MAGICAL RIDE WITH BREW IN EACH VILLAGE
Where else in the world could 13 cyclists pull up outside someone’s house for a rest and then be invited inside for a cup of chai tea…along with half the village who had come out to stare at their unusual visitors?
We couldn’t stop anywhere for more than five minutes without attracting a huge bemused audience.
Only the poorest I also can’t think of many places where you must weave down the roads among buses, cars, motorbikes, tuk-tuks, cows, camels, dogs and pigs. Getting safely out of Agra on our bikes on the first day was enough of a reason to call it a “challenge”.
I’m so glad that when Amy asked if I wanted to ride across India with her for charity I said “yes” without a moment’s thought.
I didn’t need to look at the Charity Challenges itinerary or research what our adventure might entail before making my decision.
And if you want to visit this huge nation, I can’t think of a better way to do it than by mountain bike.
People throw around the phrase “once in a lifetime experience” too often.
But our amazing ride was just that.
See charitychallenge.com to find out more.
■ FRIENDLY: Amy at a village school and, above, with James and the gang ■
EPIC: Amy spent up to eight hours a day on her bike INDIA is a country which has long intrigued me. I have always wanted to go, yet it has never been right at the top of my list of mustsee holiday destinations.
But it was a no-brainer when I got the chance to experience this iconic nation by cycling across it for charity.
And it turned out to be more incredible than I could have ever imagined.
The noisy, manic cities and poor, dirty villages will not be to everyone’s taste.
But there is no denying India is a magical place full of the friendliest people you could hope to meet. of the poor cycle in India, those with money cram inside – or often on top of – buses to get around.
So seeing white foreigners on bikes in their neighbourhoods totally bemused the locals. ■
THIRST: James takes on fluids to combat the searing heat and, above, with local kids