Balaji Padmanabhan (IND/AUS)

Bala’s a genuine, friendly, funny guy, and he’s tough as nails. Bala was born with adventure running through his veins, and despite some pretty serious health issues a few years ago, the sort that would make most people quit everything, he’s just picked himself up, dusted himself off, and gotten on with it. What an inspiration: it was his stories about riding through the Australian desert is that motivated me to finally fulfil my dream solo ride around Australia.