This book, reviewed here by John Allsopp, follows Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes as they take their scooter and sidecar through the world’s toughest environments, including the scorching Sahara Desert and across the frozen wilds of Siberian winter. After 15 months on the road, these friends rode across five continents and through 35 countries.
Now, there are a number of nouns that could be applied to this pair; ‘naive’ and ‘unprepared’ being two. As the idea of the trip grows, the chaps are faced with a few examples of these descriptors; neither actually hold a motorcycle licence and, they have no funds for their adventure.
However, in the process of this story, you discover that there is a little more to these fellows. They prove to be committed as they learn to actually ride and, determined in their unrelenting approaches to businesses and individuals in order to secure sponsorship. Above all, they show their true colours by highlighting the issue of modern slavery as well as supporting various organisations committed to battling this trade in misery.
This endearing tale highlights some of the worst things that humanity has to offer in terms of the sheer scale of modern slavery around the globe. Here though the tragedy is vividly contrasted by the generosity and kindness shown to them by total strangers during their trip.
The story unfolds at a pace, it is peppered with lovely self-deprecating humour often resulting in laugh-out-loud moments while in the salutary theme of the fight against slavery is resoundingly clear. The pair face some hair-raising, potentially life-threatening and downright silly situations but the consistent compassion shown by the people that help them can restore your faith in humanity. At the same time, it raises your awareness of the issue of modern slavery and posing the question of what role we can all play in addressing this.
Overall, we were left with a very strong impression: a couple of young chaps with a lust for adventure and a social conscience that could shame many of their elders and ‘betters’.
For us, this involving and heartwarming book is a resounding recommended read and is available from the Armchair Adventure Festival. Price includes UK postage and free sticker! £1 from each sale goes to Unseen UK for the fight against modern slavery.
#sidecarguys #ourridiculousworldtrip #rtwbookreview #motogusto