Jupiter’s Travels, Ted Simon, at Amazon

Jupiter’s Travels (Amazon link)

Ted Simon is a British journalist born in Germany in 1931, noted for circumnavigating the world twice by motorcycle. He was raised in London by a German mother and a Romanian father. In late 1973, sponsored by The Sunday Times, Simon began travelling around the world on a 500 cc Triumph Tiger 100 motorcycle. For four years he travelled over 64,000 miles (103,000 km) through 45 countries. Most accounts from his trip are detailed in his book, Jupiter’s Travels, while some of the book’s gaps are filled in its second part, the book Riding High. His books and long distance riding later inspired the actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in their journey from London to New York on motorcycles (Long Way Round), during which they arranged to meet Simon in Mongolia.

Tortillas to Totems, Sam Manicom, at Amazon

Tortillas to Totems (Amazon link)

Adventurer and author Sam Manicom has been travelling pretty much since his return to the UK from Africa with his parents. He was born in the Belgian Congo where his parents worked, and lived through two rebellions. Back in the UK, but wanting to do something completely different, Sam learned to ride a motorcycle and within 3 months of starting to ride, he set off to travel the length of Africa. This one-year trip turned into an eight-year, 200,000 mile, motorcycle adventure across 55 countries around the world. His four books Into Africa, Under Asian Skies, Distant Suns (Southern Africa, and South and Central America) and Tortillas to Totems (North America) vividly describe this epic journey. The review press said, ‘Few travel writers can conjure up sights and smells so provocatively as Sam.’

Mondo Enduro at Amazon

Mondo Enduro (Amazon link)

Mondo Enduro was a round-the-world adventure motorcycle expedition in 1995-1996. Team members Austin Vince, Gerald Vince, Chas Penty, Bill Penty, Clive Greenhough, Nick Stubley and Mark Friend set off to go round the world by the longest route possible in the shortest time on Suzuki DR350 Dual Sport bikes. Their route took them from London, through Central Asia, Kazakhstan and Siberia; then from Alaska to Chile and finally from Cape Town through Africa and the Middle East back to London. As well as a cult TV show and DVD, the expedition diaries are a fascinating account of a round-the-world expedition done on a shoestring, with rough camping the order of the day.

Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig, at Amazon

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Amazon link)

Those who will love the book will include those who enjoy philosophy, especially those who are well read in that subject; people who ride and maintain their own motorcycles; readers who are interested in psychology, particularly in terms of the mass hypnosis of social concepts; individuals who are curious about the line we draw between sanity and insanity; and people who want to think about how to deal with troubling personal situations. Those who will dislike the book are people who like lots of action in their novels, dislike the subjects described above, and who want easy reading. This book is very thick with concepts, ideas, metaphors, and layering which reward careful reading and thought.


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