Sunday, 11 March 2012


A few weeks ago, about 20 years after everyone else, i read Jupiter's Travels, the story of Ted Simon's round the world adventure on a Triumph 500. When he set off at the age of 46 in 1973 he had no real motorcycling experience and certainly no knowledge of motorcycle maintenance but over the next four years and 60,000 miles he repeatedly stripped and rebuilt the bike which now sits in the Transport museum in Coventry. It seems unthinkable to attempt a journey like that on an old Triumph yet in many countries he visited British bikes were revered as being rugged and reliable.
It is a brilliant book, followed up by a sequel called Riding High which fills in the gaps (in Jupiter's Travels he quite often says things like "passed through Iran with no problems").
I googled the name when i had finished reading to see what happened in his life after the ride to find that in 2001 at 70 years old he set off again, solo, and did the same route, just because...

In 2007 he wrote the story of the second ride called Dreaming of Jupiter, I've just ordered it. If you are interested Ted has his own website called Jupitalia


OILY RAG said...

ive just started reading the book myself. its bloody amazing, i think he has a real poetry with words.
Ive nearly finished my book and i'm suddenly thinking i could have taken some inspiration from his book, but then i decided that i'm not poetic so maybe my book will just have to suvive on the fact that it is based around three friends that are compleet fuckwits. dont worie i used spellcheck for the book.
if i ever gets published ill send you a copy, then you can help spread the word.

Pete Stansfield said...

Definitely Rob, love to read it anway published or not.

Steve@strathbran said...

I first read Jupiters 30 years ago, then re read it and Dreaming of... a couple of years ago, both are great books .. the second one is a bit less poetic ..

Hugo said...

The second book he takes the same route and compares the then and the now. No need to point out the first book is 30000000 times better, but I guess so was the world back then to travel.
In the last 3 years I travelled from Orkney to the Western Sahara on my trusted Honda poisoned by Ted's books. I've moved into the UK in the past hoping I could one day see his Triumph.