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Jupiter's Travels [Hardcover]

Ted Simon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1980
In the late '70s Ted Simon rode 63,000 miles over four years through fifty-four countries in a journey that took him around the world. Through breakdowns, prison, war, revolutions, disasters and a Californian commune, he travelled into the depths of far and reached the heights of euphoria. He met astonishing people and was treated as a spy, a welcome stranger and even a god. For Simon the trip became a journey into his own soul, and for many others - including bikers Charley Boorman and Ewan MacGregor - it provides an inspiration they would never forget.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Review

A compelling narrative that moves, sometimes at breakneck speed, over some of the world's most beautiful and mysterious terrain ? packed with fascinating detail, splendid characterizations, and hair-raising adventures. (Boston Globe)

Vivid description of driving under conditions that were often ferocious. (NY Times)

Extremely readable, full of keen observation, perceptive insight ? conveying action, drama, tension and danger. (LA Times)

The best motorcycle travel book ever written. (Motorcycle Sport)

By all means TAKE THE PLUNGE. (Rider Magazine) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ted Simon was raised in London, studied chemical engineering but went to Paris where he fell into journalism. He has ridden twice around the world on a motorcycle, and published five books on travel and other matters. He now lives in northern California. He has one son. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
When the reserve tank ran dry too, and the engine choked and died, I guessed I was ten or fifteen miles from Gaya. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As someone who managed to put 36000 miles on his BMW motorcycle in two years I was interested in the story of a man who took it beyond the "next level". I enjoyed the book, but thought that Ted did not always get to the point and got sidetracked in his thinking process. Ultimately it boils down to his style of writing and a matter of personal taste... I recommend the book, but keep in mind that there will be pages one has to just chew through...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Oh this is just great~! July 18 2000
Format:Paperback
I have to put in my plug if you are only considering this book. If you love adventure stories about people who REALLY do "stuff" get this. I love stories from the heart about normal people who just one day decide to do a remarkable something with their life. You will remember his "journal-type" story forever. I read this over 10 years ago. I flash back all the time on Jupiters' journey, as it was physical but went deeply into into his purpose and sense of self. Gosh, I think he meant to take us all willing to go too, WITH him by writing this like a gift. I don't think he wrote this thinking "oh I better not talk about God becasue there might be non-belivers out there who won't like me anymore". I think he wrote this as it was nessary for someone like ME to KNOW someONE was talking RISKS somewhere out in the huge world even if I wasn't. Sit back and enjoy this ride! If you like this kind of thing and it not a motorbike fixtation only,- try; In Praise Of Older Women" too. It has no Motorbikes at all, (ha!) but is a deep real entertaining and sexy story of the remarkable life of one Man reaching his own vision of life, by bumbling thu a bunch of women. Now thats a journey too. And Its just cool. If I haven't lost you yet another to look at is Iron and Silk. And I think theres even a motorbike in that one, and a few Chinese proverbs to ponder.
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Format:Paperback
Ted Simon was a writer first and a motorcycle rider somewhere after that. Do not confuse this book with a mere description of places visited and how to keep a bike running. Jupiter's Travels includes some of the most insightful writing about carrying on through one's life; now hurtling, now crawling, but always with his senses fully operating and his mind delightfully able to capture and describe penetrating glimpses. Mr Simon reflects on the many ways of dealing with the variable textures of humanity, the testing of one's mettle while admitting to shortcomings, and in doing so this the book involves a greater metaphorical value, something that few so-called travel writers ever attain. Mr Simon's resourcefulness, his strategies, and his often intuitive approach to living on the road for four years will provide any reader, and particularly a prospective long-term traveler, with a book that will be remembered and perhaps even consulted in retrospect. When the boat is late and the sky is dark, when the customs people are being intransigent and the alleys seem full of bandits, when the dust becomes so thick that you can chew it -- you will find yourself wondering: how would Ted Simon deal with a time like this?
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5.0 out of 5 stars You Need This Book! July 17 2000
