Some book reviews and a personal update
I have been spending a lot of time in hospital so have read a few motorcycle travel books while there.
Great Australian Motorcycle Stories is a paperback sold at Australian post offices. It was gifted to me to read while getting treatment in hospital. Unlike previously reviewed Motorcycle Messengers or Moment Collectors , books with short stories by professional writers or experienced bloggers, this is a collection of short yarns from everyday people as far as I can tell.
Whilst not as good as the others it cost I believe just $10 on sale and that for a real paper book in Australia where you can spend as much on a slice of cake or a coffee makes it still worth a look if you are going to the post office. You will find at least a couple of stories interesting.
Do It While You Still Can is a collection of short stories by Nick Adams about riding his old motorcycles around Canada. I got this for a few dollars on Kindle not knowing what to expect. Riding the highlands in Ontario is on my bucket list so it was just a spur of the moment Amazon purchase.
I was booked to ride USA and Canada in 2020. I still have the flight credit with Delta airlines and the bike rental credit with Eagle Rider Las Vegas for the USA leg of that trip and hope to pick that up where I left off in 2023 if I am recovered.
Back to the book, it is well written and I found myself thumbing each chapter despite the stories being just everyday simple rides or tinkering with bike stuff. Nothing outstanding but the way Nick writes makes for a easy to read book to pass some time.
The Wrong Way Round is about riding from India to Myanmar which grabbed my attention since that route sounded very interesting. I found Andrew’s writing entertaining when he was not talking about his girlfriend but he unfortunately talks about her all the time. His girlfriend is a selfish self absorbed person who obviously doesn’t care much for him while Andrew is mesmerized by her. If I was to speak frankly I would call him under the thumb or plain xxxx struck.
It is a great route and Andrew can write but it would have been so much better for me if he had dumped the girlfriend and gone solo, not just to remove all those annoying bits but to add more interactions with locals only a solo rider will experience. (on Kindle)
Spencer Conway is one tough biker. The word Hardcore is overused but I honestly can say his circumnavigation of Africa is exactly that. He really lives on the edge but this brings it’s rewards as he has incredible experiences with locals but a couple of close calls and more roughing it than most people could bear.
I could never do a ride like this, I am simply past the age of wanting to prove anything and already had enough safety scares in South Africa. I’m not even taken in with all the adventure bike hype, there is ample out there in the world to explore on a regular road bike. However I did enjoy reading the travels of someone who has taken on such a huge challenge and put it into words concise yet entertaining.
If you admire tough challenging rides, crazy adventures or just wonder about those countries nobody rides in Africa then I am pretty sure you will find this a good read. (on Kindle)
I left Japan in June and am living in Australia currently where I am getting treated for cancer. My chemotherapy has been successful thus my prospects have improved from bleak to let’s see how we go. I will have 9 hour surgery in the coming days. Obviously such a big operation carries risks. If successful I will then have more chemotherapy and hopefully be able to return to riding sometime next year.
My Yamaha FJR1300 has been sitting under a rain cover at my house in Japan and unfortunately has not run since November 2021. It looks like both will have to be sold in 2023 and another chapter of my life closed.
The good news is I will be a single guy so then I can live anywhere and buy myself a different bike. A new life in SE Asia beckons me if all goes well and I am granted a few more years on earth to spend some of the superannuation fund I worked so hard to accumulate.
Like Nick Adams says above – Do It While You Still Can.
Thanks for all the support here and emails. Greatly appreciated.