Lone Rider: The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around the World

January 27, 2020 - Comment

In 1982, at the age of just twenty-three and halfway through her architecture studies, Elspeth Beard left her family and friends in London and set off on a 35,000-mile solo adventure around the world on her 1974 BMW R60/6. Reeling from a recent breakup and with only limited savings from her pub job, a tent,

In 1982, at the age of just twenty-three and halfway through her architecture studies, Elspeth Beard left her family and friends in London and set off on a 35,000-mile solo adventure around the world on her 1974 BMW R60/6.

Reeling from a recent breakup and with only limited savings from her pub job, a tent, a few clothes and some tools, all packed on the back of her bike, she was determined to prove herself. She had ridden bikes since her teens and was well travelled. But nothing could prepare her for what lay ahead.

When she returned to London nearly two and a half years later she was stones lighter and decades wiser. She’d ridden through unforgiving landscapes and countries ravaged by war, witnessed civil uprisings that forced her to fake documents, and fended off sexual attacks, biker gangs and corrupt police convinced she was trafficking drugs. She’d survived life-threatening illnesses, personal loss and brutal accidents that had left permanent scars and a black hole in her memory. And she’d fallen in love with two very different men.

In an age before email, the internet, mobile phones, satnavs and, in some parts of the world, readily available and reliable maps, Elspeth achieved something that would still seem remarkable today. Told with honesty and wit, this is the extraordinary and moving story of a unique and life-changing adventure.

Comments

Anonymous says:

I decided to give the book a bash and I’m glad I did I’ve been aware of Elspeth’s trip for a number of years but couldn’t find much detail about it apart from the odd magazine article. I’d originally had her down as a “posh bird” who’d been financed by her folks to spend some time on her bike before settling down to a real job and real life. Being short of something to read I read an article in a recent Motorcycle Sport and Leisure magazine on adventurous women riders. Elspeth was mentioned along with her book, I decided to give the book…

Anonymous says:

March to the beat of your own drum Had first heard of Elspeth Beard doing book signings and talks across the country for this book release. I’ll be away on a bike trip and sadly won’t get to see her. Got the book through today and it is truly awe-inspiring. Have only read a few chapters but beautifully written much like ted Simon’s work, however, really draws on the fact that she stuck it to the naysayers and just went with her gut. I doubt anyone could read this and not be truly inspired by her story. Really glad to be reading…

Anonymous says:

A well written story – original and highly inspirational Every once in a while comes a book that keeps me awake all night (it’s just after 6AM!).Elspeth’s unique way of recounting her adventures left me fascinated about how following your dreams and sometimes doing the ‘impossible’ transforms one’s life – all those new and raw experiences seem to unlock hidden inner powers and abilities, changing the way reality is percieved and taken in, opening mind’s and soul’s eyes to seeing everything differently.An extraordinary tale!

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