Posts Tagged ‘motorcycle book review’

The Born Free Motorcycle Show is one of the best chopper jamborees around.  It always gets the coolest and craziest choppers to attend and show off. DicE Magazine covered the show and produced a “Coffee Table” picture book all about the bikes at the show.  

At 300 pages of the coolest motorcycles, choppers, bobbers, racing and culture pictures the book is fun to flip through.  The creativity of some of the builders is hard to believe.

This book will grace my coffee table for quite a while.

Photo provided by Sam Manicom

Sam Manicom’s fourth motorcycle adventure book tracks his and his partner Birgit travels through Mexico, the United States and Canada.  While I have never toured the world like Sam but, he lays out the work involved while making it a fun read.

I say work because he is not reliant on sponsors or doing “viral” things to get attention and “followers”.  He sells stories and does “odd jobs” while touring to have the money to move from point to point.  He does rely on a network of friends and friends of friends to reduce his costs of traveling. The “work” part of global motorcycle touring comes out well in the book.

This book has been in my stack for a couple months and now I wish had moved it to the top when it came in.  It is an easy, fun read that I can readily recommend.

I particularly enjoyed the sections on the border crossings.  I found it funny how it seems that the crossing guards are pretty much the same just with different languages, overworked and underpaid and less then helpful. However, of all the places to cross into the US, Tijuana would be at the bottom of my list.  But no one asked me LOL!

I was a bit surprised that after traveling through the many third-world countries that they travelled, that they were worried about travelling back into the first world.  I understood the worries on cost of travel in the US/Canada but, as their trip unfolded, I like to think that the other worries were abated. 

Full disclosure Sam wrote an unpaid article for this blog a few months ago and I paid for the book.

I liked this book enough that I am going to buy his other books!  4 Stars

I found this book an…interesting modern day cops and robbers tale, made more timely by the event in Waco.

It is the story of the Minnesota Hells Angel president (for 21 years) Pat Matter and the law enforcement officer that put him away (Chris Omodt), told from their own perspectives. 

ijustwant2ride

Book Cover

The chapters of the book alternate between the two authors telling the story of the sameevents from their different sides of the law.  An interesting approach to storytelling I have not seen very often.

Matter’s story is of his rise as an outlaw biker and how he became a, kind of, legit businessman was very interesting.  In particular his struggle, when he was at the peak of outlaw and businessman, of wanting to let go of the outlaw was enthralling.

Omodt’s tale was a bit drearier, but it has be hard to punch up the slog of gathering and documenting intel to make the case against the Hells Angles.  I did find it interesting that so little was known about biker gangs in that era and that law enforcement in Minnesota had no real structure for working long term, grind it out slowly cases.

Now with that said you have to take everything with a grain of salt.  You could tell that both authors left a lot unsaid in this story. Maybe it is because Matters did not want to become a bigger “rat” then he is already perceived and that Omodt wanted to polish his image or protect the blue line but I had a feeling throughout the story that things were missing.    

I am only giving it 4 out of 5 stars due to the fact that I “felt” there are parts missing from the story that could better explain what occurred. Also I think the book could have used tighter editing.  Maybe a better editor could have enticed more from the authors. But, with that said it is an entertaining read.

4 out 5 stars