I normally do not bother writing opinions. You dont know me, my outlook, or how I relate to you.. so what is my opinion worth?
But after reading the slew of negative reviews I was enticed to add my .02. This 'review' will actually be more of a scathing critique of previous feedback than a true review of the book (which I do own and read), but the book review is in there.
If a person does any amount of online research, such as reading the description of this book before buying it, you will realize it is two fairly well known people taking a trip across a vast distance. Just this fact would inform most intelligent people that an A-List actor and a well-to-do buddy (d-list actor?) would not be loading up 2 mopeds and heading into the wilds without some support.
People get hung up on the description of around the world.
They said 'AROUND THE WORLD",
- not 'touching every continent',
- not 'around the world by equator
- not 'around the world by your definition.
They said they went around the world and they did. They took a route across the Northern Hemisphere that allowed them, with the exception of oceans, to travel by land around the world. They even made the choice to arrive farther west to the US than they needed to. They also chose not to stay strictly to the rail system from Eastern Russia through Manchuria.
You also need to accept they will have some sort of support, and accepting they will have some level of support, it was refreshing to see that it was really only 2 Chase vehicles and a Camera-Man also on a bike. The chase vehicles were not super-duper mega prepped uber-vehicles, they were pretty much off the shelf SUVs that also proved their worth in the environment that these travellers undertook. If anyone has watched even one or two episodes of the current crop of reality automotive shows (overhaulin, biker build off, monster garage, american chopper, etc.) on TV, you will notice that those single 1 hour shows have WAY more technical support that these two guys had. They have a bazillion cameras, chase vehicles, and often a helicopter to boot.... all in the US, on pavement, sometimes when it rains, but often they trailer them when it gets to that point.
So give these two guys some props. Amatuers with little true MC experience, 2 chase vehicles, and a camera man.
People complain about sponsored vehicles. Petty.
Sure, they are rich, but rich does not always = willing to throw my own money down when someone else will pay. Otherwise they would = poor. Would any poster here choose to NOT accept corporate sponsorship?
ANYONE, would accept free rides over some they had to pay for themselves. They just had the clout to get it done. And while they wanted KTM, BMW was nice enough to pony up.
People get tired of the whining in the book...
I found it refreshing. they did not excerpt only the glossy, happy go lucky, make me appear loveable to promote my marketability, parts. They presented themselves as they were; uncomfortable, tired, haggard, testy, and a wee-bit irritable at times. They presented themselves as people, not glamour queens.
(an aside.. while I hate the show, I like that Paris Hilton and Nicole Ricthey are willing to try something embarrassing in "The Simple Life"... they certainly dont need the money either)
And I guess lastly in terms of critiques, people keep commenting they thought it was going to be like (insert name of previous marathon adventure MC stories here). Well, it wasn't. I/We appreciate that you did not find it to be like what you thought it might be, but that is not the fault of the book. that is YOUR fault for making an incorrect assumption. Dont reduce your rating on the book because you were wrong.
ok.. so what do I think?
- I think it was a great, fun, read.
- It was not a grass roots book, but as another responder listed there are a number of other resources online and in print that I will chase down now that my adventure interest is piqued.
- It was not perfectly written, but that lends some credibility to the fact that it is 'their' story, not some market media mock-up to enhance their saleability.
- I am looking to get back into local touring and BMW did a good thing in risking their reputation with their bikes. I'll be considering them a lot harder despite their extra cost.
- I can not wait for the American DVD release.. I ALMOST am willing to order the UK version, but not quite.
* If you like reading about people taking on a challenge that 99% of the rest of the riders in the world would never even attempt, let alone accomplish (even with support), then pick up the book and enjoy their adventure.
* If you are a true 1%'r who will scoff at their nice new bikes, their support, and their complaining, then please save your money for your own adventure and come back to link to YOUR adventure so we can all read it as well.
(side note.... RoadRunner Magazine [ [...] ] is running a great storyline in their magazine about a couple who are solo'ing (supportless) around the southern hemisphere. It is also a great story to keep up on.)