Paul Jennison, Nathan Millward and Emily-Jane Cave check out stuff to fill the gaps in your bookshelf
■ Title: Adventure Motorcycling Handbook (6th Edition) Author: Chris Scott
Chris Scott’s first biking adventure got him halfway to Wales on a moped and from there his lifelong love affair with motorcycles and travelling ensued.
This is the first book I bought several years ago when I began trip planning for Morocco, and it seems I’m not alone. According to the cover blurb, Ewan McGregor also made this mighty tome his first port of call when he and Charley started planning their Long Way adventures.
Written by the very chap who’s credited with coining the phrase ‘adventure motorcycling’ in the 1990s, the book’s now in its third decade, this being the 6th edition. This updated version of the handbook covers everything from essential documentation, what riding gear to use, bike purchasing, preparation and planning, to practical information such as the culture shock, crossing borders, medical emergencies, shipping, wild camping and fault finding.
There are route outlines and trip reports from across Asia, Africa and Latin America as well as tales from the saddle by two-wheeled pioneers in India, Pakistan and Siberia.
It has loads of reference photographs as well as some fantastic colour images from some of its contributors, including well-known ABR and author Lois Pryce and Siberia expert Walter Colebatch.
It’s been described as the ‘Biker’s Bible’ and is basically all you need to know about adventuring by bike in one book. PJ www.trailblazer-guides.com, £15.99, (paperback)
■ Title: The Adventurous Motorcyclist’s Guide to Alaska Authors: Lee Klancher and Phil Freeman
As someone currently planning a ride up to Alaska, this book is proving a perfect tool for laying bare the mechanics of it all. It’s well written and well researched,
with the authors and contributing authors clearly having spent a lot of time in this part of the world. The benefit of this is that the book feels personal and
precise. It’s rich in detail, has great colour images and plenty of useful maps. Best of all it does a great job of demystifying what could otherwise be an intimidating trip, making the state of Alaska seem much more accessible than it previously was.
Having gone through general advice on clothing, bike choice and bear avoidance, the book then details the main highways of Alaska, what you might expect from them, the best times to ride them and also pace notes detailing accommodation, petrol stations and places of interest.
There is a danger that all this information could take some of the adventure out of the ride, but I think rather than that it’s a book that prepares and encourages you to go, and for that reason alone, it comes well recommended. NM www.octanepress.com, $24.95 (£16.50+pp); www.amazon.co.uk, £16.99 (paperback)
■ Title: Bikers’ Britain Author: Simon Weir, Foreword: Charley Boorman
Written by Bike magazine’s deputy editor Simon Weir, this handy A5 publication is packed with over 25 years’ worth of riding experience and favourite biking routes, covering every corner of the UK.
The book is divided into easy reference sections, which group routes located in South and Central England, Wales, the North and Midlands, and Scotland, as well as having a section for longer cross-country rides.
Routes vary from six-day mini tours to 40-minute blasts down the best 25 miles of tarmac the area has to offer. There are also colour photos showing off local highlights and attractions and each route comes with clear directions, the distance and time it takes to cover it, and a lovely big route map, courtesy of the AA and OS.
The useful info section at the front of the book has lots of good advice and tips for riders who are new to road touring, to help them stay safe and get the most out of the ride.
If you’re a fan of ABR’s regular UK Road Ride features and have been inspired to give some of the routes we’ve featured a go, then this book is an absolute must for when the warmer weather hits – especially if a tour abroad
is looking like slim pickings. EJC See page 36 of this issue for an extract Available 1 May 2013, AA Publishing, £12.99, (paperback)