Old Man On A Bike Paperback – Nov 17 2008
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About the Author
Simon Gandolfi has travelled widely through the East and the Americas and has lived for periods in a variety of countries and cultures. He is author of 10 books and now lives (when not travelling) in Herefordshire with his wife, Bernadette.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is essentially his daily journal of the trip south. He offers many candid comments about his journey, both good and bad. The only fault I can really find with the book is that it could use more photos of his discoveries, and I would like to know more about his preparations before he started. All in all, I think it's an excellent reference for others planning a similar motorcycle journey. I find the story very inspiration - if a 73-year old grandpa can do it, so can I!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Other folks have written about riding long distances on motorcycles; few (if any) have done it on small bikes. And he did it through the Americas without a chase vehicle and all kinds of external support. There's a big difference between zooming along on a big street bike versus putting along at 35 mph on a little bike. I found the whole concept wildly appealing, and having ridden big bikes in other countries, I found the idea of a trip like Simon's on a small bike appealing. I think it is more of a challenge than doing this kind of travel on a big bike. Simon is a real adventurer with a love of life, and that comes across in his writing. He's not trying to impress anyone.
The other aspect of his book I found greatly appealing is he spent time in each area and got to know the people there. He didn't just blow through different time zones and write about the scenery. I feel like I got to know the people he met, too.
After reading his blog and his book, I sent Simon an email and we became friends. Last year, Simon, myself, and three of my friends rode the length of Baja and back on 150cc bikes. It was great. He is exactly like he is in the book. He's real.
I don't understand why one of the other reviewers didn't finish Simon's book. I thought it was great. You won't be disappointed with this one...trust me, it's a wonderful story told by a man who knows how to write.
The odyssey allows the reader to view past several barriers society postures for us (old age is boring, central and South American countries are dangerous, small bikes are useless, etc). I anticipate reading the sequel shortly.
He rides through sandstorms, snowstorms, ferries on a smuggler's boat, drops the bike multiple times sometimes injuring himself, and meets all kinds of people nearly all friendly and helpful (even the customs/immigration officials).
I've also traveled thousands of miles by motorcycle and it's really an adventure -- but my mounts have been 1000cc touring bikes with windscreens, designed for such travel. However, Gandolfi makes a good case for a cheap lightweight bike if you are traveling through what is pretty rough country.
I docked it 1 star because of Gandolfi's partison (and irrelevant)cheap shots about "the torturer Bush" who "lied to the United Nations"..., etc., etc. He apparently lived in Cuba in the 90's (for some reason) and is unable to always stay on message regarding his remarkable journey.