Bike Magazine had an excerpt from Todd Blubaugh‘s Too Far Gone in the last issue. The excerpt was so moving that I just got up and purchased the book on Amazon.
My favourite motorcycle reads have been the philosophical ones that dig deep. The ‘I rode very far every day’ travel trips don’t always get to the why’s of the trip, often getting stuck in the trivial details. The result ends up feeling like a travel advertisement rather than showing the real power of a journey.
Alternately, you have the books that aim directly at motorcycle culture but end up being dimensionless descriptions of it, hyping up the excitement of the ride without making any attempt to understand why people would take these risks and identify with such a divisive cultural icon.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was one of the first books to go deep, showing the depths to which some motorcyclists dive when out in the wind. Anything by Matt Crawford does the same thing for mechanics in general, although he comes from a place of motorbikes. Deep thoughts while flying through time and space on two wheels are kind of the point for me. If I just wanted to go fast, I’d do it in a car or a plane. There is something elemental about motorcycling that zens you into the moment. The immediacy of it makes you honest.
After reading a few pages of excerpts in BIKE, I’m looking forward to reading not so much about Todd’s travels but about his insights. The motorcycle isn’t the point, but it’s one of the best vehicles for taking you to eureka that I’ve found, and I’m more willing to follow an author to those moments of enlightenment on two wheels because I believe in the medium.