Motorcycles I’ve Loved by Lily Brooks-Dalton

motorcyclesNew England in the hospitable seasons and the open road – two good reasons to acquire a motorcycle.

The author finds this out after spending four years of her early adulthood abroad – in Ireland, India, Thailand, and Australia.  After breaking up with her Australian boyfriend, she returns to her native New England to regroup, and motorcycle mania ensues.

By the end of the book, she has gone through four of them.  Well, three – one was not in running status.

Motorcycles I’ve Loved is a memoir of sorts, with each chapter named after a term in physics, and all pertaining to her life travels and newly mobile joy of cycling.  Thus we get “acceleration”, “propulsion”, “vibration” and a whole host of other aspects of physics, as the author explores the functions of her new-found machines and ponders her family – parents who are both free spirits in their own way, and an estranged older brother.

Initially, I thought the use of physics themes would be tedious, but no – it was interesting to read about these concepts and how they fit in with the mechanics of a motorcycle.

Along the way, Brooks-Dalton learns her strengths and limitations, experiences the sorrows of rain and breakdowns, and finds out that all kinds of things can go wrong – with relationships, brake lines, and inspection shops.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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