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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Road Gets Better From Here
Adrian Scotts takes you on an adventure where you feel in the saddle. Half way through the first chapter I was exhausted. He really embraces the highs and lows of the journey and shows true empathy towards the people he meets along the way. If you want to feel really part of the writer's travels and experiences this is the book for you. I still can't believe this is...
Published on 29 May 2009 by R. Habib

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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars How not to travel by bike!
Adrian travels with his bike rather than on it for the greater part of the journey. He is told by family and friends that by the end of the first day of his adventure he will need either (a) a hospital or (b) a welder and sure enough due to his jaw dropping lack of preparation he actually needs both within about 10 minutes. Breaking his ankle and his bike. No use choosing...
Published on 17 July 2010 by Stephen Nash


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Road Gets Better From Here, 29 May 2009
By 
R. Habib (South Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Adrian Scotts takes you on an adventure where you feel in the saddle. Half way through the first chapter I was exhausted. He really embraces the highs and lows of the journey and shows true empathy towards the people he meets along the way. If you want to feel really part of the writer's travels and experiences this is the book for you. I still can't believe this is basically Adrian's first ride on a bike and attempt at writing.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully evocative and insightful account, 7 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: The Road Gets Better from Here (Paperback)
I am reading a lot of this type of stuff at the moment and this ranks with the classics of the genre; Mondo Enduro and Jupiters Travels. Despite Ted Simon and at least one member of the Mondo team being experienced journalists this is probably the best written adventure motorcycling book I've read. Adrian Scott is obviously a very perceptive and intelligent guy who would appear to have learnt at least two languages (Russian and Farsi) in preparation for this trip, giving him the rare boon of meaningful communication with most of those he encounters.

But this highlights my one niggle: there is almost no personal information here about him, his background or his everyday life. He starts the journey as a stranger to us and, to a great extent, ends the journey that way too, although the book really conveys the fears, discomfort, frustration and exhilaration of his very personal experience.

He attempts a very similar route across Asia as the Mondo boys but in reverse (natural for someone hailing from Australia I guess), learning how to fend for himself and cope with the demands of the journey at it's most confronting and physically arduous phase in the gulag region of Siberia.

He, like Ted Simon, learned to ride a motorbike as the preferred mode of travel for the trip, and his lack of riding skill, technical knowledge and mechanical sympathy are nearly his undoing on numerous occasions. He makes up for it with great receptiveness to his surroundings and openness to those that he meets, often at these critical moments, which see him rewarded with generosity and kindness by many people along the way. Great illustrations of how a crisis is often an opportunity for a life affirming encounter in these situations, and how 'western civilisation' might just have lost something important along the way.

So anyway, buy this book, make the man a few quid, and he might take another trip and write another book as good as this one. Not just a great motorcycle travel book but a great travel book. Period!

Recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: The Road Gets Better from Here (Paperback)
What a great piece of work. Some of the descriptions, such as the wedding and the time he spent in Samarkand, are stunning pieces of writing, both perceptive and lyrical and backed by impeccable research.
It's let down slightly by sloppy editing, and perhaps by his increasing sadness as the grand adventure comes to an end, but neither takes away from what is one of the best motorcycle adventure travel books anywhere.
And I should know, since I've written a few.
Geoff Hill
The Road to Gobblers Knob: From Chile to Alaska on a MotorbikeWay to Go: Two of the World's Great Motorcycle JourneysAnyway, Where Was I?: Geoff Hill's Alternative A-Z of the World
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make this a cult book, 25 May 2010
By 
M. Traynor "Michael at Obliquepanic" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is probably the best motorcycle travel book I have read. It manages this impressive feat in a number of ways. The story it tells is one of incredible toughness - both physical and mental - in the face of a bad accident on day one. The worst start any biking traveller could imagine. Less than ten pages in and the narrator is eating a mess of his mangled food, mixed with gravel, nursing a broken ankle by the side of a deserted road on the easternmost tip of Russia. What follows is three months of usually gruelling riding. Also moving is the sense of humanity we get at just about every turn of the journey. Scott is taken in by incredibly generous and hospitable folk throughout, people who have unimaginably tough lives, living on very little by Western standards, with almost unbearable occupations, but who share what they have with him - and with real pride and nobility (usually).

Adrian Scott's writing is impeccable. He must have spent hours each day with his notebooks. He describes, for example, the nuances of changes in facial structure of the people he meets as he journeys across westward across Asia. His accounts of architecture, particularly of his extended stay in Samarkand, are vivid and detailed. He is a traveller who has done extensive research before he left (or maybe he added it afterwards - I doubt it somehow) and his book gives us detailed but readable political and social histories of many of the newly independent countries he visits. He also seems to have taken the trouble to learn some Russian in preparation. His intelligent but deeply-felt engagement with the cultures and individuals he comes across puts this writing in a different class to some other authors who seem to have gathered a few superficial impressions more for merchandising reasons than to do justice to where they have been.

But the book has some oddities. First, we are told nothing about the traveller/writer. Even by the end of the story, we don't know why he undertook his journey, what he did before he left - was he a journalist, an academic, a traveller - or how he got home? We are given absolutely no information apart from the fact that he is unnaturally tall. (As evidence of this, a small cover photo appears to show his head wedged against a ceiling somewhere.) And for the biker reader, he assiduously avoids telling us the model or make of his bike though we get plenty of fascinating detail about his relationship with his much patched together vehicle. From one of the photographs you can make out it's a Kawasaki. And the photographs, as well as the map of the journey (the Silk Road plus) are very low quality, but strangely this adds to the believability of his story. They are often very moving, showing people in pretty grim circumstances.

So what did he do next? I have no idea. Web searches turn up nothing and the book doesn't seem to have nurtured a cult following though in my mind it deserves to, no less than Ted Simon's first book (OK, Ted did it thirty years before). In fact this possibly cheaply produced book (it could have done with some editing - its full of typos) is refreshingly free of celebrity endorsements. For anyone interested in travelling, biking or Asia, this is an absolute must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Road gets better From Here, 15 Jun. 2010
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This review is from: The Road Gets Better from Here (Paperback)
The Road Gets Better From Here

Am very happy with the speed of delivery and price. Happy to use seller again.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars How not to travel by bike!, 17 July 2010
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Adrian travels with his bike rather than on it for the greater part of the journey. He is told by family and friends that by the end of the first day of his adventure he will need either (a) a hospital or (b) a welder and sure enough due to his jaw dropping lack of preparation he actually needs both within about 10 minutes. Breaking his ankle and his bike. No use choosing to travel on a motorbike if you don't take some basic instruction in how to ride it. A couple of days at an off road school and learning maintenance would have served him well also.

He does manage to stagger along the road of bones but to say he rode it is stretching the point. Due to his inability to both ride and maintain his bike (and now injured) he throws himself on the mercy of every local and passing traveller. The affluent westerner then proceeds to take advantage of the natural hospitality and generosity of all he meets. The bike is either on the back of a truck, a train or parked up waiting for spares whilst he lives off the locals. Yes, he has an adventure but at everyone else's expense.

His trip through China is with minders and a back up vehicle and only when he leaves there does he really begin to get going. His determination to finish does deserve some recognition. Read this book to show you how not to travel by bike and hope that his style of travelling doesn't ruin it for the rest of us.
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The Road Gets Better from Here
The Road Gets Better from Here by Adrian Scott (Paperback - 7 May 2008)
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