by Sev Pearman
Somewhere along the line you learn to respect riders who have more miles than you do. You may not prefer their choice of what or how they ride, but you can certainly benefit from their experience. Mark Tiger Edmonds, with more than one million miles under him, is one such rider.
The Ghost of Scootertrash Past is a sequel to Longrider, and delivers more of the same. Mr. Edmonds celebrates rural two-lane highways, independent diners, their sassy waitresses and that good people seem to be just around the corner. The author spins yarns and shares stories with a confidence born of living it all first hand.
That same experience justifies dislikes and the author has many. He rails on the interstate highway system and how it breeds inept drivers. He attacks strip malls, chain restaurants, hotels and ‘Big Box’ retailers. Mr. Edmonds laments the loss of American diversity, with our onward erosion of colloquialisms, dialects and regional behavior.
In between his tales of riding wisdom he demonstrates the irony of our kinder gentler America becoming increasingly homogenized and intolerant.
He describes real roads and destinations from the rider’s perspective. Local food and the people that serve it are painted with raw honesty. In one passage, he boldly and correctly states that, “you know you are riding in Minnesota and North Dakota when you hear the locals say, ‘Aw, Jeez.'”
There are few moto-books that hint at the essence of what it means to ride a motorcycle in a way that non-riders can understand. Not since Melissa Holbrook Pierson’s The Perfect Vehicle has a book captured the intangible essence of why we ride. Buy several copies and give them to your loved ones who do not understand our passion.
The author writes in a candid style that intentionally echoes Mark Twain. The Ghost of Scootertrash Past takes no prisoners. Mr. Edmonds tells it as he sees it and has the experience to back it up. He doesn’t give a damn if you like it, are offended or even finish it. This isn’t the loudmouth braying of a blowhard; it’s the confidence of a man who is able to back up what he believes. Sweetly running on four out of four cylinders.
Nonrider–Part rant, part riding manifesto, all entertaining.
Weekend Bro–This stuff can’t be true, can it?
Long Rider–It’d be honored to ride with this guy anywhere, anytime.