Motorcycle Travel... a good read [2008/09]



I thought you might be interested in a list of the books I have read over the last year or so….

I suppose there is a theme running through them all – motorcycling, travel, freedom  and the Road

They are presented in the order that I have read them.   Do go to the www links - the link is new and very good..


Have Read


The Long Way Round  by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman             

2 Men, 4 Wheel and 20,000 miles.  Long Way Road is truly the Adventure of a Lifetime.

Bonded by a unique friendship and love or motorbikes, this book documents the adventures of the authors on the extraordinary journey around the world.

From London to New York via Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, USA and Canada.


Lois on the Loose    by Lois Pryce 

Lois has one big passion in life: Motorcycling – This is the story of how she threw in the day job and followed her dream of escaping. 

But she didn’t escape a little bit.  She rode her motorcycle from the northernmost corner of Alaska to the southernmost tip of South America. ALONE


Way to Go    by Geoff Hill  

Way to go brings together two epic motorcycle journeys, from Delhi to Belfast on a Royal Enfield and from Chicago to LA on a Harley-Davidson. 

A thoughtful, hilarious, off-beat travelogue by award-winning journalist Geoff Hill


The Road to Gobblers Knob  by Geoff Hill

At 16,500 miles in was the world’s longest road: a road on which travellers faced being kidnapped and murdered by Colombian drug barons, buried under Peruvian avalanches, drown by the Guatemalan rainy season, fleeced by eight-year-old Ecuadorean border touts, driven mad by black flies in the Yukon, eaten by Alaskan grizzlies and, worst of all, limited to a glass of Chardonnay a day in California.  The Pan-America Highway.  It sounded brilliant.  The next day, I went out to buy every book that I could find on it.  And found that there weren’t any.  Then it’s about time I wrote one, I thought… Geoff Hill


Mondo Enduro    Edited by Austin Vince 

The Ultimate Adventure on Two Wheels – 44,000 miles in 400 days

This is the expedition that has inspired hundred of others.  Ewan McGregor certainly learnt from watching the Mondo Enduro DVD.  He avoided the Zilov Gap – the 392 mile section of Siberian tundra and swamp where Mondo Enduro ended up man-handling their bikes…

Here you can experience first hand the joys and the agonies of riding the longest land route round the world, 44000 miles, in the shortest possible time.  Completely unsponsored and with backup, Mondo Enduro learnt their mistakes the hard way, because they had no idea what they were doing……

Sleeping in mud huts or under the stars, avoiding bandits from the Caucasus to Central America, this is adventure motorcycling as it’s meant to be – raw, super low budget and above all – fun.


The Long Way Down     by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman             

Eighteen Countries, five shock absorbers, two bikes – one amazing adventure.  After their fantastic trip round the world in 2004,

Fellow actors and bike fanatics they couldn’t shake the travel bug.  Inspired by their UNICEF visit to Africa
they knew they had to go back and experience this extraordinary continent in more depth.


American Borders by Carla King 

A solo-circumnavigation of the United States on a Russian motorcycle with sidecar.  
An exploration of the borders between the United States, Canada and Mexico becomes a comedy of breakdowns in small towns all around America.

The four-month, then thousand-mile adventure includes moments of blissful back roads freedom, cultural connection, and roadside romance – interrupted by cracked welds, electrical gremlins, evil tow truck drivers, tornadoes and hurricanes.  From British Columbia to the Blue Ridge, Boquillas to Beverley Hills, America Borders is a unique and intimate exploration of the United States and its neighbours.


Jupiter’s Travels    by Ted Simon

Four years around the world on a Triumph.  Like Marco Polo or Clare Francis, Ted Simon made a journey that millions dream of.

He rode 63,000 miles, four years and fifty-four countries round the world.  Spinning through the Sudanese desert, into prison in Brazil, into the California commune, through war, revolutions, disasters; into depths of fear, heights of euphoria and a fleeting love affair..


