We motorcyclists are storytellers, all of us and why wouldn't we be? We have travelled across the length and breadth of the country, meeting strangers making life long relations, listening to their stories, sharing ours. In fact, we will not be exaggerating when we say that motorcyclist might just be one of the most humbly interacting people around who give enough space to utter strangers making them feel comfortable and talk about things they want to talk about.
Saying that, we riders do share a intimate relation with books, for all among us have infinite hunger for absorbing stories and no doubt, a lot many among us are avid readers. So it was a wonderful discussion with our friends at Vivilio about rides, and our mutual love for motorcycles that landed us with a collection of 5 books that every rider must read. So here you go, here is your book dope for those lazy monsoon afternoons with hot tea.
1. The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto 'Che' Guevara -
Probably one of the most iconic books ever written with a motorcycle journey at the centre of the plot. The Motorcycle Diaries is a memoir of Ernesto Guevara, who travelled across South America on a 1939 Norton 500cc along with his friend, in 1950's. The story is a journey of a man who only wanted to see through his next drink, bed and love to man who transformed into a man who was willing to sacrifice life for the sake of the exploited citizens of Latin America. The Motorcycle Diaries was made into a critically acclaimed movie with the same name that was released in 2004. There is no way on earth one should skip reading this master piece of a book narrating the story of a 23 years old who became a steadfast man who wished to see a better South America.
2. Jupiter’s Travels by Ted Simon -
A book that is one of the most significant pieces of literature ever written on the sheer beauty of travelling on a motorcycling and the profound effects it leaves on those who undertake such endeavours. Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon's is an astonishing 4 year motorbike journey around the world. The book was the main inspiration behind the famous Ewan McGregor movie - Long Way Round. A majestic 63000 mile long ride on a Triumph saw Ted Simon pass through 54 countries that took him around the world in the late 1970's. It is a story of a man and his bike that stepped into the fear of the unknown and waded through breakdowns, prison, war, revolutions, disasters and a Californian commune and finally reaching at the heights of euphoria, mere mortals seldom dream of touching.
Ted saw everything through his journey, from meeting incredible people to being treated as a spy, or a welcomed stranger, the Ted Simon journey is what we all riders crave for, a ride to find ourselves, a ride to belong.
3. Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books by Ted Bishop -
So a Ducati, a ride from Edmonton to Austin, and a rider totally in love with books, stories, history and his bike, in short, an ultimate combination that should trigger all the right notes inside any motorcyclist. The book is written by Ted Bishop who is an archive diver and an avid Ducatisti. It was awarded the Playbook Best Book in 2006. Read it, and immerse yourself into the joyful world of a motorcyclist and his passion.
4. One Man Caravan by Robert Edison Fulton -
Motorcycle Story of all the stories, and it all happened before it was cool. This adventurous work records Robert Edison Fulton's solo round-the-world tour on a two-cylinder Douglas motorcycle between July, 1932 and December, 1933. First published in 1937. This makes it a vintage classic, and a classic about an 18-month journey from London to Tokyo. Try to envision a world all those years ago, in the backdrop of a world in turmoil due to the Second World War, the infrastructure back then, no GPS, no cell phones and a big huge world and you would know, how badass Robert Edison Fulton was, dont miss it, it is Gold!
5. Long Way Round by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman -
Now this one has got it all, iconic celebrities, legendary motorcycles and one EPIC ride from London to New York. Riding their BMW's, Hollywood celebrity and a passionate rider alongwith his friend Charley Boorman took to the world as they chased their shadows and rode through Europe, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, across the Pacific to Alaska, then down through Canada and America. It is an incredible story of manly grit through treacherous conditions, tormenting roads, unpredictable weather and turbulent politics and everything that was hell bent to challenged their stamina. If that was not all, then there were exhaustion, injury and accidents has tested their strength.
It wasn't just that either, being the huge public figures they are, they were chased by paparazzi in Kazakhstan, courted by men with very large guns in the Ukraine, hassled by the police, and given bulls' testicles for supper by Mongolian nomads. And yet, what ended after a 20000 miles and 4 months later is one famous story that changed the lives of two men forever. Documenting their journey as they travelled through their gruelling journey, Ewan and Charley took pictures, made videos, and wrote the diaries by campfire. Long Way Round is masterpiece on so many fronts that only true blue riders can understand and it is a crime if you have not read it till now. And. if you have not, then get up and start reading it, right now!!!
And, yes fellow riders, the list is not even close to being complete yet and there are many more books that are sure to hit you with their outstanding riding and the experience riders have jotted down on paper, making their endeavours immortals and leaving a legacy for us riders to continue and to dream and talk about.
For rest of the collection click this link - 12 Best Books on Motorcycle Adventures Every Biker Should Read!!