Sunday, August 18, 2013

"The Ghost of Scootertrash Past"

The Ghost of Scootertrash Past – Memories & Rants of a Longrider by Mark "Tiger" Edmonds

 “Tiger” Edmonds is at it again. True be told, this one is my favorite, so far. Tiger reminds me of a biker version of Baxter Black. His musings on riding and "the road" are obviously heart felt as well as thought and emotion provoking. 

Scootertrash is his second book and it is a random collection of Edmonds' stories from the road. He writes in a unique style. He is profane at times. He has no respect for political correctness, so if you're easily offended, this may not be the book for you. Parts of this book are poetic and deserve to be read aloud.

Here is one such poetic excerpt where Tiger is talking to a young lady. They have very different ideas about being on the road: 
“She giggled and asked about the sunshine and unfrozen rivers and flowers and birds and butterflies in the air. She asked about alligators and the Southern Cross and the Spanish moss. And she wanted to know about manatees.
But I told her about the heat and the cold, about just getting' old, and about thousand mile days. I tried to tell her about border towns and local citizens' frowns and about how the highway will wear you down out there between the Mohawk Valley and Tampa Bay.”

This exchange goes on for several "stanzas" and sounds great when read aloud.
Here's to being on the road less travelled

Other parts are humorous in the way he chooses to describe something. Here is Tiger talking about tunnels: “Way I figure it, you got to have a lot of gopher in you to be comfortable riding into a hole in the ground. The trouble is that riding a motorcycle is basically an outdoor activity, and tunnels are seriously indoors. It’s one of them things, like eating oysters,that makes you wonder who was the first guy tried it, and what the hell was he thinking?”

Riding through an old rail tunnel at the Scoot NM rally

Some of his thoughts on "super-slabs": "Interstate highways permit the inept to drive. Hell, they encourage the incompetent to travel cross country. .... It's a real mindless activity, and it can be done by the mentally deficient." (Remember what I said about those who are easily offended?)

I love this book and give it 5 stars. (I hate using "stars" as my rating symbol. Does anyone have an idea about a scooter-appropriate symbol? If so, please leave your suggestion in your comment.)

On days the weather or something else keeps you from riding, find a great book like this. It helps.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: Life is a Road, the Soul is a Motorcycle

Life is a Road, the Soul is a Motorcycle by Daniel Bryan Meyer is a free Kindle book which I highly recommend. The first thing that drew me to it is that it has the word "motorcycle" in the title. The second thing is that it said "free" next to the cost. I will say that it is worth paying for, though. It is a great read.
Not my pic, but this is a Valkyrie. Beautiful bike!

According to the bio at the end of this book, Daniel Meyer is a "six-foot, three-hundred pound, blue-eyed
Texan, supremely confident and strong as an ox, though I don't usually smell like one." He rides a bike suitable for a big man; an Honda F6 Valkyrie.

I knew I was going to like this book by the end of the first paragraph of the introduction by Mr Meyer. He was just preparing to pull out of a gas station when a bike, it's rider and a passenger pull in. "Memories stirred as I watched a father and his young son dismounting their motorcycle in the parking lot of a nearby restaurant. As the boy removed his helmet, the grin I knew would surely be there shone brightly for the entire world to see." As a kid, I never got to ride with my dad or any other family member, but as an adult, I have gotten to see that "grin" under the helmet as I have given my grandchildren rides. It is, indeed, a treat for me and something, I hope, that they remember doing with me after I am gone. I knew I would like a book written by a rider who recognized that riding joy.

Life is a Road, according to the author, is the result of him recalling his many travels, the sights seen, people met and the magic experienced. Each chapter is a short story which describes a ride and/or incident in Mr meyer's motorcycling life. As it happens, he is a very good story teller.

My favorite chapter is called "Valkyrie Magic" and is Daniel giving a ride to a naked woman he find along a deserted stretch of highway. He describes the conversation that goes on between 4 parts of his brain when he first spots the woman. The Analytic Brain, the Motorcyclist, the Texan and the Male:

"Analytical: Whoa guys, get off the brake, get your hand back on the gas. Something is wrong here.
Motorcyclist: Somebody is standing beside the road. She may be in trouble.
Texan: She needs help. Let's stop.
Male: There is a naked woman beside the road. We're stopping.
Analytical: All I'm saying is that something is up. We should go on. People just do not step out into the road. This could be a trap.
Motorcyclist: There is no sign of an accident, and we have not passed any broken down cars. there are no houses anywhere near here. Maybe he's right. Something is up.
Texan: She needs help. Let's stop.
Male: Did you guys not hear me? There's a naked woman beside the road!"
What would The Duke do?

This continues in a predictable, but hilarious manner. As a male and a rider myself, I fully understand the conversation as well as its inevitable outcome.

If you read through the Kindle reviews of this book, you will see that a number or people doubt the veracity of Daniel's stories. I thought, too, that some of them may have stretched the truth a bit. However, when I got ready to do this review, I noticed two little words at the bottom of the cover page: "a novel." I believe that the basis for all these stories is authentic. I also believe that Mr Meyer added a few things to the stories, when needed, to make them a bit more fun. It's called artistic license.

This book is self published, and it shows. It could use some professional editing to clean up typos and errors in grammar, but the book is still well worth the read. Do yourself a favor and download this book.

Ride on my friends,