What better way to dream of riding your motorcycle during the winter than reading motorcycle adventures. A friend of mine recently encouraged me to read Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road, by Neil Peart. As you may or may not know, Neil Peart is the premier drummer for a well known and famous rock band of my generation – Rush. Besides being one of the best drummers of all time, he’s a fanatical rider.
Unfortunately, Ghost Rider documents a period of time when he road for self preservation to escape the recent deaths of his daughter and her mom, his long-time partner. I can’t imagine going through such a life-altering experience.
For over a year, he road the highways, scenic routes and backroads. He road early and long on his BMW R1100GS, often covering over 500 miles per day. His journey of cleansing took him west through the Canadian Rockies, into Alaska, down the Pacific Coast and through most of the western United States. He went through Baja, into Mexico City, and as far south as Belize.
The book takes you through his letters to friends and family along his journey. It documents his inner demons and struggles. The common theme is “just keep moving” and everything will be okay.
You will marvel at his tenacity. You’ll be amazed at his fearlessness. He rides through piercing cold and stinging rainfall; he fails to shy away from muddy logging roads or switchbacks peppered with gravel; he suffers the insults of speed traps and rickety bridges; he even rides the Baja backroads designed for dirt bikes. His journey is exciting and tragically romantic.
While reading the book I felt I made a new friend–another crazy dreamer moving forward one day at a time, with a throttle in one hand and a novel in the other.
P.S. Neil – if you happen to stumble on this posting, you got me hooked on Jack London books.