Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Book Review: Leanings and Leanings 2 by Peter Egan

I just finished reading both books, back to back. Thoroughly enjoyable reading of a long time motorcycling enthusiast and outstanding CycleWorld motorcycle magazine writer/editor Peter Egan. The man can write and is a skilled and diverse rider!

He's got a great sense of humor and the rare ability to inject just the right phrase/comment into a well told story to get one laughing or at least snickering. The man's dabbled in all kinds and makes of motorcycles: Ducatis, Vincents, Beemers, Hondas, Nortons, Triumphs and Harley-Davidsons amongst others that slip my mind as I type. He's got a weakness/bias for British Iron and Italian Reds but is not adverse to throwing his leg over other marques as well.

His long motorcycling careers encompasses many motorcycles/racing cars and through it all he can recount to you specific events in his life that evoke similar thoughts in one's own experiences. His road trip tales are very detailed and amusing, his dirt rides through Baja even made me, briefly, want to get a dirt motorcycle and follow the trails he rode.

I really liked his trademark "Should you buy a X motorcycle" tests where X is replaced by the word British or Italian or German, you get the idea. The tongue-in-cheek questions always, at least to me, had obvious answers and amuse the test taker at the same time.

His short stories of fixing/wrenching on his many motorcycles stirred an affinity with him what with my recent mechanical work on Brigitta. He's of course way more knowledgeable and experienced than I'll ever be, but its good to see he also can sometimes not "bend" a motorcycle to his will in terms of mechanical issues.

Well worth the read, and you can do several of his articles in a short sitting, leaving you inspired to get some riding in; or perhaps "rescue" an old motorcycle from storage and restore it to health, something he did quite often. He must have a very understanding wife, as I do, though I am sure mine would draw the line way before FIVE motorcycles were parked in my garage. Five being the perfect number of motorcycles according to Pete Egan! You'll have to read the books to find out why.

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