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Good Vibrations: Coast to Coast by Harley (Summersdale travel) Paperback – 15 Oct 2000
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''A pithy throbber of a book' --Chris Stewart (Author of Driving Over Lemons)
''Good tomes for bikers are few and far between, but Tom Cunliffe's account of an epic trip deserves to battle for bookshelf space with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.'' --Sunday Express
''There is only one way to see America and its people; chasing, finding and losing the real fantasy that is her dream, and that is astride a motorcycle ... Listening to Cunliffe ...you'll understand why.'' --The Metro
About the Author
Tom was born in 1947. He was educated at a grammar school in the North of England before going on to read law at the University of Liverpool. In 1968 he left the world of academia behind him and has pursued a career in sailing ever since. Starting as an uncertified instructor in the South of France, he has served before the mast in small sailing ships, skippered yachts for private owners, raced offshore, been to sea as mate on a British-registered coasting vessel and taught sailing, seamanship and navigation at all levels. He is one of country's senior Yachtmaster Examiners and is a consultant for the governing body of sailing in the United States. In his own yachts he has cruised with his family and friends to destinations as diverse as Brazil, Iceland, the Caribbean and Russia. Tom has been a writer since 1986, he is a columnist for Yachting Monthly has authored 15 books, including two 'Best Book of the Sea' award winners for Topsail and Battleaxe and Hand, Reef and Steer. Tom has been riding motorcycles since 1965. The bikes have included a 250cc BSA C15 that taught him about mechanical breakdowns, a 650cc Matchless that almost killed him at the age of 19, various reliable Hondas and Yamahas in the 70s and 80s, a Kawasaki GPZ1100 whose performance you simply couldn't ignore, a 1979 Triumph Bonneville T140 and the star of Good Vibrations a Harley Davidson Soft-tail called Black Madonna. Tom is married to Ros, fellow biker and sailor. Together they have a daughter called Hannah. Check out his own website at www tomcunliffe.com.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I only knew of Tom Cunliffe from the sailing programmes he did on the BBC, I had no idea he was a life long biker.
This book is a cracking read about the trip he and his wife made on a pair of Harleys from Baltimore to San Francisco and back to Baltimore.
It kicks off trying to find a suitable hog for his wife when they arrive in the US, and the problems he had getting his Harley- which he shipped over from the UK for the trip, out of customs, plus the fun they had trying to get insurance cover in the US.
Once these problems were solved? the trip starts in earnest.
They go from Baltimore across country via the Cumberland Gap,Dodge City, Sturgis and the Grand Coolee dam.
The return journey is via Death Valley, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, New Orleans and Charleston.
But along the way they meet some real local characters, have a run-in with whatever the weather throws at them, the usual storm or hurricane.
All in all this must be the ideal trip of a lifetime for any biker!
A recommended read for anyone with an interest in travel, mega road trips or who just wants a real good read.
This book would definitely interest any biker, Harley rider or not, it's a trip most of us only dream of being able to do.
"Towering white clouds gathering for the afternoon storm painted their shadows over the land, while far away, tall grain silos glimmered like ghosts on the boundaries of perception. Lazy buzzards hovered, finger feathers at their wing ends eternally trimming their flight as they hung from up currents, seeking casualties from the wild side that men do not notice. At last the road was clear."
And that's how Englishman Tom Cunliffe describes the day that he and Roz open up their Harleys for the first time on American back roads in "Good Vibrations". If further review is necessary then one should add that this is a real travel book and it reads as if much is left to chance, as it should be. Indeed this is a journey that any of us could make. The photographs have an amateurish quality and could have been pulled from the album of any of us. That's not a criticism its one of the books many merits.
Thankfully Tom and Roz are not celebrity travellers with an itinerary thinly veiled as spontaneous. The people they meet are ordinary everyday Americans living lives beyond the gaze of the media looking glass. This is all real.
Tom Cunliffe's style is down to earth and honest. He writes very well about the people and places he and his wife Roz visit on their trip on two Harley-Davidsons from the US East Coast to the West Coast and back again. The trip itself was clearly a bit if an endurance test, but the writing doesn't stress it.
Tom wastes little time raving on about biking, an old love, although there is plenty to interest the Harley enthusiast. Like all good writers, he has a gift of making the reader feel included in the story. Check out some of the sessions in a variety of motels and bars, as well as hospitable homes throughout the USA - you'll want to be there too!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thoroughly recommended, fascinating book and Tom's writing style is the best.Published 15 months ago by gillyflower
A great read. Describes vividly the real America away from the tourist traps, and you don't have to be a biker to enjoy it. Recommended.Published 17 months ago by Stephen Turner
A very enjoyable and informative read. I'm sure it'll appeal to armchair travellers and seasoned tourers alike. It certainly got the me thinking about my next trip.Published on 19 April 2013 by buellzebub
I enjoy reading motorcycle adventure books and this one was a good read. Enjoyed from start to finish. Certainly would recommend to all motorcyclists.Published on 3 April 2013 by TH Hampshire
Sailor Tom Cunliffe and his wife Roz cross America on Harley Davidsons, meeting people and having small adventures along the way. Read morePublished on 16 Sept. 2012 by Steffan Meyric Hughes
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which I read while laying on the beach during my holiday. If you like travel books, particularly of the USA, you will love reading this. Read morePublished on 1 July 2012 by Mr. A. M. Pritchard
I am pretty sure riding a Harley Davidson in the USA from East to West would be a dream for many people, Tom Cunliffe vividly recounts his own adventure. Read morePublished on 8 Dec. 2011 by Rob 27