Format:Paperback
Looks like a book about a guy riding a motorcycle around the world, doesn't it? Well, Jupiter's Travels is that and a whole lot more. It's an inspiring object lesson in turning a dream into reality. It's also a reminder that there are more good people than bad people in the world. Ted Simon's experience shows what wonderful things can happen when you finally realize you can't have a contingency plan for everything and that if you embrace risk and the unknown, you'll be the richer for it. I've ridden more than 200,000 miles on motorcycles, but I am in absolute awe of Mr. Simon. Now, at the age of 70, he's retracing his route - this time on a BMW. He broke a leg in a spill last summer in Africa and had to spend a couple of months in Nairobi recuperating. At last report, he was heading north through Colombia. The guy is a living legend and a helluva writer, too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Run Out and Buy This Book! June 9 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
JupiterŐs Travels stays with you long after you close the book. it is a classic travel narrative which belongs with the finest: ThesigerŐs Arabian Sands, NaipaulŐs An Area of Darkness, ChatwinŐs In Patagonia. Ted SimonŐs motto should be Carpe Diem. One day he decided to stop what he was doing to travel around the world on a Triumph motorcycle. The trip took him four years to complete. Ted shares with us his thoughts and feelings during the journey and his insights into many different cultures. What impresses me most, however, is TedŐs openness towards the people he meets and their different modes of life, and his honesty with himself and with us, his readers. Best of all, before our eyes, he grows and becomes a wiser person. He changes and so do we!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Light years ahead of his time! Feb. 1 1999
Format:Paperback
It still boggles the mind to think of the magnitude of what he accomplished, especially considering how far the technology of both bikes and accessories has come since Ted set out on his epic two-wheeled journey around the world. Nowadays you see folks riding big expensive dual-sport twins and triples from the likes of BMW and Triumph, sporting their exteme Kevlar/Gortex riding suits. But IMHO they dont seem to have the time or imagination to ride further than the nearest Mel's Drive-in. Seems to drive home the message that we, especially in the US have become so technology-obsessed that we are no longer capable of implementing a grand vision such as Ted did back in the 'stone-ages' of the '70s.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars the read is good and very interesting
Bought for my boyfriend, the read is good and very interesting!
Published 12 days ago by R.Albert
4.0 out of 5 stars lost in thought around the world
Ted is startlingly open and honest about the hardships of such a trip. His highs are stratospheric, his lows are abysmal, but he doesn't shy away from any of them. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tim King
5.0 out of 5 stars The adventurer's handbook
This book is for anyone who has ever dreamed of leaving it all behind and setting out to see what the world has to offer. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Boogie
5.0 out of 5 stars Before it was cool
Ted Simon rode an old Triumph around the world. Well, it wasn't old at the time, it was just a long time ago. He proved that you don't need a big touring bike to get around. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jeremy L. Kroeker
5.0 out of 5 stars Book is as described
Thanks for the book, one of the best reads I've had in a long time. Should be required reading for anyone planning a long, multi-country trip.
Published 7 months ago by Norman Gunderson
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip though consciousness and space.
Way more than expected. Mr. Simon asked questions that cannot be properly answered. Any one can ride around the world but very few can bring it back with them. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Michael Ryder
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Ride
I rode a 650 triumph in the early 70s and always thought about a long ride, this ride is something else, a great read.
Published 11 months ago by Paul Lefneski
4.0 out of 5 stars skippy
Overall I liked the book, I didn't care for the "forward" I didn't think it invited one to keep reading.
Published 13 months ago by Jan
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Read
This is a very interesting and inspiring book to read. Just to think that at the age of 42 (I wonder what Douglas Adams would say about that), with no riding experience, no cell... Read more
Published 15 months ago by SFriedman
5.0 out of 5 stars Jupiter's Travels revisited
Having been a motorcycle rider for most of my life, (many years of it spent as a Motorcycle Patrolman,) I was naturaly interested to see what Ted Simon originally had to say about... Read more
Published on Dec 7 2009 by E. R. Wootton
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