165_BookReview copy281 pages

2015, Published by Chris Scott

By Victor Wanchena

It was an era before email, GPS, or reliable motorcycles, and ironically it wasn’t that long ago. It was the early eighties and Chris Scott was a Londoner diving into the world of motorcycle couriers. This book chronicles his adventures, his series of bikes, and the fascinating squatter culture of 80’s London.

The motorcycle couriers of this era served an interesting role. Back then there was the need to transport documents, film, photos, and you-name-it across town quickly.  London, like many large cities, was a tangled mess of roads and traffic. But, the motorcycle courier had the advantage of being able to slip through this mess to get whatever you needed from A to B quickly.  

They rode fast, navigated the intricate web of streets without the aid of GPS, and had an esprit de corps that comes with a group that lives a little dangerously. Chris gives a candid glimpse into this world and all it idiosyncrasies.

He details his string of bad, better, and obscure bikes.  The list includes everything from a MZ TS250 to a Ducati 900SS. He describes his list of courier jobs, the ever-varied companies he worked for, and the realities of surviving a dangerous job in a complicated city.

He also shares his experiences squatting in various homes around London. Prior to this book I was unaware of how common squatting was and how it worked. Squatting is the occupying of an abandoned or unoccupied space without lawful permission. Squatting in England has a long history and wasn’t a crime at the time.  This element along with some of the social and political commentary offers interesting perspective on that era.

I really enjoyed this book. Chris tells some fascinating stories, and gives a glimpse into a world few of us have seen and fewer have experienced. This isn’t a how to manual of bad-boy rocker lifestyle. Instead, Chris gives an insightful view of earning a living on motorcycle as a restless youth. Adventures in Motorcycling is available directly from Chris at http://adventuresinmotorcycling.com/ or as an eBook from Amazon.



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