First of all, let me start by telling you what this book is not. It's not a book that you read because it contains motorcycles, or that it's a fictional account of a story involving motorcycles and dead bodies. Nor is it a book that teaches you how to ride a motorcycle, or how to wrench one.
Now that I got that out of the way, let me tell you what this book is all about: it's about WHY we ride motorcycles! It's a scientific approach to understanding our pleasure of riding. On one side of the book scale, you have Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", explaining the philosophy of riding motorcycles (the being part of the environment as described by Pirsig).
On the other side of the scale is Steven L. Thompson's book entitled "Bodies in Motion". It's the hard sciencific facts of understanding the pleasure of riding. In other words, facts, not the gooey stuff.
Thompson uses data accumulated by Stanford University research on vibrations, he brings in historical events dating back to before mankind could walk. He also uses examples and quotes by famous people like T.E. Lawrence (the famous Lawrence of Arabia) and even Woody Allen.
The book, despite being more scientific than theory, is an easy read. Thompson constructs his sentences in such a way, that even complicated subjects are simple. He stays away from heavy, more than 3 syllables, words that authors often use to stake out their claim of an expert.
He has many graphics illustrating his take on why we expose our bodies to motion the way we do. Thompson has been a motorcycle (and aviation) journalist for a long time. He was the editor at Cycle World and at Cycle Guide (plus a few other magazines).
The foreword was written by Andy Goldfine, CEO of Aerostich , who also distribute the book.
The book is not for everyone, but it is very useful for those that receive the often-asked-but-never-properly-replied question from friends and relatives;
"WHY DO YOU RIDE SUCH A DANGEROUS VEHICLE"
Give'em the book. That'll explain it better than you can.
I recommend the book to anyone who wants to understand the passion behind riding motorcycles, be it riders, be it "civilians". It'll make a great Christmas gift.
Price: US$ 19.00
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