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Book Review

Across America by Motor-Cycle

Fully Annotated Centennial Edition uncovers the rest of the story

Some years ago I was tinkering with my Kindle, looking for some moto stories to nest with during the winter months. One crossed my screen called Across America by Motorcycle. I've seen lots of adventure moto books. Helge Pedersen, Ted Simon and others seem to have paved the way, but I'd never heard of this book before.

Following his service in World War 1, Captain C.K. Shepherd floated into New York and purchased a top of the line Henderson motorcycle. He took off on a two-month adventure across America. Keeping a daily diary, Shepherd holds nothing back in his opinions of others he meets, deals with every sort of mechanical issue you can imagine, and takes plenty of photos along the way.

I was intrigued. I bought it and enjoyed the read. Turns out I'm not the only one who enjoyed the book.

Retired airline pilot Mark Hunnibell, also a captain, got hooked too. So much so, he recently completed his 1919 Henderson restoration, mounted it in New York and proceeded to follow Shepherd's odyssey as closely as possible.

But Hunnibell had questions and he was looking for answers. In this Centennial Edition, Hunnibell annotates his extensive research about the ride revealing much more than Shepherd was sharing in his original dossier.

An additional 250 photographs were added as a result of Hunnibell getting access to Shepherd's extensive photo collection and digging deep into others as well. His research brought to light a lot of new information revealed through 750 annotations.

New York, Philadelphia, Dixie, The Santa Fe Trail, Rio Grande Valley, The Grand Canyon and up the Pacific Coast, it's all here in this 492-page guide to the way the west was conquered on a motorcycle 100 years ago.

It's great to follow along as I re-read the adventure and learn even more through this edition.

Now, I want to see the movie! Movie! Movie! Somebody make the movie!

GM/July 2019

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