Race to Dakar    by Charley Boorman 

In 2004 Charley Boorman completed his astonishing round-the-world bike trip with his friend Ewan McGregor.  

The journey left him exhausted, exhilarated and hungry for a new challenge. 

And what greater challenge that the Dakar rally? Beginning in Lisbon and ending in the Senegalese

capital of Dakar, the rally covers 15,000 kms of treacherous terrain, and is widely regarded as the most dangerous race on earth.


Into Africa    by Sam Manicom

Every day an Adventure -  Into Africa is upfront with adventure, mishaps, dust, heat and the thrill of overlanding.  The word-pictures that bring a good travel book to life are all here; Sam’s perceptions of people, places and predicaments have real depth and texture, their associated sights, smells and sounds are evoked with a natural ease.  This is the story of an enlightening, yet daunting journey across 14 countries by motorcycle.  Sam, a novice biker, decides to break free from the doldrums of everyday life in search of adventure, and finds it.  Whether he’s thrust into a brutal jail cell in Tanzania, being shot at, or knocked unconscious in the Namibian desert, this eye-opening tale catapults you into Africa


Under Asian Skies    by Sam Manicom

The travel bug bites hard, but motorcycle travel bites deep.

Novice biker Sam Manicom, left his job and sold his house to ride a motorcycle the length of Africa.  But once the travel bug bit, he couldn’t stop.  This book is the sequel to his first book “Into Africa”, and just like that one this is packed with adventure.  Sam narrowly escapes a serious wipe out in the vast Australian Outback, falls critically ill in Thailand and is rescued by a prostitute, gets arrested in Madras, dodges the manic traffic of India’s Grand Trunk Road and rides sheet ice on the road home through Turkey.   What shines through is his sheer joy of being on the road, and the pure adrenaline buzz that each day can bring.  Every day holds an adventure and once again, those adventures demand that Sam’s Guardian Angel is on hand to work overtime.  Just one man, a motorcycle and a dream being lived – every day.


Dreaming of Jupiter  by Ted Simon                                             

For anyone who still dreams of zooming across continents, sleeping under stars, discovering beautiful empty beaches and being warmly welcomed by local tribes.   In 1974 Ted Simon set out on a round the world trip by motorbike.  His extraordinary account of the four year odyssey, Jupiter’s Travels was a huge best seller, and is now hailed as a classic.   At the age of sixty-nine, Ted Simon decided to retrace his journey.  Travelling through Europe, Arica, South and North America, and Asia, Ted Simon rediscovers the thrill of riding solo, catching up with old friends, experiencing new dramas, breaking some bones and even falling in love…   Set over two and a half years and passing through forty-eight countries Dreaming of Jupiter is a fascinating read for bikers and armchair travellers alike..

The Perfect Vehicle by Melissa Holbrook Pierson

 The perfect vehicle conveys the exhilaration and devotion bikers feel for their machines, and debunks the macho image of the "crotch-rocket".  It is an accomplished story of technology, speed and obsession, a facinating anatomy of a human passion....


Destination: Cape Town - and a small matter of tackling the Sahara, war-torn ANgola and the Congo Basin along the way - this feisty woman's grand trek through the Dark Continent of Africa is the definitive motorcycling adventure.....


Motorcycling in Eastern Europe - This book was written solely to support the project Jeder Kilometer Zahlt - in support of an orphanage and school for the mentally handicapped children in Calarasi in Moldova.   By it, read it, help these kids in the the poorest nation in Europe and indeed the world.   You never we might even take a ride there !!!


I get my bum pinched by a tranny, my pocket picked by a grifter and get a gun pulled on mw by a one-eyed, one armed midget who's upset 'cause I winked at him.  These are the days that must happen to you.  


Yet to Read

The Grapes of Wrath   by John Steinbeck

ZEN and the Art of Motorcycle  Maintenance   by Robert M. Pirsig 

On the Road    by Jack Kerouac

Obsessions Die Hard - Ed Culberson

Odyssey to Ushuaia by Andres Carlstein

The Rugged Road -by Therea Wallach


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