Funny thing, I typically ride in the winter, but the first sight of unmanageable snow and ice keeps me on 4 wheels instead 2. There are few good books that I have enjoyed over the years during those particular days. Some of these books take you on journeys around the world, some inspire you to do more than you think you can do, while some teach you how to think a different way about what you might already be comfortable doing.
One book I read a few years back was written by a friend, motorcycle journalist, and self-publishing guru, Carla King. The title of the book is “American Borders” and it is set back in 1995. It takes you through the trials and tribulations of Carla’s trip around the USA on a Russian Ural motorcycle. She was lucky enough to be a part of an R&D test that Ural was hosting at the time to prep its world renown sidecar bike for the American market. Her trip lasted about 4 months as she zigzagged in and out of Canada and Mexico during her circumnavigation around the United States. Well this trip sure as hell was not an easy one. From chapter to chapter there were many surprises and even romance along the way. This book has it all!
Another one of my favorites that you could probably finish in a day if the snow isn’t that bad, is “Going Small - A Guide to Lightweight Motorcycle Touring” by author, friend and public speaker Andrew Pain. What intrigued me the most about this book is that most people do argue that “bigger is better”. Andrew is out to prove that that is not true. That “Going Small” has far more benefits and he explains why.The book is jam packed with tips on saving weight, by breaking down packing techniques, cooking techniques and even making camping more simple. For those of you reading this thinking he's crazy, and you got it all figured out already, then I suggest you read “Going Small”. It might introduce you to something that you had never thought of before. It is a book you might want to hang on to, because it will come in handy as you read through some of my other suggestions. Oh and now keep an eye out for "Going Small 2.0".
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For those of you that seek adventure that you never want to come to an end, you may want to read an all time classic, called “Jupiter's Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph” by the man Ted Simon. This really is one book most folks have on their shelves or might even be a community book among friends. The book takes you along with Ted as he travels around the world through 45 countries and spends 4 years doing it. He experiences hardships, adventure, and meets all sorts of people along the way. His story takes place in the 1970's during wars and even revolutions. You might want to grab a blanket, a book light and larger cup filled with your favorite drink, because you will find yourself sinking deeper into your reading chair. This book is all inspiring to say the least and you will find yourself getting nothing else done for days on end, until you read it all the way through.
One last book to consider, that you might want to read hand and hand with “Jupiter's Travels”, is the “Adventure Motorcycling Handbook: A Route & Planning Guide”- Chris Scott. You do not have to have an adventure bike to read this. Just a sense for adventure. Chris details his riding journey through many parts of the world. He breaks down what to do and who to look for at borders, where you can find medical help, how to ship your bike to and from. Seriously, this book is packed with endless tips and tricks for travel that he found made his circumnavigation trips much more simple. Of course, there are critics out there that disagree with a lot of what Chris breaks down, but you have to take everything with a grain of salt. In the end, his guide is simply that, a guide. You may want to keep a pen and paper handy or perhaps a highlighter. This book will have you going back to it over and over again, just like Andrew Pain’s book “Going Small”.
Well my friends, I hope this collection of "Good Moto Books to Cure the Winter Blues" gets you through the winter in your neck of the woods. For those of you that never see the snow, I hope you can take the time from all those sunny days to slow down a bit and enjoy them as well. Cheers everyone! Ride safe and ride far!