Ted Simon rode around the world in 1973 on a Triumph Tiger 100. He then went around the world again in 2001 on a BMW R80GS. He was 72. Now, at over 80, he's riding a Royal Enfield on the Helmet Stories coastal ride to Goa alongside me.
He's not the only one. Jay Kannaiyan took three years to ride around the world on a Suzuki DR650. He cooked 53 chicken curries for his hosts on the journey, learnt two languages along the way, got a distance masters degree while living the adventure of a lifetime. He's on a Harley Davidson Super Low. I'm riding next to people I idolise and we're headed to the second edition of India Bike Week in Vagator, Goa.
There's Nick Sanders there. He's the fastest overland man around the world. He's ridden a Yamaha R1 around the world in 19 days! He's bicycled around the world in 79 days!
And Eliza Massey. 57 years old and currently on a solo ride around the world on a BMW 650GS. Man, the stories they have to tell!
They are some of the reasons I went to the 2014 India Bike Week. I also went because I couldn't fathom how Seventy EMG, the owners of IBW, could possibly top last year.
They did. Where else do you get track riding tips from Moto GP hot newcomer Scott Redding, see MRF FMX riders hanging upside down off a motocrosser 30ft in the air, hear the melee of a thousand Screamin' Beagled Harley Davidsons (yes, there were that many), see India's first concept electric bike, and get inspired to go on your own solo ride around the world, all in one place. Continued..
Where else do you hear a Yamaha R1 making as much noise as jet plane at take-off thrust (119db was the R1's loudest howl) or ride onto an on-site RaceDynamics dyno and find out exactly how much power your bike is making.
Like last year, they had the classic bike display, safe riding courses, a stage for burnouts, a biker flea market, bike accessories, the Full Contact Championship, the bikini bike wash, the Howling Dog bar and, my favourite, the Beerambulance. It was neat.
Even the music was good. I don't know much about Dub Vision, but they are the business I hear. I thought The Dualist Inquiry and The Vinyl Records were pretty good, as were some of the acoustic sounds I heard someone play in the Ladakh tent.
I met some really fantastic people as well. People I would love to go riding with again, if I had the chance, and I guess that's the real reason I will go to all future IBW's. I feel like I've known these people all my life and that just makes me happy. I think that's exactly what made the 7,000 people who turned up for the weekend happy.
This year's IBW even ironed out some of last year's issues - anyone who bought an event pass could park their bikes inside, so it was quite a treat to see an R15 parked next to a hulking Valkyrie Rune and a Bonneville next to a Bullet.
The downsides? Well, it would have been nice to see more participation from other manufacturers. It felt like they're completely missing the potential an event like this can offer them. Harley Davidson remained the sole enthusiastic bike maker to actively take part (the company even unveiled its new Street 750
at India Bike Week) and had one of the biggest HOG rallies this side of Asia.
Still, it was fun and the mojo was right, and I can tell you IBW, this year was so good, you have some task ahead of you to top it.