A modern-day motorcycle adventurer, Lois Pryce has crossed continents and survived all manner of mayhem to tell the tale — in fact, to tell three tales. Roger Slater has endured sleepless nights, reading her books…
One of my ways of judging a good book is observing how far along the page marker is. If I smile when the marker is quarter-way into the pages, it is a good sign. At the halfway stage my reaction could be ‘Oh no, all that much still to go,’ or ‘Oh splendid, a lot more still to enjoy.’
Another clue? With a most exciting book, I find myself waking up at 2.30am to get another fix of the ongoing adventure. That’s most certainly the case with all three of Lois Pryce’s most excellent books. Sleepless nights come with the territory.
The first one published in 2007 was Lois On The Loose, a 20,000-mile adventure from Alaska to Ushuaia at the foot of South America on her 250 Yamaha dirt bike. Lois is a very gifted writer. She manages to get into the most hair-raising situations with a gung-ho, never give in attitude spiced with a most excellent and very British sense of the ridiculous. For instance, Lois was kicked out of an olde tyme Alaskan’s place of business when she asked to purchase a pair of moose antlers. She had to peg it to the door with alacrity as the very irate proprietor waved a shotgun while hollering ‘THIS IS HOW WE GET ANTLERS UP HERE. Go get yer own!’
Likewise, her description of getting blown off her bike by a monster gale on a pot-holed gravel Ruta 40 in Patagonia is absolutely hair-raising.
Lois’s second book, Red Tape And White Knuckles, came along in 2008. Seems impossible but it was more hair-raising than the Americas adventure. This was a trip from London to Cape Town, South Africa. Many of the countries she passed through were dictatorship war-torn places where a red-lined main road on the map was a figment of the cartographer’s imagination. Often they were thick mud tracks though the jungle, or no road at all other than a slimy, snake and bandit-infested mud footpath.
Who can forget Lois’s potentially disastrous ride on a flatbed freight train after her almost non-existent road became impassable? All night Lois found herself cowering on a leaking diesel can, surrounded by drunken, testosterone-enhanced teenage military yobs waving AK-47s. Despite the very real hardships, Lois maintained her sense of humour and press-on-regardless style.
Lois’s latest book, Revolutionary Ride, is yet another remarkable story with a different slant. Lois finds a handwritten note on the seat of her bike near the Iranian embassy in central London. It is a plea from an individual to ‘please come to my country, we are not terrorists at all’. Lois being Lois, she was intrigued. After a bit of research, out comes her long-suffering Yamaha to go look for herself. What she finds will leave the reader educated, in tears and laughing their socks off.
Lois has recently received the Edward Stanford Adventure Book Of The Year award for her fine work on the Iran situation. Way to go, Lois. Six stars (out of five) for all three books!
RC Reviewer Roger Slater
Lois on the Loose, Red Tape & White Knuckles and Revolutionary Ride by Lois Pryce are all widely available in ebook and paperback formats
Photos: Lois Pryce
Enjoy more RealClassic reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.