BOOK REVIEW “The Devil Can Ride” CVMG Newsletter Feb.2011

The Devil can Ride

The Worlds Best Motorcycle Writing

Edited by Lee Klancher

Book Review by Sam Longo



The Devil can Ride is a great compilation of motorcycle related writing, collected and edited by Lee Klancher. The 28 pieces chosen transcend time and generations and include many great motorcycle journalists past and present. Everyone from Robert Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) to T.E Lawrence is represented along with many modern favorites such as Peter Egan, Kevin Cameron and Hunter S. Thompson, of more recent “Cycle World” fame.


The short stories or excerpts cover many aspects of motorcycle adventure and lifestyle encompassing everything from “one percenter’s” to tales of first time rides. Some of my favorites include T.E. Lawrence’s eloquent descriptions of late evening rides, racing his Brough Superior through the English countryside, collecting fresh produce and groceries for his fellow Airmen back at the Aerodrome.


Another interesting and insightful piece was by Elena Filatova, “Ghost Town” about touring the beautiful but now deserted roads leading to and around Chernobyl’s Dead Zone in the Soviet Union.


In “Riding Home” Jack Lewis writes a compelling travel log after recently returning from serving in Iraq. His BMW R69S named “Honey” is his sole companion as he re-acquaints himself with his unique old motorcycle and his beloved American landscape.


Finally, no great motorcycle compilation would be complete without something from our very own Michelle Anne Duff “Do You Believe in Fairies” is a great little story about racing in the Isle of Man TT back in 1962. Her whimsical history lesson of how the Island was formed and the fairies that inhabit it, intertwined with the harsh realities of International Road Racing, make it one of the best in the book.

 No matter what type of motorcycle tickles your fancy, this book is a great read. If you get a chance, pick it up, it’s guaranteed to help dissipate those dreaded winter blues. You won’t be disappointed. Available at most book stores. ISBN 978-0-7603-3477-5

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