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Lone Rider

The First British Woman to Motorcycle Around the World
Narrated by: Wendy Wolfson
Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (185 ratings)

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Summary

In 1982, at the age of just 23 and halfway through her architecture studies, Elspeth Beard left her family and friends in London and set off on a 35,000-mile solo adventure around the world on her 1974 BMW R60/6. 

Reeling from a recent breakup and with only limited savings from her pub job, a tent, a few clothes, and some tools, all packed on the back of her bike, she was determined to prove herself. She had ridden bikes since her teens and was well-traveled. But nothing could prepare her for what lay ahead. 

When she returned to London nearly two-and-a-half years later she was stones lighter and decades wiser. She'd ridden through unforgiving landscapes and countries ravaged by war, witnessed civil uprisings that forced her to fake documents, and fended off sexual attacks, biker gangs, and corrupt police convinced she was trafficking drugs. She'd survived life-threatening illnesses, personal loss, and brutal accidents that had left permanent scars and a black hole in her memory. And she'd fallen in love with two very different men. 

In an age before email, the internet, mobile phones, satnavs, and, in some parts of the world, readily available and reliable maps, Elspeth achieved something that would still seem remarkable today. Told with honesty and wit, this is the extraordinary and moving story of a unique and life-changing adventure.

©2018 Elspeth Beard (P)2019 Elspeth Beard

What listeners say about Lone Rider

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just hours of moaning about everything

wanted to love this book but it's just hours of moaning about traveling .. people and places very little positive light shun on anything I finished it with the hope that maybe something might spark some positivity ...and to end with some positivity my self about the book... Elspeth has a lovely speaking voice .

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

From one female biker to another - bravo. This is an excellent book for anyone but really spoke to me as a woman who sometimes feels she fails to fit in, wants to do her own thing & values her independence . It’s a wonderful story that covers history, cultures, a personal story and a love story. Amazing. I had tears in my eyes at the end .

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excellent superb listen

obviously based on true events of Elspeth beard it a good listen about this very brave and strong women who travelled around the world by motorcycle which took over 2 years. she road, serviced and repaired her own BMW, no back up crew following Elspeth unlike Mc Gregor and Boreman. I like many others would love to do such a trip but we all know deep down we haven't the balls!

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A real travel adventure

A great story from the early days of global bike travel. Very calming narrator for easy listening.

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Tough route to attempt.

I'm curious how things have changed for female riders today, I hesitate to say improved. Impressive accomplishment.

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Bloody hell Elspeth.

What an incredible book. Amazing. You must listen to this book. You will enjoy it.

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  • R
  • 12-10-19

Diary of a teenage girl

I honestly cannot understand the praise for this book. I couldn't get past the 5th chapter, I found it so cringe worthy. It achieves the impossible by making an amazing and interesting adventure sound so unbelievably dull. the narrator is the worst I've ever heard. Really she is that sh1t. If I'd read the book rather than have to hear this woman read it maybe it would come across better. I'm aware that this may shauvanistic and if so I apologise for that but be prepared for at least 40% 'diary of a teenage girl'. At points - alot of points - it sounds like something your sister might have read in primary 7. Talking about the various boys she's left behind and her feelings and their feelings and how they are so in love with her and she can't help but feel blah blah blah. Oh my god it literally goes on and on with this stuff. I might try and go back at some point to find the adventure in this book but right now I just can't bear to listen to it anymore. So much of it is just dithering nonsense by a girl that has a very high opinion of herself and is a complete fecking moaner. How the flipping heck did the narrator get in to this line of work is the biggest question. She sounds like she is reading it for the first time. Alexa would've saved you some money, Elspeth.

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Not inspired

I thought this was going to be an inspirational tale of global adventure but I was disappointed to find that it was mainly a tale of hardship and heartbreak. The narration was annoying too. Her accents were dreadful and the sound quality varied a lot.

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Just Awesome

Just Awesome what a great engaging and moving adventure. Well read too such a lovely lady.

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Interesting read

Amazing achievement and great story... coming home is always an anti climax though! Worth a listen.

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  • Brad S
  • 03-01-20

Tragic Adventure

Elspeth's ride around the world is well written and well read... but it's one tragedy after another. Very depressing adventure/story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Klaus
  • 01-11-19

it got better and better

the story was of to a slow start. but I really enjoyed it after about an hour into it. all the way to the end!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-08-19

What a captivating adventure!!

