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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2012
Very disappointed with this book. I was expecting a travel book but instead the majority of this book is an autobiography covering his childhood, how he didn't get on with his neighbours, how many central heating systems he's fitted, holidays in America, his unsuccessful attempt at running his own business and how tough it was in the old days. All very well and good, but don't mask it as motorcycle travel book. What parts of the book did cover the journey were quite bland and I got the impression the trip was a rush to get home because of the appalling weather.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2011
really looked forward to this book. quickly started to skip through the 'back then' bits as it's always good to get a bit of author background but this added up to a second book on its own, one which i wouldn't have bought. the actual trip starting with the purchasing of the bike was really good, but quickly turned into a list of road numbers and towns which didn't describe very much. i know out on a bike in the rain isn't great but he really should have just gone home as it didn't sound great at all. the 'northern' part of the trip was totally pointless as in about two paragraphs he went from liverpool area to glasgow to john o'groats to home. i've been down the road from j o'g to aberdeen then onto edinburgh then south a few times and it is spectatular, even in the rain. we went dolphin spottin, which isn't hard as you can see them within about twenty metres from the shore sometimes, clay pidgeon shooting, castle visits etc.the ride up the west coast of scotland is breathtaking as well. i was waitin to see if he went to any of the places we had had been on the bikes but not one place was mentioned so very disappointing. overall too much him and not enough britain.
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on 6 February 2013
I bought this while suffering a sleepless night. I'm a biker born and bred so I'm always looking for something new to read concerning two wheels. I found the writing style confusing as it constantly hopped between the present (as written) and the authors past.

I enjoyed it but I found the constant past referrals took all the steam out of the narration of his journey.This required a brain re-jig every few paragraphs. In hindsight this needs to be two books, one about his formative years and one solely dedicated to his round Britain trip. His passion for his machine (not my choice for a trip like that, but each to their own)is obvious. Get a good bike and as the miles pile on it becomes inexplicably bonded to every fiber of your being. Some bikers never feel it, others couldn't bare not to feel that way. I yearned for more detail about the trip, the sounds,sights,feelings and when it was looking promising the detail ended. For me, although I was with Dave every mile, page after page, I just didn't feel as if I had taken the trip with him, and that ultimately is the books weakest point. Its a great effort but I didn't feel the urge to do a trip of my own.

I really hope Dave does another trip. Now we have his life history out of the way he can concentrate on more detail.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2012
A rambling and opinionated account of a midlife crisis ride around the coast of England, Wales and Scotland. Also padded out with autobiographical details.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2013
As much a biography of the author's early life as of the road trip. Hard going that would deter rather than encourage the would-be adventurer...
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on 21 March 2014
I loved this book I will read it again it is evocative and gritty. Some reviews ive seen are so unfair and probably posted by people that have no idea how to interpret this story of a man's love of motorcycles and the ups and downs of life. It is two books in one as it switches between his trip around britain and how his life spanned out from early childhood to present. If you love and have lived with motorcycles as I have and still do, and have also lived through tough times you will understand, be fascinated, intrigued and inspired by his story. This book appeals to real people whos dream is not necessarily riding around the world but to ride around beautiful Britain. Hopefully when its not raining.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2011
I might not be able to find the best words to relate the importance of this book as a social record of life from the sixties till now with the bonus of a good slab of real love wrapped around a couple fighting to better their lives together, a history of available British bikes and how their demise led to the onslaught of Japanese two wheeled beauties and one guys love of life which centres around the need to be "out there" on the road with the ability to express the sheer delights and downfalls of owning and riding motorbikes.
Bloody brilliant read from start to finish and having a personal love of bikes all my life and having also read the best accounts from other authors of that strange illness and addiction that surrounds the love of bikes I can say, buy it, read it, travel the road and life with Dave Clarke, smile, cry, and get under the skin of a biker, who is a biker in the best sense with an abounding love for his good partner who recognises that addiction and generously allows Dave to wander the roads with a smile, tent and a big mug of scalding tea, living the life and letting everyone know the culture of bike lovers everywhere.
Be careful though, you might find yourself peering through the window of your nearest motorbike dealer with some very good reasons why you should try it yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2013
This is possibly the worst book on motorcycling I have ever come across, other than an ego trip I can not see why it was published.
Do not waste your money.
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on 21 February 2014
The writer is full of mementos about life and travel. Some I recognised and responded to.
However, as a sort I of life diary it shows what made the author what he was and the events leading up to a decision. For me it was not so much a travelogue but a collection of life experiences.
Nice bit of memory as I wouldn't remember exact prices and menus for the places I have visited.
Well written but by the end I got bored of all his life problems and would have liked more of the travel experiences.
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on 30 May 2012
More of an autobiography than a travel story. The trip round the UK is a bit of a rushed trip although with plenty of interesting facts about the various places he traveled through. The tale of the journey is alternated with the author's rather interesting life story which many people of a certain age and who grew up in similar circumstances will identify with. Very well written and at times very poignant reminders of the trials, tribulations and even rewards of living through our age.
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