modaspia

elspeth beard

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elspeth beard.  the first brittish woman and one of only a few people at the time to ride a motorbike around the world.  this was 1982 and she was 23.  she recently wrote a book about her adventure called Lone Rider - after all these years!  why now?  because when she returned from this 2 year journey through the states, australia, nepal, iran, turkey to name some of the countries she rode through, no one, including her family and friends ,were really interested in hearing about the trip.  she sought sponsorship from some major bike magazines before starting out only to be laughed at or ridiculed.  can you imagine riding a motorcyle through iran in 1982?  that was a good chapter.  

upon her return, she fell into a bit of a depression feeling like an outsider alone with all she had seen.  she went to work as an architect, which she'd trained for before she left.  she bought a water tower in surrey in the UK and transformed it into a home for she and her son, whom she raised alone.  as an architect she is known for creating the unusual and has won awards.  several years ago i guess she was approached by someone in hollywood about turning her story into a movie.  after consideration, she decided it would be best to write her story first.  voila, Lone Rider (with amazing pictures).

i first saw her a week ago on a show i watch with my husband - kind of a lad's biking show with norman reedus.  he and his pal were on their way to visit her at her home.  just as i was wondering who this woman was i got bowled over by the tower.  it is - stunning.  the inside amazing.  a series of smallish rooms connected by a spiral staircase.  elspeth was so cool and interesting i sought out her book the next day. 

one thing that surprised me right away about the book was what drove her to take the trip in the first place.  a break up with a boy.  i can relate to that.  there are 2 important relationships that take place during and after the trip as well.  more than anything though, it's just mind blowing to read how she managed when things went poorly and the degree to which things went poorly (india in particular).

i believe she is 60 now.  still riding.  working, doing some press for the book. it was pretty inspirational.

5 comments

Mar 04, 2019

lesa – yes ! you’ll enjoy it i think .. you should read viv albertine’s new book too that was great. it’s called “to throw away unopenend”.

ursula
Mar 03, 2019

That tower!! Oh my lord! I love this story and I’m ordering her book now—PRONTO! Thanks for this, Ursula.

Lesa
Mar 02, 2019

and just began reading viv albertine’s new book .. less about being in the slits than the rest of her life, which is pretty interesting too.

ursula
Mar 02, 2019

betty – isn’t she something ?!

ursula
Feb 28, 2019

wow, wonderful photos! her story sounds fascinating. I’ll have to pick up her book as well!

betty

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