The Perfect Vehicle: What It Is About Motorcycles

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jan 12, 2011 - Transportation - 240 pages
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"This book, a polished, winding meditation on the theory and fractiousness of motorcycles, celebrates both their eccentric history and the wary pleasures of touring."—The New Yorker

In a book that is "a must for anyone who has loved a motorcycle" (Oliver Sacks), Melissa Pierson captures in vivid, writerly prose the mysterious attractions of motorcycling. She sifts through myth and hyperbole: misrepresentations about danger, about the type of people who ride and why they do so. The Perfect Vehicle is not a mere recitation of facts, nor is it a polemic or apologia. Its vivid historical accounts-the beginnings of the machine, the often hidden tradition of women who ride, the tale of the defiant ones who taunt death on the racetrack-are intertwined with Pierson's own story, which, in itself, shows that although you may think you know what kind of person rides a motorcycle, you probably don't.
 

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First I am surprised by criticism of the book being about motorcycles. Judging by the cover and title what do you expect it to be about.
Read this book many years ago. From time to time I have
quoted the opening pages to give an idea of what riding a motorcycle is about for me. If this is alien to you open up and feel an aspect of riding. I enjoyed the discussion of Moto Gusi motorcycles because the equipment used is another aspect of riding. I do not have an affinity to Moto Gusis but there is a bonding of equipment and rider that Pierson captures.
If my memory serves me right I read the book a few times and enjoyed it more the second time through. I let the book go without imposing judgement at every twist and turn
 

Contents

Section 1
2
Section 2
5
Section 3
59
Section 4
85
Section 5
119
Section 6
239
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About the author (2011)

Melissa Holbrook Pierson is the author of The Perfect Vehicle, The Place You Love Is Gone, Dark Horses and Black Beauties, and The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing and The Secret History of Kindness. She lives in Shokan, New York.

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