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Alaska by Motorcycle - are you sure you know what you are doing? (Adventures of Airborne Andy) (Volume 1) Paperback – March 2, 2013
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About the Author
Airborne Andy aka Andrew Vela (1959-) grew up riding off-road motorcycles in the Northwest United States. As a young man he served as a Paratrooper in the U.S. Army before moving to California where he attended college and studied computer programming. For the next 23 years he worked in Information Technologies for various large corporations before beginning a second career as a dream chaser, adventure traveler, and author. Andy has traveled extensively by motorcycle throughout the Americas and competed in the longest point-to-point, off-road race in the world - the Baja 1000. He has also won 9 Pulitzer Prize's for his acclaimed writings in the field of... just kidding about the Pulitzers! But he has developed a unique sense of humor and written a couple very interesting books about his first few motorcycling adventures in North America. And, he is currently writing another book about his journeys across the United States: the initial trip was on small 2-lane, country roads and the second was a 4,500 mile, off-road motorcycle excursion across the USA over an obscure, unpaved route known as the Trans-America Trail. Andy has also traveled throughout Central and South America by motorcycle, and he still entertains notions of competing in the world famous Dakar Rally and traveling around the rest of the world by motorcycle.
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First, this book severely lacks content. It's 120 pages in length, covering a 25 day motorcycle trip. Out of this, approximately half of it is very low-quality black and white pictures. Entire days, which would have covered wonderful scenery and curvy roads that could be described to those people that will never have the opportunity to ride to Alaska, are covered with just one or two paragraph of text about his riding and adventures on that entire day. Seriously? Isn't the idea of a book supposed to be bringing in the reader on the journey that the author is taking?
Second, don't get this book for the photos. Many of these are of the same staged picture, of his DR650 sitting at the same angle and distance from the camera with a backdrop of scenery.
If you want a book that covers some details about the D2D (Dust to Dawson) ride, or about the Dempster Highway, then there's some good info in here. However, other great riding roads the author took have the reader wanting more information...much more...about the experiences to be had and what is to be encountered. The Dalton Highway, one of the hardest roads in North America to ride, is woefully covered. The run through Atigun Pass happened so quick, that one doesn't get the feeling of actually going over the mountains. And the visit to the Arctic Circle sign seems like the author was simply at a regular stop at McDonald's instead of at one of the most famous motorcycle landmarks in the world.
Others loved this book, and that's why I bought it...on their reviews. I found the writing to be very elementary in tone and comprehension, as if the author wrote this extremely quickly to try to turn out a book. In fact, the writing style reflects that of a poorly written web blog. This books needs to be properly edited, and the descriptive writing of the rides within the adventure vastly improved.
Those with adventure riding experience are going to want much more "quality" out of this book. Luckily, it was not expensive at under six bucks shipped, but the point is that it just is not worthy of any amount of money. Interested readers can read entire blogs, be pulled into very large ride reports on advrider online, and save their money for more farkles or chrome for their bikes.
I love a good adventure read; unfortunately this is not one of those. Very boring book, and I cannot recommend to anybody other than somebody maybe wanting a motorcycle-themed story to help their child learn how to read. That's too bad, because this type of book has so much potential and it achieved nothing close to what it could have been.
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