Jupiter's Travels - again

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mark vb
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Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by mark vb » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:55 am

I've started reading JT's again.... I haven't a clue how many times I've read it over the years, maybe 10, possibly more. It was the first m/c travel book I had back in 1980, reading it during my student summer vacation job working as a street cleansing engineer (aka roadsweeper) with Westminster City Council. My 'patch' was the top end of Park Lane and the Marble Arch roundabout, where there was plenty of opportunity to hide the barrow and skive, often into the gardeners hut which was actually inside the Marble Arch monument (don't ask how I procured a key).
Shortly after finishing my first read of JT's, I and a g/f headed off to explore various parts of the Med. on my SR500. The seeds were now sown for future m/c travels!
Having read a good few travel books over the years, I still consider JT's to be the definitive m/c travel book..... although others may disagree?!

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Re: Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by Magnon » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:20 pm

I read Jupiter’s Travels (the first time) whilst I was rebuilding my old BSA (may have been the first rebuild but I’ve lost count). I’m sure Ted’s ‘how hard can it be’ approach inspired me in the rebuild and I started planning a trip to Tehran where my father was working at the time.

In reality, I doubt that the BSA would have made to Dover, let alone Tehran, I didn’t have any money and I needed to get back to college so that trip never happened.

It’s interesting to read his book about his second rtw - amazing how much changed in the intervening 25 years.

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Re: Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by zimtim » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:45 pm

good read
It is easier to defend yourself against a thousand enemies, than it is to defend against one backstabbing friend

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Re: Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by Richard Simpson Mark II » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:06 pm

Saw him to a 'live gig' in Stroud a few years back...a humble bloke, but an engaging speaker too.

One good thing he said was: people worry about leaving the job etc...but by the time you get back you will be so psychologically self-sufficient that you probably won't need a 'job' in the conventional sense, but be happy working for yourself perhaps doing something you wouldn't even have considered before.

He had been a London-based journalist and ended up with a small farm in California, IIRC!

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Re: Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by Flipflop » Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:17 am

I wish I had read it as a youngster. I had an inkling to ride my motorcycle to Australia in 1986 but I had no knowledge of overland motorcycle riding or knew anyone who had done it. After a bit of research and not being able to find anyone to come with me I sold my bike and jumped on a plane.
I was given a copy of JTs in 1996 and have read everything he’s written since. I have also met him and he’s a lovely man.

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Re: Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by ErikGustav2 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:52 pm

I agree.
Wonderful book.

He was/is a journalist. Using the bike to discover the world. Therefore he is a good author.
He writes about what he sees, peoples he meet, what he is thinking about, his feelings.....
He wants to tell you a story.

And that is not how he managed to ride a bike from A to B.

I have another favorite book. Written by a Swedish person that used a regular bicycle.
The purpose of the travel was to expose himself. Meet people. Tell their story.

The books of Simon Gandalfi are similar. He tells the stories from the people he meets.
Quote from him "what is the purpose of travel, if you do not speak to people"

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Re: Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by Africa John » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:09 pm

I'll be honest, I really struggled with it and the follow up. It's the way he writes. I found the books by Graham Field much easier

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Re: Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by gbags » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:19 pm

I read it in about ‘82 just after I’d come out of the army and was looking for something new.
I bought a BMW 75/6 750cc bike although I couldn’t ride it. I just fell in love with it and asked my brother to teach me how to ride.
I found JT and within three months was riding across America and Mexico for seven months with my girlfriend on the back.
That book should be up there with Kerouac’s On The Road. It’s inspired a generation.

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Re: Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by ScottHeyden » Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:06 am

Just started with the audio book, enjoying it so far.

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Re: Jupiter's Travels - again

Post by JimRTW » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:51 am

You have to try the audio book version narrated by Rupert Degas. Absolutely fantastic

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