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These Are the Days that Must Happen to You Paperback – 4 Jun 2009
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The travels and travails of the bike world's most notorious rebel
From the Inside Flap
"Riding a bike removes the need for clutter, toys, rubbish that other men have to take on holiday. If I want adrenaline, Ill rush a giddy overtake, not rent a jet ski."
The world through the eyes of Dan Walsh is never less than Technicolor, and always uninhibited, rebellious and on the edge. Not since the days of Jupiter's Travels has one man embarked on such an angry, narcotic-fuelled bike trek around the world.
"For me, Chile will always be South Americas supermodel sister very beautiful but too long, too skinny, and too expensive to ride, and despite the groovy exterior, unpleasantly right-wing underneath."
Dan has travelled the length and breadth of the world; in Africa, on his XT Desert Rat; across the American continent, on a BMW F650 GS Dakar. Along the way he's visited Buenos Aires, where revolutionary means the angry poor invading the presidential palace, not a really small phone thats also a camera. He's crossed the dry sub-Saharan savannah, which is like riding across a piece of toast with a mouthful of crackers. He's been mistaken for a bum in New York, bashed by deadly tequila in Mexico, contracted typhoid in a dilapidated Bolivian hotel, visited The Most Beautiful Road in the World in Peru, been kidnapped in Kenya and finds that downtown Soweto is about as threatening as Stockport.
"I get my bum pinched by a tranny, my pocket picked by a grifter and get a gun pulled on me by a one-eyed, one-armed midget whos upset cause I winked at him. These are the days that must happen to you."
Soaked in adrenaline and coruscatingly funny, Dan Walsh is the rightful heir to Ted Simon as the pre-eminent biker-rebel of our generation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Graham Field's lessons will pass in a blur. You won't remember half of what you did but it was inspirational. He brought the subject alive. He knows you well, rarely marks your work, no way will you let him down. He'll give plenty of warning that he's on the lookout for the smokers.
Dan Walsh is the crazy supply teacher who got sent home at lunchtime. In the chemistry lesson he pulled a lighted firework out of his pocket and gave it to the class bully, putting it out with his mouth just after the bully started screaming. You learned all there is to know about combustion in that lesson. You're going to study chemistry at uni. He cadged a cigarette off the smokers at break time.
‘These Are the Days…’ is more than one journey. The 375pp volume begins with early writings when an XT660 takes him through Africa and his remarkable fusion of cynical innocence demands involvement with every social order, but clearly thrives nearest the gutter.
But the bulk of the book experiences the Americas on a BMW, promulgated like you’ve never known. The linguistic onslaught is unrelenting; forcing you to go inside Dan’s world, enter rooms in the darker corners of his mind with the same addiction as his personality.
The social and political observation, wit, wisdom and jaundiced bitterness, delivered through an alcoholic haze, is bizarrely informative and refreshing. Cavalier romance or brutal reality? To Dan, a bike “is a Beretta, half a mill in cash and a forged passport hidden under the floorboards. It’s an escape route.” But from what?
Does the love, violence, accidents, sex, brutal abuse of body organs, the waking up to attempt emotional rebirth in Argentina and the reducing of a bike he didn’t own to worthless scrap, mean his trip went wrong? I don’t think so, but just like marmite, you really need to taste it for yourself at least once.
I should have reserved judgement. This book, a combination of his journalism and travel stories, is the result. It is not a "how to tour" book; nor is it always coherent yet I loved it
Come on Dan, you must have another book in you
Buy it for the biker you want to be.
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