‘Leanings’ by Peter Egan

‘Leanings’ book review

Peter Egan is more well-known in the US than here in the UK, which is a shame as his writing is so accessible and engaging. ‘Leanings’ is a selection of his columns and feature articles from Cycle World magazine and acts as a great introduction to his work.

Although his columns are Ameri-centric, and will definitely appeal more if you truly love the intricacies of motorcycles themselves, his travel articles feature many countries whether North or Central America, Europe, the Antipodes or the far East and are the very essence of travel-writing. He has a remarkable ability to turn any length of journey into compulsive reading, even a three-day ride on a Honda 400/4 to source some particular coffee brand.

Spanning the period 1977 to 2002 there are a total of twenty-one feature motorcycle travel tales and twenty-seven of the shorter columns. None of the stories seem out-of-date and are as timelessly engaging now as I’m sure they must have been when they were first published, inspiring readers of Cycle World to saddle-up and venture out into neighbouring states or countries. It’s the perfect ‘dip into’ collection for tea-breaks, bedside reading, or to have handy in the smallest room.

Review by Paddy Tyson
ISBN: 978-0-7603-3657-1
Paperback 320pp, selection of B&W images (£12.99)
Published by Motorbooks (2009)