Whitehorse Press 1999
238 pages, $12.95
by Victor Wanchena
It’s the sixties, two college age guys from Oregon decide to take to the road on a pair of BMWs and head for Chile. Along the way they meet a wide variety of characters, visit slums and suburbs, brothels and bars. They even spend a little time in jail. Is this the plot of a new movie about self discovery in the sixties? No, it’s the new book by Keith Thye about his travels through the Americas during his youth. He had never put the stories to paper until now and the result is this month’s book review MotoRaid. The author and his friend Dave Yaden set off with very little idea what adventures lie ahead for them. Fortunately, Thye has a gift for storytelling and is able to recount the triumphs and mishaps of their year long trip.
Drawing it’s title from the Chilean word for “motorcycle ride”, this book like many other travelogues tends to get the reader thinking about the road. While the book may not be a blueprint for your own travels it is a fun and easy read of the type of adventure waiting for you when travel through foreign lands. Thye stays away from the overly philosophical ramblings of other world cyclists, instead giving us a clear view of travel in Central and South America during the early sixties. Of the book, round-the-world rider and author Ted Simon says this, ” What you read between the lines is the incredible joy and satisfaction they experienced riding the Andes and discovering a world few North Americans know.” I couldn’t say it any better.