Thursday, April 17, 2008

Literature & Motorcycling

For one reason or another, literature and motorcycling seem to go hand-in-hand. Perhaps it is the introspective nature of the lifestyle. Maybe it's the rebellious nature of both motorcycling and adventurous literate works. Perhaps it is the mental mindset. Not that there is a lot of motorcycle literature, but what there is, is fairly high quality. Quality over quantity. Form and content over the medium. This should be the core of any true motorcyclist.

My new found avarice for reading has been rewarding in and of itself. Rereading Ayn Rand's "Anthem" and "the Fountainhead," new books like Neil Peart's "Ghost Rider" and Lois Pyle's "Lois on the Loose." Older classics like Saul Bellow's "Seize the Day," W. Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge" and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "100 Years of Solitude."

I just finished reading Lois Pyle's "Lois on the Loose." She certainly deserves a A+ for chutzpah. Riding from Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina on a Yamaha XT225 Serow was nothing less than one hell of a ride. She suffered breakdowns, personal conflicts with a fellow riding partner and quite a few other issues. Unfortunately, as fantastic as that ride must have been, she excelled in presenting her irritations and tribulations rather than the adventure of the journey.

I do expect some introspection in my motorcycle literature, and her book did yield some, however shielded by her writing style. There is some direct introspection, and even some philosophical discussion at the end.

In all, I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars. It's not a book I would give away or sell, but not one I would want to re-read right away. It is an entertaining read, and at that level, I do recommend it to anyone wanting such. I am looking forward to reading her new book, "Red Tape and White Knuckles."

Ride safe, all!

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