So what do I do when I'm not travelling on my motorcycle?
I talk about my motorcycle, I tinker with my motorcycle and I watch, read and listen to others who have a similar interest.
I'll try and share my thoughts about what I watch/read/hear in this section.

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in Audiobooks
Created: 13 February 2018


Title: Into Africa
Tagline Africa by Motorcycle - Every Day an Adventure
Author: Sam Manicom
Narrator: Sam Manicom
Length: 10hrs 47mins
Feature: Unabridged
Review copy: Audible
Published: 14 August 2012
Language: English
Rating: helmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet lightblue


Sam quits his job as a shoe-salesman and starts travelling the world going through Europe and taking the ferry over to Africa.
He puts himself in places and situations with an equal measure of humour, warmth and fearlessness.
He's pretty much a cross between Al Bundy and Indiana Jones (he even has the hat).
Unlike many other travellers who have done this Sam has no fixed agenda as he has time-limit for his return which I think make all the difference.
He really has the time to completely immerse himself in the culture as he dedicates a whole year and 22000 miles to do what others might do in four to six months and a lot less mileage.
At one point he even hides the bike and treks for more than a day to spend a week with a tribe that's pretty much devoid of outside contact.
Sam calls things as he sees them in a journalistic kind of way without overanalyzing or spiritualizing it at all which might sound boring but most definitely is quite the opposite.
He is an amazing storyteller, this is the kind of guy you'd buy beers for all night just to hear him talk and he paints a picture that makes you feel like you're right there in the moment with him.
The only reason this doesn't get a solid ten is because: 1. Sam is a better writer than he is a narrator and 2. he like many others develop the Wilson-syndrome along the way giving his bike a persona and a naming it.
Naming your bike and/or refering to it by its gender pronoun makes for pretty confusing reading when there are more than two people mentioned in the story.
I also don't really understand the decision to screw up the chronology by having the first chapter take place in Uganda, it's no doubt the "juiciest" chapter of the book but you don't really need to hook me in, I've already bought the book.
But those are really minor details and overall this is one of, if not the best adventure motorcycle book I've ever read (heard) and since this is just the first of a series of four books I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

in Audiobooks
Created: 08 February 2018


Title: It's all good
Author: Andrew Daddo
Narrator: Andrew Daddo
Length: 5hrs 55mins
Feature: Unabridged
Review copy: Audible
Published: 8 August 2006
Language: English
Rating: helmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightblue


Daddo get's fired from his job as a VJ on MTV and before heading back home to Australia decides to go on a road trip across the USA.
His companion on the ride is a guy called Ray O'Neal which passed away in 2004.
Andrew then decided to write this book as sort of homage to Ray as I get it.
It is obvious that he considered Ray a very good friend as a brief passage in the book where they are separated for five days is for Daddo an ultimate test of independance.
Riding five days alone in Iowa... I mean come on?
He's actually at one point writes that he's so lonely he almost cries.
In this rather short book there are so many flashbacks to childhood and Daddos early days you sort of lose the feeling that they're actually on a trip.
After three chapters of childhood nostalgia I can't even remember where in the US they are when the story picks up again.
After the pretty much complete biography around the half way mark the story picks up around what they're actually doing in present time which saves the book from being a complete disaster in my view.
This was also one of the few times author narration was a good idea as this being read by an Australian lends some authenticity to the story, had this been read by an American or Englishman nuances would have been lost.
I can't help but note that someone at Audible production has come up with the idea to put in music at the end of each chapter.
I personally never think this is a good idea but when you end a really heart-felt letter to a dead friends daughter with a Waynes World-like guitar riff you must be completely out of your mind. It is in very poor taste to say the least.
Despite all the criticism it's not entirely without its merits. It a humorous story and a decent read taken for what it is, a biography.

in Movies
Created: 03 February 2018


Title: C90 Adventures - Malaysia to UK
Type: Download
Review copy: Dirtpunk
Length: 1 hour 12 minutes
Price: £10
Producer: Ed March
Rating: helmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet blue

