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Coming and Going on Bikes: Essaying the Motorcycle

Coming and Going on Bikes: Essaying the Motorcycle [Kindle Edition]

Jack Lewis
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Since his first feature in Motorcyclist magazine, contributing editor Jack Lewis has set a high bar in polarizing the readership. Letters to the editor may brim with love or sizzle with hatred, but are never indifferent. Castigated by his editor for routinely doubling his allotted space, this "rider's cut" provides a deeper glimpse into the mind behind "Stoned to the Bone" and "Dancing with the Devil."

Published here for the first time at their original length, this six-pack of stories (including the classic “Riding Home,”) takes you from wide open desert to twisting mountain roads. You’ll get a panoramic view through the writer’s rose-colored visor. Lewis knows why lovers laugh and riders ride, and lays it out here with style and integrity.

More stored energy than a gallon of gas, for about the same money.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 331 KB
  • Print Length: 79 pages
  • Publisher: Litsam Inc.; 002 edition (18 Mar 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0038YWRDI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #281,340 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money 23 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The guy comes over as a bit of a red neck biker. OK if you were American of this persuasion
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Biker shares soul of riding. 31 Mar 2011
By MiG29
Format:Kindle Edition
In this first e-pub offering, soldier-biker Jack Lewis has written some very thought-provoking and deeply personal essays about how motorcycles have woven themselves into the fabric of his life.

Jack captures, in many of his passages, that manic, strangely surreal, magical place that exists inside the helmet of every serious rider:

"For the first time in too long -- first time since my last promise, anyway -- I leaned out far enough over public pavement to conjure demons out of the ground and leave them standing flat-footed, staring after me and holding the bag of my mortal aches and pains and limiting fears, forgotten. Somewhere on that road lies a broken left peg feeler, looking for all the world like an edge-ground, black-anodized bone pin."

Jack's helmet is also spiced up with the remnants of a couple of tours of military duty in one of the recent foreign conflagrations. As he himself puts it: "PTSD: bug or feature?"

Not quite finished with savoring this book, I am already looking forward to Volume two, coming out later this year.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing 28 April 2010
By H. M. Lewis - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Truth-in-reviewing: Jack Lewis and I aren't related that we know of, though we share the same last name. We are simply friends of the kind who have yet to visit each others home.

Jack writes editorials for one of my favorite magazines, MOTORCYCLIST. Really good, interesting editorials, which are rare in that genre of magazine when they span beyond the narrow range of motorcycle-related subjects as Jack's writing does. I'm happy that he got some of his writing onto Amazon, where I can put it on my Kindle2 and read (and re-read) it.

I particularly like the lead essay in this collection, "Riding Home". Jack's writing style is reminiscent of two of my favorite authors, William Gibson and Hunter S. Thompson. He has a way of constructing just the right phrase to evoke an entire emotion or scene, one you've likely experienced yourself. He writes about Idaho back roads and my personal memories of those same highways and places light up in my mind. I wish I could write like that.

Jack understands bikes and the people who ride them in the way that only a fellow biker can. His gift is that he can write about it and bring a tear to your eye, or make you want to call that old riding buddy you haven't talked to in years. His writing makes me want to get on my bike and just take off for a few days. It is, as they say, all about the journey -- not the destination.

Jack's writing is a journey...
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three bucks? Really??! 17 Oct 2010
By GTek - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jack Lawis has a style of prose that makes you think you've known him for years. The "kinship/friendship sense" this creates is immediate and memorable. At least it is so for me, for I can relate a great deal to what Jack's laying down in his book and articles.

I think that for me, knowing what to expect from Jack's writing (as a subscriber to Motorcyclist), the biggest surprise was how much richer his unabridged work presented here was compared to that published in the magazines. You learn that this man is even more of a truly capable writer than you previously thought. One gets a wealth of detail and amusement and poignancy that was stripped from the previously published accounts. All this on top of his trademark turns of phrase that will leave you stunned with their simplicity and profundity and sheer amusement value all at the same time.

And finally- three dollars? For this content and sheer readability and volume, thirteen would not be out of line. Buy this book before someone figures that out.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vibrantly piquant, with notes of cordite and 10w50 20 Sep 2010
By Carl Paukstis - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a good read for people who love motorcycles and people.

Jack Lewis gives us an entertaining, sometimes troubling, peek at his interior dialogs to go along along with his slice-of-life interactions with the alleged real world. Most of us carry on these conversations with ourselves inside our helmets. Some of us, like Jack, can't really decide whether we spend too much time alone - or not enough. Few of us have the depth and breadth of experience that he has to contemplate.

