Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Holiday reading

My motorcycle tour for this years festive season was impacted by weather and personal illness so I ended up spending more time indoors than on the road.

This allowed me to catch up on some reading, motorcycle touring books of course. And I will give a brief review on each.

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Leanings

This is a selection, a ‘best of’ collection, of short stories by Peter Egan who writes for Cycle World, a North American motorcycle magazine.

I purchased this based on the glowing reviews to be found on Amazon when they sent me a voucher last year. It is an easy read of mostly short articles, some about camping motorcycle trips taken by the author and more about collecting and restoring old motorcycles.

Unfortunately none of the articles really grabbed me in anyway. Not a boring book but not terribly funny or insightful (for me) either. Perhaps not being a motorcycle collector much of the book is wasted on me. I love the look of older bikes but restoring and maintaining them would leave me no time to ride. As for collecting then again it is not something that appeals to me. I can afford to have more than one motorcycle if I want but I can only ride one.

The authors views that 5 motorcycles is the idea number needed for happiness was just lost on me.

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Route 66

Picked this book up on eBay for next to nothing. I have not seen the TV series but thought the book would make a nice holiday read.

When I mention I did a tour of North America people always say ‘Route 66?’ and if I say no then they give me a puzzled look or make some surprised comment as if I went to Egypt and did not see the pyramids. But if looking at the best motorcycle roads to ride then you would steer clear of the remains of 66 as it does not offer a rider anything. All the same I thought maybe this book might offer something interesting.

Billy Connolly is a funny guy and there is some laughs in his Route 66 book, but much of it is a little dry reading and not enough about riding.

I think the TV series might be a better choice than the book, that is after all the medium he is known for and the visuals of Blly and the riding through the countryside would add a lot. I am going to watch it next time it airs on tv here.

 

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Twisting Throttle America

I reviewed this book long ago and just remembered I removed the post because it was attacked by spam comments (before I locked that feature)

Mike Hyde is a New Zealand guy who loves iron butt rides. He rode around Australia in a 17,000km butt breaker and then decided to do America.

Mike is a very funny guy, he has a bit of a warped sense of humour and you will at first not realise half of what he is saying is in jest, later into the book you almost need to go back and read from the start now that you have ‘tuned in’ to his style and sense of humour.

In his 2nd book Twisting Throttle America you will follow Mike as he rides 50 states in 60 days and as the maths suggests it is fast paced trip at times which is perhaps my only gripe in what is otherwise an enjoyable read.

I do wish he had talked more about the many good roads in North America. Recently I rode the North West USA and Canada and was totally blown away by how superb the riding was there, easy up with the best I have experienced anywhere in the world if you stay away from the Interstates.

That point aside of the 3 books this is the only one I am recommending as it is a read most riders will be able to connect with, has more insights than Leanings that Amazon buyers gushed all gooey about and is genuinely laugh out loud at times.

2 comments:

  1. Hi I am gerard, i am french and i live in melbourne and I also own a CB1100 - I saw your bike on you tube and really likes the pipes etc... I called peformance pipes in brisbane today and will probably buy the same ;-) I was alos wondering if you could provide some advice on what and how to source parts for my bike - I cannot find parts as most are produced in Japan and not distributed in Australia (eg. White House jp)- looks like yours has a lot of extra chrome etc... and it looks very nice - i would appreciate your help - please text me at 0406884095 if you are ok to share your knowledge
    thanks in advance
    gerard

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  2. a small snippet on Billy Connolly from the UK VFR forums
    http://www.bikersoracle.com/vfr/forum/showthread.php?t=119763
    That was the same colour as my VFR1200 so it caught my attention even if it was just a sit-on posed shot.
    Tony55

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