About The Bookshelf
The motorcycle lifestyle is a combination of fun, inspiration, and a handful of other ingredients unique to each rider's story. These books represent important ingredients in the recipe of my personal motorcycling adventure. You may, or may not, find all of them meaningful but at least read a bit about them before you dismiss or embrace any of them.
Lone Rider: The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around the World
In 1982, at the age of twenty-three, Elspeth Beard left her family and friends in London and set off on a 35,000-mile solo adventure around the world on her 1974 BMW R60/6. With some savings from her pub job, a tent, a few clothes, and some tools, all packed on the bike, she was determined to prove herself and to get over a recent heartbreak. She had ridden bikes since her teens and was already well traveled, but this journey would be the toughest thing she’d ever done. By the time she returned to England two years later, she was 30 pounds lighter and decades wiser. She’d ridden through deserts and mountain ranges and war-ravaged countries. She’d faked documents and fended off sexual attacks, biker gangs, and corrupt police who were convinced she was trafficking drugs. She’d survived brutal crashes and life-threatening illnesses and she’d fallen in love with two very different men. In an age before email, the Internet, mobile phones, and GPS, Elspeth had to navigate with unreliable maps, communicate by post, and fix her bike with the tools she carried with her, but she achieved her goal nonetheless. Told with honesty and wit, this is the extraordinary and moving story of a unique and life-changing adventure.
Jupiters Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph
Simon rode a motorcycle around the world in the seventies, when such a thing was unheard of. In four years he covered 78,000 miles through 45 countries, living with peasants and presidents, in prisons and palaces, through wars and revolutions. What distinguishes this book is that Simon was already an accomplished writer. In 25 years this book has changed many lives, and inspired many to travel, including Ewan McGregor.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions on how to live. The narrator's relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, this classic is a touching and transcendent book of life.
A Long Ride on a Cycle
A Vietnam veteran rides south, keeps three promises, and finds his future. This book was recommended by a friend and served as his inspiration for building his R75/5 - the machine ridden by the book's protagonist!