a spontaneous motorcycle trip India to the mountains, as a passenger on a mate's bike, he had a revelation. "That day, I said to myself, “I'll learn to ride and travel India by bike, because it's simply out of this world”." His Royal Enfield trip went from south to north, on the Indian bike par excellence. He went back to France in 2007, and one thing was certain: the future had to involve two wheels. Vintage Rides, a motorcycle travel agency, was born.
Carefree but no daredevil, Alex discovered a whole world of freedom on his motorbike, nothing like the idea of "thrills" and "speed" that he had before. "In fact, motorcycle riding is not that at all. It's about getting away, discovering something new and connecting with local people." And that is Vintage Rides' concept and philosophy in a nutshell: we take a classic motorcycle and add culturally rich destinations, far off the beaten tourist tracks to the mix. "For me, travelling is all about chance encounters and the unexpected."
Focussing on the future
Today, with a team of more than 40 passionate people and 10 countries under its belt, it is safe to say that Vintage Rides has grown. Looking back over the past 12 years, Alex's face shows a mixture of emotion and pride, but most of all gratitude. "I am truly happy about the path it’s taken! I think about the Vintage Rides community and all the trips we've lead over the past 12 years..." And what a community it is! With more than 1,200 riders per year, there's no doubt about it: Royal Enfield tours in India and the Vintage Rides adventure have a bright future ahead of them.
Photo credits: Elisabeth Fieujean / Thomas Goisque / Stéphane Gautronneau