I am an ordinary guy who enjoys riding motorcycles. I love riding all makes and models. I love short rides, long rides, and multi-day road trips. I post reviews about motorcycle gear, motorcycles, roads, restaurants, sights, gadgets and more. The Interesting Facts and Trivia page has a new bit of history added each week. Be safe and enjoy the ride, Oz.

Friday, January 31, 2020

The Best Motorcycle Book I Have Read

Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash
 Motorcycle Books
I have enjoyed reading some of the best motorcycle books available, although I do not seem to have as much time as I wish for reading.  I have read books about the motorcycle club life, about the therapeutic qualities of riding, about trips taken on motorcycles and how to properly ride a motorcycle.  I have read books written by motorcycle club members, law enforcement personnel, daily riders, long distance riders and a musician who rode.

However, when I find a book about motorcycling, written by a motorcyclist and includes great photos I have found a book worth the time and expense.  Bikers seem to have the ability to relate the information in terms another biker understands. 

When I consider all the motorcycle related books I have read, one stands out as the best.  This book was written by motorcyclist, Gary France about his 21,000 mile trip through the United States of America and includes life details leading up to his adventure and including his adventure.  His trip "over the pond" from England and the ride through the USA is titled "France in America."  I find it funny we have France from England writing about America.

It All Started With a Blog
Gary started blogging about his upcoming motorcycle trip in September 2009, although he had began his initial planning around Christmas 2007.  He soon began posting updates on his plan and his research and acquisition of items he wanted for his trip of the USA.  Many bloggers were able to give him opinions, reviews and insights into gear, accessories, attractions, roads and more which helped Gary with his planning.
Gary's route for his amazing trip  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
In January 2008 Gary commented on my blog's post concerning Spearfish Canyon, SD.  Through some comments back and forth I was able to help him post hyperlinks in his blog posts.  From there I started following his preparations and his trip.  I was able to suggest some roads, restaurants and sights.  We have not met face to face, but hopefully  we will in the future.

Gary continued to post periodically as the trip neared.  By the time he arrived to the United States several bloggers had arranged to meet him at various times and locations on route.  I was unable to work it out, especially since I was in Texas.  I visited Yellowstone Natinal Park for my summer motorcycle trip, but I was there in June/July and Gary arrived in Yellowstone National  Park in August.  We just could not meet up.
Gary experiences a "Bison Jam" in Yellowstone National Park.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Yellowstone Canyon.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Sharing The Trip
Gary's photographic talents were evident.  The photos he posted were beautiful and he wrote just as well.  It was not long until he had a large following.  If you go to his blog (although he stopped posting on his "Flies in your Teeth" in October 2016) you can see his original photos on the blog.
Gary visited Bishops Castle in Colorado.  Photo of Gary's book
Gary visited so many great places that most Americans haven't seen.  He rode along the northern states and down through the Rocky Mountains.  Gary would stop every time his motorcycle's odometer rolled over another 1,000 miles and capture the moment.
Big Horn Canyon   Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
One of Gary's 1,000 miles photos.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
 Miles and Miles to Pages and Pages
As his trip was nearing an end readers started encouraging him to publish a book.  After he recovered back in England he mulled over the idea of a book.  After some time he decided to publish a book of his trip.

He includes his personal story that brought him to the point of retirement, trip planning, the sights and people on his trip and later the book itself.
Pikes Peak Highway  - Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
The book is a great resource for anyone wanting to plan a trip.  He includes details and information that is not always covered in traditional travel books.  His personal story and his approach to the photographs make the book come alive.  The book is full of high quality photographs that will pull at your adventurous heart.
Million Dollar Highway in Colorado.    Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Virginia City, California - Old West feel.  Photo by Gary.  Used with his permission.
Not Just for Bikers
I highly recommend France in America for anyone interested in traveling American.  It is more than just a "motorcycle" book.  It is a book about the desire for adventure, the enjoyment of new horizons and the appeal and uniqueness of these United States.  All of this from the view point of an Englishman from England.

Gary's Generous Offer
Gary offered to send his book to everyone who made a comment on his blog during the actual trip.  I took him up on that offer.  When I received the book in 2013 I was so impressed the quality and quantity of the book.  This is a high quality book with vivid photographs and impelling writing.  I have referred to it often and spent time just looking at the photos.  I have shared the book with close friends and I have recommended it frequently.  Do yourself a favor and get the best motorcycle book out there.
Helpful with my trip plans
When I was I planning my week of riding in the Alps in 2017 Gary provided me with great information and suggestions of roads, laws, etiquette in Europe and other helpful tips.  His knowledge of riding in Europe is extensive. 

Gary Keeps Rollin'
Gary now owns and runs TOUR1 a motorcycle tour company in England.  TOUR1 provides many tour options, including a WWII D-Day Landing Tour.  I have it on my list to go on one or more of the tours in the years to come.  If you have desire to tour Europe on a motorcycle you should visit Gary's TOUR1.

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  1. I too am one of the fortunate bloggers who received a copy of this outstanding book by Gary France! Martha and I have managed to meet up with him and Jacqui since then, always such a great time to be had in their company.

  2. If I remember correctly you met him during his trip and you have visited him in England.

  3. YEP, and once when he and Jacqui RV camped nearby