In 1982, at the age of twenty-three, Elspeth Beard left her family and friends in London and set off on a 35,000-mile solo adventure around the world on her 1974 BMW R60/6.
With some savings from her pub job, a tent, a few clothes, and some tools, all packed on the bike, she was determined to prove herself and to get over a recent heartbreak. She had ridden bikes since her teens and was already well traveled, but this journey would be the toughest thing she’d ever done. By the time she returned to England two years later, she was 30 pounds lighter and decades wiser. She’d ridden through deserts and mountain ranges and war-ravaged countries. She’d faked documents and fended off sexual attacks, biker gangs, and corrupt police who were convinced she was trafficking drugs. She’d survived brutal crashes and life-threatening illnesses and she’d fallen in love with two very different men. In an age before email, the Internet, mobile phones, and GPS, Elspeth had to navigate with unreliable maps, communicate by post, and fix her bike with the tools she carried with her, but she achieved her goal nonetheless. Told with honesty and wit, this is the extraordinary and moving story of a unique and life-changing adventure.