Sunday, December 6, 2015

Good Moto Books to Cure the Winter Blues

For many of us that time is year is either creeping up or already here. The winter blues! For those of you in the warmer climates that might not really understand what winter truly means, it is days of endless snow or rain that freezes to ice and then leads to more snow build up. Yeah, that’s what we have to deal with. So for those days when you can’t see your trash can any longer due to the amount of snow covering it, you want to sit down, grab a book and nice warm brew and chill.

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".

Check out to buy- photo shared from Amazon
One day I hope to meet this next author and his traveling partner. We have been chatting over social media for a few years and have been intrigued with their travels for longer. This dynamic duo is Ara and his dog Spirit. They travel on a BMW GS1200/ Ural Sidecar rig and their adventures just never seem to end. Pick up a copy of “Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash: A Dog, His Man, Their Journey”, written by Ara Gureghian. Ara explains how the loss of his only son one day and his adaption of Spirit (the dog) a few days later changed his life forever. The book shares all their camping stories around the USA as they get lost in back country while soul searching their way across the horizon on a motorcycle. A great read that would get you through the winter and inspire you for a soul search of your own in the spring.

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!