There's much about this book that evokes faded recollections of the classic _Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance_. But this is a different kind of book experience, a very different man's journeys, in a very different time of the world.

It's entertaining, It' occasionally funny. It's thought-provoking. It's _different_. It's a dessert topping AND a floor wax. Read it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really glad I found this book! 16 May 2011
By donbcivil - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Of all the things we can do during our time here on Earth, the worst thing you can do is try too hard to be safe. It's only when we accept some risk and strive for the sane (or fun) management thereof, many of us would maintain, that you become fully alive. Motorcycling is an excellent way to shred delusions of immortality, its reward being the most fun you can have without an enamored Scarlett Johansson and a hot tub.

However, one down side to motorcycling is that there are significant periods of time where we can't engage in this holy madness. Work, which provides the vital source of monetary fuel for our two-wheeled love affair, simultaneously encumbers a significant amount of saddle time. The weather can also interfere, though here in the Pacific Northwest we are blessed with a climate where you can at least get out for a spin around town almost all year round.

What gets us through those dark days when our mounts stand idle? Motorcycle writers do, by helping us remember dreams that we've already lived and plan for our dreams of the future. The best writers can even make us feel like we do while riding, articulating the wordless howls of joy that sound deafeningly in our helmets when a ride is JUST right. That's why those of us who love books as well as motorcycles are constantly on the prowl for the next Peter Egan, Austin Vince or Ted Simon. Recently, I was fortunate enough to discover the writing of Jack Lewis and these words are meant to get you as excited about finding more of his work as I am.

I've probably read a number of articles by Jack in Motorcyclist magazine, since returning to riding. I first realized his talent while browsing bookshelves. I then discovered, to my consternation, that he is also a member of a local motorcycling email list, where a mad job market has consigned me to being a lurker for several years. Later, I found one of his books, "Coming and Going on Bikes" in eBook form and purchased it for my Nook reader. I'm here to recommend that you purchase this astoundingly inexpensive eBook and enjoy it as soon as possible because it is really a very enjoyable reading experience.

In the first section, "Riding Home : Coming Back to the World", Jack writes about his return from Operation Iraqi Freedom III and his travels aboard a classic BMW motorcycle as he takes the long way home. When he buries the SKS bullet that could have killed him in the deep waters of a reservoir, you'll want to cheer, as you will again when he reaches his home. And it will make you long for the day when our other brave men and women find their way home.

"What kills Us : Calling in the nine-Line" speaks to motorcyclists who are combat veterans and who are, disturbingly, dying in motorcycle accidents at rates approaching 50% over civilian riders. As Jack illustrates, motorcycles are like weapons in that learning to use them WELL will provide years of riding enjoyment. This is much more appealing than the image of these fine riders dying through lack of the skills that motorcycle riding demands. Seriously people, we want you to come home safe so that we can spend years attending rallies with you!

"Stalin's Revenge" presents interesting information about the BMW-derived Russian-made Ural motorcycle with a sidecar. "Hacked on" follows, with a description of a sidecar class that makes the idea of trying three wheels on a lark sound like a real blast.

"The Bike That Changed My Life" looks at a bike that provided the author important learning opportunities, a Yamaha dual-sport (a versatile type of motorcycle that's very popular these days). "Stoned to the Bone" follows, with an account of a publicity test ride the author made of the F800GS, one of BMW's most popular models in recent years and one that I contemplate possibly bringing home in a couple years (unless an analogous Triumph model gets to me first).

Finally, "Dancing with the Devil" looks at the act of motorcycling as a way of choosing real living over the nearly obsessive quest for sanity that seems to obsess our culture. Motorcyclists know that the avocation they love may someday result in serious injury or death, accept and strive to manage this risk at a level that makes sense to them, accepting the moments of pure joy and adventure and judging that enjoyment as better than a life where fear sets the boundaries of our lives instead of us. It is a thoughtful look at what makes motorcyclists tick.

Now please go and buy this book immediately.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply awesome 21 April 2011
By David Preston - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Laughing out loud while reading can be embarrassing, but you will just have to get used to it with this book. If you have ridden a motorcycle for years, you will laugh at the "been there and done that" scenes described better than you ever could. If you are a new or non-rider, you will laugh in wonder at the magic of the words and the experience, and you will want to get a motorcycle immediately to get in on the fun. This will probably be my first Kindle book to be read more than once.
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Life is too short when you have friends, but it sure would be long and bitter without them. &quote;
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