RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

28 January 2007

Across America by Motor Cycle. C. K. Shepherd.

C. K. Shepherd. ACROSS AMERICA BY MOTOR CYCLE. Longmans, London, 1922.

Current Selling Prices
$450-$750 / £240-£400 Want level 15 - 25 Quite High


TRAVEL AND TOPOGRAPHY / MOTOR CYCLING
$500 + book and quite scarce - part of a small genre of books about motorbike journeys that seem curiously desirable. Possibly the 2005 flick about Che (Motorcycle Diaries) revived interest. Shepherd was from Birmingham and an RAF officer who rode from San Francisco to New York in 1919. He was apparently trying to throw off the post war malaise and considered "what form of dissipation would be best suited to remove that haunting feeling of unrest, which as a result of three or four years of active service was so common amongst the youth of England". He did 5000 miles in 3 months on a bike he nicknamed 'Lizzie' and had many adventures and a few falls which he writes off with Brit good humour. See also Peggy Iris Thomas 'A Ride in the Sun' another collectable bike journey of a plucky Brit in the Americas, 14000 miles in 1954. She had $60 in her pocket, an Airdale puppy named Matelot and a BSA 125cc Bantam. In US the book is called 'Gasoline Gypsy.' It is pretty much unfindable and even more wanted than Shepherd's book and possibly worth the same.

VALUE? Copies seen as high as £640 but this is the kind of price at which the the book does not sell - the Peter Principle for books. Think half of that for a decent copy. Our photo shows a vintage Harley from 1916, unlikely to be CKS's 'Lizzie.'