2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
As good as Ted Simon,
This review is from: Touching The World: A Blind Woman Two Wheels 25,000 Miles (Paperback)
I was sent a pre-launch copy of this book to do a review for a motorcycle website a few weeks before it went on general sale.
Touching the World is the story of Cathy Birchall and her partner Bernard Smith's round the world motorcycle trip.Inspired by Ted Simon's classic "Jupiter's Travels it had long been Bernard's dream to do a similar trip.When he met Cathy,a fellow Teacher of the visually impaired they "clicked" the dream was first shared then became reality. There's a short introduction at the beginning of the book telling Cathy's story up until the time her and Bernard met which shows just what an amazing person she is...............Cathy is blind.
Efforts to raise sponsorship for the trip proved to be all but impossible,with the honourable exception of a couple of companies without whose equipment the trip would have been impossible.Because of this the bike of choice was an 18 year-old BMW road bike that needed a complete overhaul before it was ready to attempt the trip rather than the multi-thousand pound fully prepped GS BMWs used by the likes of McGregor and Boorman.
After heading off on their old bike with zero fanfare and a handful of friends and family to see them off Cathy and Bernard begin their year-long journey through 31 countries and just over 26,000 miles,26,385 to be precise though oddly the book cover only claims 25,000. Bernard keeps up a running commentary for Cathy using the Autocom communications equipment provided by one of the 2 sponsors to have faith in the couple,in effect he is her eyes.
The couple's adventures in Europe,Asia,Australia,Central America,and the U.S.A. before flying the bike and themselves home from Canada are entertaining,moving,insightful and told eloquently and honestly.They tell us of their rare dark moments as well as the more positive side of things that both prefer to emphasise.
Touching the World is a very well-written book,having read,and enjoyed, all of Ted Simon's books I can honestly say that this one is as good as his,indeed he encouraged Cathy and Bernard and endorses their book on the front cover.
It works as a bike travel book,it works as the story of 2 people and their relationship and it works as a travel book whether or not you're a bike fan.
If there is a fault it's that the last few countries in Central America and the U.S.A.don't rate many pages,having said that the pair had to rush through those a lot quicker than they'd have liked due to time constraints so there wasn't a lot to write about.
An excellent read that might well become a suprise mainstream hit given the right exposure.