What is it about riding a motorcycle that has us all so hooked? This book, written by popular motojournalist Lance Oliver, who has spent more time than most of us thinking about this question and writing with wit and insight about his own lifelong passion for two wheel tuning and travel. Whether dodging wildlife on a laid-back ramble through West Virginia, describing the sensation of plunging down the famed Corkscrew turn at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, or plumbing the psychological depths of our slightly exaggerated emotional attachments to our motorcycles, these original stories go straight to the essence of what it is about riding that is so much more than another way to get from here to there. Any motorcyclist who has ridden down a highway will identify with these tales, which are by turns whimsical and serious, hilarious and heartfelt. In Part I, Great Places & Memorable Rides, Oliver takes us along to destinations both famous and obscure, from California's Pacific Coast Highway and the Mount Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire, to anonymous country lanes in Puerto Rico and Canada. Even if you've been to some of the places he writes about, you will see them from a new perspective, thanks to his eye for detail and his knack for describing not just the destination, but also the unexpected delights found along the way. Oliver also shares some unusual rides you may not have imagined, whether he's inexpertly troubleshooting a 40-year-old Italian Motobi at roadside during the Motogiro USA vintage road rally, flogging a 125cc tiddler at full throttle in a non-stop charity run around Lake Erie, or test riding a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R on the surrealistically smooth asphalt of Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Part II, Ruminations & Meditations, digs into the things we all talk about when the kickstands are down, such as the potent mix of memories that well up when we think back to our first motorcycles. You will find yourself chuckling along (and probably recalling some of your own foibles) as he 'fesses up to some of his less stellar moments on two wheels ('Nothing focuses a young man's mind like gasoline streaming toward his crotch, just inches from hot engine parts'). We have our own reasons for riding, but few accounts are more engaging than these well spun tales from a varied motorcycling life. "The Ride So Far" will have you nodding in agreement, 'Yes, that's just the way it feels'. It will inspire you to head for the garage and go forth to write your own riding adventures across the face of the earth.
"This small hardback written by experienced American motorcycle journalist Lance Oliver has got to rate as one of the top motorcycle books of 2010. ... This is a book you can easily dip in and out of and re-read from time to time. Certainly it is one to lend to somebody when they ask that age old question about riding motorcycles - Why?" - Ian Kerr, inter-bike.co.uk
Part I: Great Places & Memorable Rides -- 18 stories, including: The Patron Saint of Roads; Slow Way Around; Where the Road and the Sky Collide; Ruins; Burritos to Die For; Dropping the Ducati; California Dreaming; Evolution Island; Riding the Bourbon Trail; Blind Date in Vermont; Circling the Head of the Wolf; Almost Heaven. Part II: Ruminations & Meditations -- 9 stories, including: First Bike; How I Survived Myself; The Most Important Motorcycle Ever Built; What My Motorcycle Taught Me About Women; What Is It About Racing?; Indian vs. Triumph.