Sunday, 14 April 2013
Conversations with a Motorcycle, by Jack Riepe.
With a few flights across the Atlantic in my diary, I had resisted reading this book until getting on the first of the planes. I am so glad I did, for I was able to savour the delights of its pages in a few long reading sessions.
Jack warns us in the preface that all of the names of the people in this book are fictitious. It is just as well really, as the book is about his adventurous years as a young man, which were focused around riding a motorcycle and trying to lose his virginity. Sex, booze, friends and motorcycles are a great combination and Jack intertwines them with ease.
The first part of the book tells of his plan to attract women by riding a motorcycle. Initially ridiculed for his choice of bike, his plan takes some time to succeed, as most of the women he wants to get to know don’t have the same attraction towards him. Somehow, his early love of the written word is not as appealing to the opposite sex as he had hoped for. This means Jack turned more of his attention to his motorcycle and he describes the first tentative bike journeys in a way most riders will relate to. He learns to love riding his motorcycle and one day hits that moment when rider and motorbike just work together in harmony.
It is after another female rejection that Jack rides his bike in anger. Faster than he has ever ridden, the engine growled at him and seemed to speak, thus starting the conversations between the two. The book describes his motorcycling, his feelings, his adventures, his brushes with the law and the characters in his life. He says “This book is a philosophy, it’s a story, it’s a novel, one chapter leads into the next, and it is painfully true.”
I too have sometimes talked to my motorcycle. That is just one of the many ways I can relate to this book.
It is great fun and recommended reading. Be warned, it is pretty racy in parts!
For detail of how to order the book, see Jack’s blog.
Posted by Gary France