Book Review: All the Gear No Idea by Michele Harrison

To give the books its full title, All the Gear No Idea: A Woman’s Solo Motorbike Journey Around the Indian Subcontinent. The title pretty much sums up the gist of the book. Michele has just turned 30 and is incredibly bored with her current job and her current boyfriend. She lusts after some adventure and opts for a year long motorbike trip around most of India.

A three day intensive motorbike training course is all she has before flying out to India, purchasing a motorbike when she arrives. Royal Enfield were a classic British manufacturer until Japanese imports put them out of business. Gone but not forgotten, as the brand was brought back in India as a cheap, reliable and easy to repair workhorse. The brand went full circle as they were then imported back into the UK as brand new ‘classic’ motorbikes. My brother-in-law used to run a classic motorbike shop and became the Royal Enfield dealer for South Wales.

Anyway, Michele buys the classic 350 Enfield and after a few hiccups manages to leave Delhi unscathed. She travels far and wide, meets interesting people everywhere, is constantly told how brave she is and on occasions comes off. The bike needs almost constant repairs, often due to the very poor road surface, but there is always a mechanic in the next village. She also meets her future husband who was cycling around the world at the time.

I love good travel books and this is one of the best, even though I don’t ride motorcycles, much preferring to tour on the engine-less variety of bikes. I’m also not too interested in visiting India, although this book might have changed my mind. Who knows where we’ll all be in a few years time. Hopefully me and Helen will be travelling in our camper van.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 on Goodreads as it was highly entertaining and I would definitely recommend it.

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