‘Old Men Can’t Wait’ by Simon Gandolfi

Simon is afraid. Afraid that born in 1933 he’s too old, too fragile now, that what he’s about to do can’t be done: ride from the far south of Argentina all the way to New York on a 125cc Honda. Simon has to prove to his family, to the world and mostly to himself that actually, he still can. And by doing so, he also proves that we can do it. Even at less than half his age, I sometimes wonder if I’m able enough, fit enough, good enough a rider to go wherever I’m trying to go… It is comforting to know that a septuagenarian on a tiny Honda attempted to ride into the snowy Andes, crossed the Amazon forest, witnessed shady politics in action, sailed murky waters, dealt with border officials, even ventured in the mysterious urban jungles of the USA.

On the way, which is minutely described on a day-by-day basis in an original and direct style, Simon meets people: in a restaurant, on the bus, the road, for a minute or for months and they are the actual heroes of this book. The constant separations are the bad guys.

It is particularly comforting to know that Simon refused to acknowledge that these travels were not appropriate for an old man. He demonstrates that we all have time to see the world, and reading this American odyssey is a very good start, as inspiration and education.

You can get a now out of print, first edition copy here.

Review by Frédéric Jeorge


pp 270

Published by Shuvvy Press  ISBN 978-0-9564305-2-6