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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2003
It may make you quit your job, and find out that there's more to life than money and looking good for the neighbors. I ordered this book with high hopes, and was not let down one bit. Well, I shouldn't say that, I wish it were thicker. As everyone who's ever seen it has commented, the photography is wonderful, and truly comes as close to letting you feel a part of the adventure, as is possible, without leaches down your pants and a bike between your thies. The book is organized into minnie stories, lasting one or two pages, dedicated to a particular country or area. The story is also intriguing, though without the pictures, it would be a bit dry to read as a novel. But it isn't a novel, it's a picture book, and the words and images fuse. The pictures alone are interesting, the story makes them real. The world is full of posers and dare devils, Helge is neither. The book is written in a way that is almost completely devoid of ego. Helge never brags about anything he's accomplished, he seems to be completely appreciative of each situation, and this view point enhanced my enjoyment of "Ten Years" immensly. Ego distracts us from what we are doing, and causes us to focus more on an idea than an action. Helge wants you to know he's just an average guy who descided to do something less ordinary with his life. He's not any better or worse than you, he's just different. If your buy this book, there's a very good chance that you'll catch yourself staring at a wall, imagining yourself into Helge's shoes, or possibly into your own shoes on an adventure of your own.
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If there is one thing I can say about Helge from the little time we have spent talking is that he is honest. His photography in this book is honest. His love of people from all over the world is honest, and his text in "10 Years on 2 Wheels" is sincere. He left home looking to see the world, not conquer it. For anyone who has experienced, or has dreamt of experiencing frosty mornings in places far away with nothing but a tent, campstove and innocent anticipation of the road ahead, you need this book. It is about freedom, seeing the world as a citizen of the world, not as a spectator. Freedom from schedules and ownership, just you and your bike and the goodwill of those you meet on your travels.
Helge has a deep, resonant voice that matches his big Norwegian frame, and no one can tell a story quite like he can. This book is written in much the style that he would tell a story. Do yourself a favor and buy this book, it costs much less than those new rain shells you don't need or that expensive dinner that will remain with you for but a few hours. You will see the world in a way few ever will. Also, if you get a chance to see one of his slideshows and hear him tell his stories in person it is well worth it. Check out his website...
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Helge is one of those amazing people who can precisely capture a moment on film - whether it's a remarkable shot like that of Olga in a tiny canoe, or his own profile, snapped with one hand as he rides along in the desert, he puts us right there with him. He's a remarkable man, who spends a goodly amount of time leading groups of people on motorcycle tours all over the world. If we Seattle-ites are lucky, he'll then come back and put on a slide show presentation a local BMW shop.
_10 Years on 2 Wheels_ is the story of his incredible journey around the world on his bike. He suffered through truly horrid conditions; multiple feet of snow, scorching hot sun, abysmally wet days and nights...he's given new meaning to the term "gut it out." This book takes you to all of the places he went, and shows many of the adverse conditions he went through. Viewing the photographs, and reading the accompanying texts, the reader is indeed present during Helge's travels. We see unspoken details of people's lives in countries we may never travel to ourselves, the splendor of some of the world's best scenery, and more.
I recommend this book highly to anyone who appreciates fine photography, travelogues, or motorcycles. You'll be shaking your head in amazement throughout the book.
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"Up close and personal" is how I'd describe Helge Pedersen's collected tales of his 10 year solo peregrination around the world on motorcycle back. How does Mr. Pedersen tell the monumental story of quarter of a million miles on the road? By treating us to vignettes in words and pictures that embed colorful memory bits in the traveler's psyche. Without totally covering us with the mud and exhaustion that undoubtedly filled many of his waking and sleeping hours, Mr. Pedersen instead treats us to slices of life we'd never in a million years be able to experience. He cleverly weaves a Scheherezadian tale full of people and politics, nature and native customs, friendships and hardships, and with each chapter leaves us begging for more. Each photograph is also a journey in itself, giving us an angle of view that makes us feel we're right in the action as it unfolds. The "Geographic" quality photos are further enhanced by the creative graphic design of the book which sets the dramatic stage for us to enjoy Mr. Pedersen's adventures to the fullest.
