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