This film is about a guy from Devon, UK called Ed March supposedly saved from the regional pastime sheep-shagging by a love of tinkering with motorbikes in his shed.
He ships his beloved Honda C90 halfway across the world to Malaysia and then spends 8 months and 14500 miles riding it home.
While in Thailand he actually tries to register a marriage with his C90, I shit you not.
Let's face it, for a RTW-trip it's a rubbish bike, some of the footage is from a mobile phone, Ed obviously has mental issues and he has a propensity for gratuitous nudity and he has a really immature sense of humour.
He also nurtures an intense hatred for big BMW motorcycles and accessories you can't build yourself (which means he would probably either be steaming or pissing himself with laughter if he ever saw my bike).
It's pretty much the exact polar opposite of Long Way Round/Down.
I loved every second of it.
This is not for the faint of heart as he films himself having diarrhea (thankfully only audio) and a dozen people shitting in a field (in glorious high definition).
Apart from crossing the world on a ridiculously underpowered bike which at one point runs for three stright days with no oil he also takes the time to trek to Mount Everest basecamp and true to form he does that in skate shoes and in far less time than is supposedly safe considering altitude sickness.
Despite the differences in footage quality this is a really solid production which is well put together and with great music (well, perhaps apart from the frequent ABBA-snippets, I'm not that Swedish).
I've definitely never laughed so much watching a travel documentary before and if you watch this and think it's shit then I'm sorry but then we can't be friends.

Eds since embarked on another journey, this time from Alaska to Argentina and he has made that into a series on youtube so check out his channel.

in Movies
Created: 02 February 2018


Title: A Kurdish Movie
Type: Streaming
Review copy: Vimeo On Demand
Length: 46 minutes
Price: Rent: €3 Buy: €10
Producer: Claudio Von Planta
Iraq, Kurdistan Region
Rating: helmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightblue


The legendary filmmaker that made Long Way Round/Down the eposes that they are Claudio Von Planta heads out on another adventure, this time along with Billy "Biketruck" Ward.
It's definitely fair to say that they have chosen the path less travelled by going to the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, by all accounts a war-zone to scope out the territory for future guided tours.
As transport they are actually lent a couple of bikes from the Kurdistan traffic police complete with lights and sirens which to be honest is pretty fucking cool.

The film is quite watchable as Cloudios filmmaking style is very immersive and it's very obvious that he and Billy get along very well as they have great chemistry.
That they've chosen to explore a to most westerners completely unknown region also makes this a bit of a novelty and peaked my interest immediately.
As far as the content is concerned this is definitely more of a travel documentary as the motorcycle element is not very prevalent.
An entertaining watch.

in Books
Created: 22 January 2018


Title: Red tape and white knuckles
Tagline: One woman's motorcycle adventure through Africa
Author: Lois Pryce
ISBN: 9780099513599
Review copy: eBay
Published: 5 February 2009
Language: English
Rating: helmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet bluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightbluehelmet lightblue

Lois Pryce follows up her 2007 adventure book Lois on the loose with an epic journey through the heart of Africa.
What makes this stand out a bit from other African overland crossings is that she has chosen not to go along either the west or east coast but rather through the more troubled regions of central Africa like Congo, DR Congo and Angola which to say the least makes things a bit more interesting for both the author and the reader.
The fact that she's chosen to do this crossing despite suffering from extreme heatstroke from just a short stint in Morroco is either proof that she is incredibly dedicated or very foolish, even after reading I'm not really sure which to be honest.
And apart from not choosing the obvious path she's doing this on a Yamaha TTR250 trail bike.
Lois has her own quirky narrative style and shares her journey in a very enjoyable way and really doesn't hold anything back when it comes to sharing her inner thoughts and even prejudices (after all whether we admit it to ourselves or not we all have them).
As she dedicates the narrative to mostly her thoughts and experiences along the way this might not be the most informative book if you're looking to read up in preparation for your own trip.
Apart from the mention of an oil change there really isn't much in the book about the practicalities of motorcycle travel.
I guess it's possible she got through the entire continent of Africa without so much as puncture but I think it's more likely that she's chosen to omit those parts because she'd rather tell her story.
It is an immensely enjoyable read none the less.