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Excess Baggage: One woman, one motorbike and a huge amount of luggage ride across Australia Paperback – 30 Mar 2013
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I found the constant references to the amount of luggage she had packed became very tiresome, very quickly. Also, her admitted lack of ability in being able to ride a bike, to the extent that she would not stop at places or petrol stations if there was a lip at the edge of the road or some gravel, causing congestion because of riding so slowly, or taking 20 minutes to turn a bike around was just anoying.
With regards to the writing, to me it came across as a daily blog that had just been cut and pasted together.
Thankfully,as I was tiring of our Heroine rapidly being an experienced enough rider to know that most of her woes were self-inflicted,she gets over her fears,starts to gel with her bike instead of fighting it(you'll never win that one) and gains massively in confidence.
OK so the above sounds pretty negative,so was the start of the book and it started to grate on me until Jill gets into the flow of the journey and realises her capabilities,from then on we share the enjoyment and excitement she feels at the places she sees and the people she meets.
Actually I think that's kind of the point,Jill had tried a few things in life and like the rest of us had been rewarded with a few kicks in the teeth which seemed to colour her outlook on all kinds of things.She comes across as a very nice person enlightened by what us old hands know as the camaraderie on the road.I've met so many amazing people in life purely because I've parked my bike somewhere next to another one and we've started talking.
I've read a lot of bike travel books and this is an easy read from someone who can write well enough for us feel as if we've got to know her very well by the last page.A lot of the early drama could have been solved by more sensible packing,researching her choice bike before picking it up,a bit of extra riding training and more suitable riding gear,there's really no need to get wet these days.Of course then it would have been a different story.
A good read narrated by someone who comes across as amiable and pleasant company.
The journey is broken up into short 'post' like anecdotes making up each chapter - and hungry to know what happened next, I found myself speeding along page after page with her. This would also make a great gift for any female biker or traveller friends - and indeed any traveller who is interested in solo touring or taking the step of heading off to face the unknown and themselves.
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