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on February 7, 1999
Pedersen's quarter-million mile journey around the world on an on/off-road BMW motorcycle ranks among the most amazing travel experiences ever. He set not just to go around the world, but to see and photograph the world, and that's what he did in his decade-long trip through 77 countries. When he was done, BMW traded him a brand new bike for his old one so that they could put his in their museum. The author is a photojournalist, and the book includes many stunning images from the trip. The dustcover photo alone is breathtaking -- a shot taken from the back of a dugout canoe in the Panamanian jungle, looking forward towards the motorcycle wedged amidships. The book differs from Ted Simon's classic tale of world motorcycle travel, Jupiter's Travels, in being more photo-intensive and in the sheer scale of Pedersen's journey -- six times the number of miles that Simon covered in going around the world on a Triumph motorcycle in the 1970's. The text is well written, and gives a good sense of the author's state of mind and philosophy on travel as well as the ups and downs of spending ten years on the road. For anyone who's ever fantasized about riding a motorcycle through distant lands, this book is particularly appealing, but you don't have to be a motorcyclist to appreciate the scope and detail of Pedersen's story as presented in Ten Years on Two Wheels.
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on December 23, 2000
Mr. Perdersen's book is the best "instant travel" pill I've ever had. When I travel I wake up refreshed from strong nights full of dreams - I wake up to tell stories, to see beautiful places - I wake to dance and to eat good food. I wake up happy. This book helps me remember what it is like. Photos are awesome. Writing has this earnest liveliness which rarely sneaks by an editor's pen, and a lot of idealism which is hard to find in print. The book does not have the sterility of "National Geographic" - yet when Mr. Pedersen winks at the reader, he does not come off like a sleaze. Somehow, the life in this book is deeply human. Every parent fearful of their child taking off into the world should read it. It is a great world-picture book. And it is great to read an account of the US traveled as part of the greater world, not as of a world in itself.
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on December 12, 2000
Helge Peterson has broken new ground with this epic. Never has anyone put so much time, effort, and talent into a book that covers a round the world (or any) motorcycle adventure. The result is beyond inspiring. Helge has managed to knit together his mastery of photography and motorcycling, then injected colourful, and emotional story telling to develop an even sharper image for the viewer. Helge makes an effort to present an unbiased outlook of the people and cultures he lives in - at a rate of 10 years to travel the globe I would say that he lived the world rather then travel the world! This is one of my most prized books, I have had it on my coffee table for a year now and has yet to be demoted to the bookshelf, where my other coffee table picture books from Kurt Markus, Galen Rowell and Frederic Remington seem to hangout.
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on October 30, 2003
I've discovered this book when ordering some spare parts for my motorcycle at Touratech USA, and it instantly got my attention.
Looks like a book written from the heart, no selfishness on the author, just pure and sincere observation of the people and the places. I even use the book as an inspiration for night tales to my young daugthers, and since I've traveled a lot, the girls believe that I was soemtimes part of Helge's story.
I have emailed Mr. Pedersen for advice on a trip to Patagonia. In no time he gave me his travel tips to get the best out of my bike. A nice person as a whole
Buy this book or give as a gift to somebody that you really appreciate.
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on May 2, 1999
The first time I saw this book it was only available in Norwegian. Then the author, Helge, came to the US while I was there, to present a slide show of this travels. Ah, not just any slide show! Not only did Helge give a splendid presentation that I believe convinced many in the audience to plan their own long motorcycle travels, but he brought along some copies of the English-language version, which is every bit as fine as the original. Helge is not just a rider, but an expert photographer, certainly qualified to grace the pages of magazines such as National Geographic. The large format of 10 Years on Two Wheels makes it an excellent gift.
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on February 21, 1999
Helge Pedersen is one of the most traveled and internationally-known professional touring motorcyclists in the world, and well-known to the world's motorcycle press. His book is beautifully done- world class photos. And Helge's story is extremely entertaining. He is both humorous and humble as he relates anecdotes of his travels-definitely not a 'tour guide' view of the world. Helge's portraits of people show such sensitivity and elegance. It's very obvious how much he respects his subjects. His photos of the landscapes are dramatic, different. It's an easy read. I love this book.
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