New Motorcycle Book Reveals How to Build an Adventure
he great thing about motorcycling is that even in the depths of winter – when your bike might be down for the duration – there’s always a way to indulge your passion.
Many two-wheeler fans dream of the winter months by watching movies online – there are hundreds of them – documenting the adventures of other bikers in exotic locations.
Better still is to read about them and conjure up your own – mental images. And motorcycle adventure books don’t come much better than when they roll off Sam Manicom’s keyboard.
Sam – who once embarked on a year-long cycling journey that turned into an eight-year, 200,000-mile motorcycle odyssey through 55 countries – knows more about adventure motorcycling than most. Now a full-time motorcycle adventurer, writer and speaker, Sam has written four books describing this marathon and continues to enjoy new two-wheeled journeys of discovery to this day.
His latest book – The Moment Collectors – however takes a different path. Described as a “motorcycle landing celebration”, it offers 20 authors a platform to share their own memories of great journeys, including highs and lows, challenges and results.
This anthology features some of the best-known motorcycle adventurers in the business, including Claire Elsdon who, after seven years as the city’s stockbroker, embarked on a radical journey of discovery by getting on her motorbike and rolling solo from London to Capetown. , South Africa.
In her chapter “The unthinkable happens”, Claire remembers having traveled through Africa with her Suzuki DRZ 400 and having made remarkable encounters with strangers who have become friends. Transformed by her experiences, she then started a community organization in Tanzania called MJ Piki (“brave woman on a motorcycle”), training local women to ride motorcycles, empowering them to earn income by serving their communities.
In “Far From Home”, writer Geoff Hill – who rode an Enfield from Delhi to Belfast, triumphs from Chile to Alaska and a BMW around the world – recalls what he describes as “the happiest moment of my life as a motorcyclist”. We won’t spoil the story here, but its evocative words – apart from the accident descriptions – would make even non-motorcyclists want to put on a helmet, get in the saddle and roar.
Elsewhere in this enjoyable, horizon-expanding book, Spencer James Conway and Cathy Nel venture colorfully—memorably—through South America on a Yamaha Tenere 660Z, Shirley Hardy-Rix and Brian Rix traverse Russia and Asia, while Lisa Morris writes engagingly about driving across North America.
Other authors include Mark Donham on South America, Tiffany Coates on the “murder” in Kyrgyzstan and Christian Brix – who once cycled 30,000 miles through Africa and Asia – on Europe. Sam himself also writes about riding through Europe – perhaps one of his less remote, but fascinating rides nonetheless.
Reflecting on The Moment Collectors, Sam observes: “It’s a fact that you don’t have to be a special type of person to go the long way. You have to be yourself – an individual – and let your curiosity and your senses guide you. Exploring the world on the back of a motorcycle is an excellent ambition.
For those, perhaps, who feel inspired to collect their own two-wheeled moments, the book ends with a surprising – but useful – section of adverts from licensed companies specializing in adventure riding (including , I’m happy to say, a recommendation for my own machine of choice, a BMW R1250 GS).
Then comes what is surely a challenge for all those wheelchair travelers: nothing less than a detailed and useful directory of links and contacts to organize your own motorcycle trip.
The Moment Collectors is published by Adventure Motorcycle Travel Books, at £13.99.
Mapping the way – new range of road maps for AA motorists
Ask any seasoned adventurer and they’ll tell you that sav-nav alone – no matter how good – is a poor substitute for studying a map. At least at some point during your trip. Otherwise, how do you build a mental picture of where you’re going – or where you’ve been?
The AA – long known for its wide range of frequently updated road atlases – has published its latest route, for 2022, including atlases for Britain and France, Easy Read editions and a hardback road atlas containing plans of 100 cities and ports.
The 2022 range offers a variety of formats for different users, including an A5 version designed to be kept in a glove box, large-scale A3 formats for more detail, editions with neighborhood mapping for the largest cities in the UK or France, and hardback and leather editions. -bound 35and edition of the Road Atlas of Great Britain.
I never venture without a ‘good’ map, my favorite in-car version being the spiral (easier to keep open) ‘AA’s Big Easy Read Britain’ (£14.99), with a scale of 2.5 miles to an inch (great for exploring back roads), and with a good long route planning map out front.
The AA Range UK Atlases contain key features to help users explore, listing the top 300 AA inspected campsites and caravans in the UK, National Trust and English Heritage sites, tourist attractions, wider back roads, crematoriums and other hard to find places.