Absolutely Loved Elspeth's story!!! The adventure she undertook at a time when traveling the world on bike AND at a time when female rider's where completely chauvinisticly patronized my some of the male motorcycling community when she needed that support the most. Can't believe that it took over 30yrs for this FANTASTIC story to come into the light! I'm not gonna lie, I even cried at the end of the book a bit, cause the ending was sad and lonely feeling... I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ALL riders regardless of whether your a man or a woman!!!

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  • Alex Reponen
  • 17-06-19

Disappointing

I was genuinely excited at the prospect of this book when I heard about it but sadly was quite disappointed by the time I finished it. For me it wasn’t the personal details mixed with the travel, that was actually refreshing compared to other travel-log style books. It was the sense of colonial entitlement that pervaded her attitude when traveling. The disbelief that people could live so differently from her; the idea that she had a right to complete this trip and anyone who stood in her way, whether it was their intention or not, was being disrespectful, offensive, or stubborn. She proceeds to break multiple laws, disregard governments’ genuine, if misguided and ineffective, measures to keep her safe and all the while complain as if they were the problem. Heaven forbid she had a real problem and expected anyone to go get her when she was the root cause! She is an architect but primarily of her own misfortune, discontent, disaster. She whines about the changes to a 49 year practice of easing immigration requirements for British citizens in India because of recent sectarian violence as though she was the still entitled to Indian admiration and adoration. despite being independent of British rule for as long!) She moans about the troubles in Iran following the Islamic revolution (British and American interference being a primary source of discontent leading to the revolution) only 4-5 years earlier and an ongoing war with Iraq- as though those weren’t her problem and couldn’t they just pause it while she traipsed through. The story lacks humility, personal responsibility and a sense of wonder except at those frustrating foreigners she finds around her and their ridiculous ways. I finished the book hoping at the end (it was written I believe long after the trip was complete and she had presumably matured) she would reflect and realize how arrogant, entitled and self-important she had been and regret it but instead she doubles down, apologizes for nothing and demonstrates she has learned little behind what her colonial fore-bearers learned about the exotic but dirty foreign lands there for material or experiential plunder but owning them nothing in return except a few pieces of gold. I’d like to think she will stay where she is rather than embarrass herself and her countrymen with her lack of appreciation for foreign cultures. It’s is one thing to be naive about the world, run from broken relationships and immerse yourself in another world. It is quite another however to come out the other end no better than you began. Save the fuel next time.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 18-04-19

Real, very Real

To the Author, Cannot help but appreciate the Tenacity and determination that it took to accomplish and what you did . I wish I could have your panniers , But I am not willing to go through what you went through to get them. From Rider to another well Done.

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  • Eric R DePetris
  • 15-04-20

Disappointingly and negative story.

Riding around the world should be an exciting journey. I would imagine it to be filled with beautiful sites, exciting people and new things. This book was written by someone who was clearly miserable the entire way. Each chapter focuses on the negative parts and the difficulty she encountered along the way. I’ve read numerous other travel books and have not come across one as sullen as this. Overall it was quite disappointing.

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  • Rafael
  • 01-12-19

It’s been an unforgettable experience

This book has been a am expansive experience in both my understanding of the experience of another, but also about myself. It felt like many times I was there within the pages, feeling the same frustrations, celebrating the triumphs and mourning the losses. I whole wholeheartedly can say, I don't only recommend this book, but have made efforts to persuade my friends to pick it up as well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lisa
  • 14-11-19

what a story!

I loved it I couldn't put it down amazing to here what Elspeth went through I was really impressed

1 person found this helpful

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  • paul
  • 13-04-19

Respect...

As a motorcyclist and a world traveller my self, this book is the closest thing I’ve personally read that mirrored my own struggles with life. It was very gripping and i had a hard time stopping the audio to get my other things done. I am also a single parent. Elspeth - if by chance you read these reviews i have only two words to say to you. Understanding and Respect. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me (us). Perhaps some day we will meet on that long open road....

1 person found this helpful

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  • Theodore John
  • 09-04-19

You must admire this woman

I've read and listened to every audiobook out there about some motorcyclist who did the "round the world" thing. Elspeth is and should be a great inspiration to anyone who sets out to do anything. The story was amazing, heartbreaking, frustrating and glorious. A lesser person would have given up and gone home. Although it took place in the 80's, I felt bad for her as she went through America and met all these American idiots along the way and even the bikers who were total jerks. UGH.... Makes me angry to hear fellow riders treated her as they did. Great book and I highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful