Book Review: Lone Rider
“ ... my eyes were drawn to something extraordinary behind the woman on the table. The dog I’d run over. Most of the animal was missing, but it was unmistakable. The knife marks were straight and clean, the work of a skilled butcher. Well, that explained the generous portions of meat with every meal.”
I’ve waited a long time for this book, not sure it would ever be written. Many of us have seen the iconic photo of a young woman astride a battle-worn ’74 BMW R/60/6, but not much, at least on this side of the Atlantic, was known about her. As it turns out, the rider is architect Elspeth Beard, who just recently published her account of a remarkable world ride back in 1982–84.
There’s something that screams “ADVENTURE!” about RTWers from an era before the internet, GPS and smartphones. It was an entirely different world, one where communications didn’t resemble how they are now, where reliable bikes were still a couple of decades away, and tackling the world by motorcycle was something a young woman simply wasn’t supposed to do.
This was so much so that by the early ’80s only a handful had successfully completed a circumnavigation by motorcycle, let alone a gal in her early 20s. In fact, few men or women had even dreamed of the possibility—as almost no one considered such an undertaking as anything less than perilously dangerous.
Although each and every overlander has a unique story to tell, some are distinctly more worthy than others. This is one. The fact that it took Elspeth so long to document her unique journey is an indication of just how profoundly the experience must have affected her life. Perhaps for reasons that only those who’ve made similar attempts can fully comprehend.
But that’s what draws us to books like this, isn’t it? Reading of such an undertaking is akin to a mind-meld with the author, or a surrogate for having undertaken such a journey ourselves. Words and images that transport us to an earlier time... a glimpse into the world as it once was... sharing the meaningful bits of life, the hardships, the loves, and the sheer grit only found in this form of storytelling. And in this case, a journey that can only be described as the author’s path from innocence to hard-core world traveler.
The wait for Elspeth’s work was well worth it. Those of you who share a love for books in our genre are in for a treat. And I’d rank her entry as one of the best ever written. My hat is off to Elspeth for finding the strength to do the seemingly impossible and mustering whatever it took to write her story.
My recommendation is simple, go online and order this book right now! ElspethBeard.com
★★★★★ of five stars!
Author: Elspeth Beard
Publisher: Michael O’Mara Books Limited
Pricing: Hardcover ~$10 | Kindle ~$5
ISBN-13: 978-1-78243-804-5 (hardback)
ISBN: 978-1-78243-805-2 (ebook)
ASIN: B071QXR4F1 (Amazon.co.uk)
Where to Buy: