Monday, January 6, 2014

Ted Simons will ride with Helmet Stories to India Bike Week from Mumbai to Goa!

“It was going to be the journey of a lifetime, a journey that millions
dream of and never make, and I wanted to do justice to all those dreams.”
Ted Simon

Ted Simon is a virtual god to generations of bikers and dreamers. Ted is a special honoree at India Bike Week 2014 in Goa. At the age of 81, he will be riding down from Mumbai, along the fabulous Konkan coastline all the way to Goa under the aegis of Helmet Stories to attend the second edition of India Bike Week. 
Back in the early Seventies he was a disillusioned former newspaper executive living in a village near Montpellier in France, and wondering where the rest of his life might lead. The idea for Jupiter’s Travels (the mythological moniker was bestowed upon him in India during the trip) came to him more or less fully formed: ride a motorbike around the world and write a book.
The fact that he couldn’t actually ride a bike was not an obstacle. He learnt, failing his test the first time, secured a sponsorship deal from the Sunday Times newspaper, and on October 6 1973, at the age of 42, wobbled south atop a heavily laden 500cc Triumph Tiger on a 103,000-km journey through 50-odd countries that took him four years.

In a colourfully swirling narrative he recreated this journey in all its life-changing richness – the breakdowns, loneliness, solace and love, the setbacks, epiphanies and terror. Jupiter’s Travels, which had me dreaming of escape and reinvention back in the Eighties, is one of the most inspiring travel books of the 20th century. Read by millions worldwide since it was first published in 1979, it is still selling steadily.

On January 27, 2001, Ted, aged 69, embarked upon another journey, roughly revisiting the same route he did almost three decades earlier. This time, his ride of choice was a BMW R80 GS, which took him through 47 countries, clocking about 95,000 km. Stories from this second ride found their way into his third book, Dreaming of JupiterTed's books about his journeys, Jupiter's TravelsRiding High and Dreaming of Jupiter, continue to serve as an inspiration to other travellers who seek to know the world, and their place in it, through personal adventure.