In 2010, after the closure of her dream business, Jill Maden sets off to tour Australia - alone on a motorbike. Weighed down by seven stone of luggage and a crushing sense of failure, her riding skills rapidly deteriorate. Freezing weather, violent winds and treacherous road surfaces all add to her fright. Jill almost decides to give up and buy a car. But the need to overcome her fears pushes her on. Testing her resolve, Australia throws everything it has at her: the worst floods in living memory, extreme heat, plagues of insects, torrential downpours, hurricanes, isolation and her ultimate nightmare, gravel roads. But turning back is not an option. What results is an exciting and heart-warming adventure through a vast, staggeringly beautiful but unforgiving landscape.
Jill Maden is a travel writer and motorcycle adventurer.
She was born into a family that loved travelling and by the time she had left school she'd lived in America twice and travelled all over Europe. In 2004 she was taken down the Great Ocean Road in Australia on the back of a motorbike. She enjoyed the experience so much she decided to learn how to ride a motorbike. In 2006 she and a friend rode their bikes over to Finland and back. This was the start of a series of motorcycle adventures and in 2010 she rode a Suzuki SV650 solo across Australia. Her first book, "Excess Baggage" tells the story of this trip.
Jill lives in Glasgow and is currently riding her way around Scotland.