Can you quickly introduce yourself?
I’m 56 years old, I’m a business coach and I live near Nice in France. I have a few passions that take up a lot of my time: photography, travelling and outdoor sports, especially mountaineering, skiing and canyoning.
What biking experience do you have? What do you ride back home in France?
I’m not your usual biker. I got my motorcycle licence 35 years ago but I’ve never had a bike! I have been riding a scooter (400 cc) for the past 15 years. Other riders still don’t really get why I don't have a motorbike!
Why did you decide to join our motorcycle tour in Indonesia?
I have been doing guided motorcycle tours with Vintage Rides for some years now and have done motorcycle tours in Ladakh, Nepal and Mongolia. For me, it’s the best way to travel for several reasons: you have a 180° view and really get to feel the wind and the temperature, smell the smells and have a sense of freedom and adventure. It makes me feel 200% alive! I really enjoy the physical challenge and having to push myself, as I am quite sporty. I decided on the Indonesia tour because Georges, who I met on the Ladakh tour in 2017, suggested that we met up there!
What was your overall opinion of this tour?
It was amazing! After Mustang and Mongolia, it was my third tour with Reshad. As always, he added some great alternatives. Something extra that I loved about this tour was that we got the chance to meet Balinese and Javanese people.
Do you have any anecdotes you’d like to share with us?
I loved the last day of biking in Bali, as we got to see an important religious festival. We stopped in front of a temple and a young woman greeted us with a welcoming smile. We exchanged a few words and then she came to me and told me to take something from her basket. I asked her, “But aren’t these the offerings that you’ll take to the temple?” “Yes,” she replied, “but please take something.” I carefully picked out a small pack of dried vegetable fritters, and she said, “Is that all? You can take something else if you want.” It was a wonderful example of just how generous Balinese people are.
Did anywhere in particular leave an impression?
Yes, the whole experience at Kawah Ijen crater in Java: the road to get there was full of twists and turns, the hike to the peak, the view once we got there and especially seeing the sulphur miners at work. I walked to the top with one of them and carried his baskets so he could rest a bit. We looked at each other and smiled. A simple moment like this is so enriching while travelling.
Discover Leo’s amazing photos on his Facebook page.
Photo credits: Leo Fvy