Tuesday, September 5

Book Review...sorta

My successful Lake Michigan Circle Tour is due in large part to William Murphy's Motorcycling Across Michigan (MAM). By the way, I'm defining success in two ways: first, I never got terribly lost. Whenever I was a little lost, it was my fault; I distrusted the instructions! Second, I returned home unscathed--that's the best kind of success!

Vastly more than a guide to exceptional roads, the book is a conversation with a seasoned motorcyclist whose expertise shows on every page. MAM is many books in one. It is a well-researched blueprint to the best Michigan roads, a geography, history and socio-cultural mini-course to boot. Murphy has done the difficult work for you. Yet, he provides options for those who might want to explore alternate routes.

Murphy has brilliantly anticipated a motorcyclists' needs. In addition to providing detailed, fun maps, Murphy has answered every questions a motorcyclist might ask! Need to find a motorcycle dealer or repair shop? Need to call local and state authorities? Need to report lost or stolen credit cards? Need to know MI motorcycle laws? Need to make hotel reservations on the road? Murphy has even thought to provide blank, lined paper in the back of the book to write down information you might need to refer to later.

It is a motorcyclist's book, however, motorists and bicyclists can join in the fun and pick up a copy of Murphy's book too. It is an excellent tour and resource guide for anyone on wheels.

I'm unusually careful with my books. Even after a second read, they look pristine. But Murphy's book looks like I've used it in battle. It is dog-eared, replete with margin notes, highlighted, with some pages hanging on by threads. This seeming neglect, in this case, is a sign of how much I've loved and used this book.

Murphy will be speaking on September 16th in Lansing, MI. I am tempted to bike there just to tell him how I feel about his wonderful book. If you are within 100 miles of this, go! Do not miss this talk. If Murphy in-person is half as good as he is in print, it will be a very fine evening indeed.