Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Jupiters Travels

If you have never read this book maybe you should. Written by journalist Ted Simon it tracks his progress as he circumnavigates the globe on an old Triumph. Heralded by the Moto community as the best and first Adventure Motorcyclists bible, it has inspired many a budding adventurer to say goodbye to their jobs, family and friends and step over a smoking beast and ride off into the Blue Yonder. 

It is inspiring, as it tracks both the physical and metaphysical journey which he goes through. Loneliness, fear at times, despair, reflections on lost love, fantasies about love sought and the excitement and boredom of the open road. For me it highlights one of the great problems for the modern Adventure Motorcyclist (whatever that is); its been done before. Most of the wild roads have been ridden, documented and mapped. Magazines are full of dull accounts of many miles of mud and dirt roads, the "escaping from the humdrum" however real to the individual, is a cliché and the majority of the writing as tedious as the motorway and dirt miles they cover. So many blogs, books and films are being produced about "great motorcycle journey" that what was once the abnormal is now it seems the norm. For me however motorcycling has always been less about the road and more about the emotion, less about the miles covered and more about the internal journey explored, and this is truly unique to the individual. Ted Simon's book for me only really comes alive when he strays from the road into the mind, and these internal conversations only really exist in the last couple of chapters. Maybe you need the preamble of the miles to enter the minds own rambling, but I am not so sure. So as I embark on a set of new journeys I think I maybe more interested in the mind than the matter.

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