|Tagline:||One man, one motorbike, one planet|
|Published:||First published 1979|
This is truly the be all end all of adventure travel books.
The inspiration for Ewan and Charley's Long way round/down journeys and probably countless others.
Ted quits his job as a journalist and heads out on a four year and 63000 mile journey around the world and as this is taking place in the 70's it is a vastly different world out there than the one we have today.
Or as he himself so eloquently puts it in a passage in the book: How was I to know the world was about to change, I hadn't been there yet.
As a full-time cynic the quasi-philosophical parts of the book makes this a bit of a hard read at times but as it was written in the late 70's I guess you can't really blame him for being a child of his time.
An inspirational epic journey and must read for any aspiring motorcycle adventurer.
|Tagline:||Britains Best Routes for Bikers|
|Review copy:||Book Depository|
|Published:||December 1 2013|
I actually bought this before the trip that eventually took us through the Balkans in 2015 because our original plan back then was to do the British Isles.
That fell through because of the lack of space on the DFDS ferry but it turned out alright I think and I still got some use for it on the 2017 trip.
The book contains 70 routes and tours in or through England, Wales and Scotland and is written by the Editor of Ride Magazine, Simon Weir.
I painstakingly transferred all these routes into Basecamp with the intention of including them fully or in part in my own routes.
In the end I didn't end up using more than parts of a couple of routes.
The routes seem nice, they are well documented and there are even directions if your a hundred years old or just a luddite.
There are even tips on what to see and do in the area of the routes.
It was just not very useful for me.
The routes are for the most part loops where you start and end up in the same place and thus are more oriented around a nice Sunday or weekend ride out with your friends and not towards cross-country travel.
This will most likely be more appealing and helpful to UK residents than visitors to the country.
|Title:||Red tape and white knuckles|
|Tagline:||One woman's motorcycle adventure through Africa|
|Published:||5 February 2009|
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.
|Tagline:||The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around the World|
|Published:||5 April 2018|
At 23 Elspeth had finally saved up enough money to set out on a journey that would finally be 56000kms and span the globe.
She saved up money by amongst other things, living in a garage, living on a diet that wouldn't even be served to prisoners and spending almost all of her free time working extra at a pub all the while studying as an architect despite being dyslectic.
That this is one determined lady is pretty clear from the outset.
A determination that would serve her well as she sets out in 1982, a very different world from today, especially when it comes to female emancipation.
She tells her story in excruciating and brutally honest detail.
Every tightening of a screw on the bike, every bodged repair, every thought of despair and every joyous moment. It's all there out in the open, nothing is held back.
Some things I'm glad I'm never going to have to experience, like eyes peeking through holes in the walls or a line of men (or women for that matter) lining up in the corridor outside the hotel room hoping to steal a glance through the keyhole.
Or getting continuously mobbed down in India by people wanting to have a look at the marvellous selfie start, double engine BMW R60.
The budget of this whole adventure and the things she does to keep going is at the same time admirable and utter madness.
Cutting her hair to save on shampoo is just one thing, in Nepal she hires a pair of boots to trekk Annapurna.
But the most insane thing must be when she falsifies a Carnet to get into Iran, as a woman, as a westerner just a few years after the Islamic revolution.
The book absorbs you right from the first page and never lets go, turning the last page page left me in a dizzying sense of loss, like loosing a good friend.
The fact that it wasn't written until about thirty years after the journey I think makes a huge difference, she's had plenty of time to ruminate on the travels and we also get to know what happened after she got back and had to adjust to "normal" life (as normal as it gets for an extraordinary woman).
This is not your run of the mill travel tale, it's an epic adventure in every sense of the term.
It deserves far more than being compartmentalized in the adventure travel niche, I believe this has something for everyone with just the slightest adventurous spirit or wanderlust.
Deeply inspirational not just when it comes to overlanding but also on a personal level. A solid 10/10, the best thing I've ever read.