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6th February 2015

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An Adventure Too Far by Graham Ham

Once upon a time, Graham Ham escaped the rat race to go adventuring aboard his classic Triumph twin. Now there's a sequel to his original 'Daisy's Diaries' book, where even more things go wrong...

Regular readers will not need any introduction to Graham Ham; his jottings have appeared in many an edition of RealClassic. Nor will they need to be introduced to Daisy, his long suffering 1948 Triumph Speed Twin. What readers may not know is that Graham has written a second full-length book which is available as an eBook for Kindle devices. Again, if you have been a follower of the RC column or enjoyed Graham’s first book you will be familiar with Graham’s easily read, welcoming style of writing and in this respect the new book does not disappoint.

So, what’s ‘An Adventure Too Far’ about? From the end of the first book we leap forward three or four years and Graham is in a bit of a rut. In what appears to be normal for Graham, the best laid plans have gone awry and he is being sucked back into his business and ending up running to stand still. Something HAS to change, and it does, quite dramatically. Of course I’m not going to tell you what: you’re supposed to buy the book, not read a précis here!

The upshot of the upheaval is that Graham decides to, and is able to, attempt the World Association of Triumph Owners’ Clubs Rally Challenge (WATOC). The idea of the challenge is to encourage Triumph owners to attend a number of rallies in the UK and Europe. There are prizes for the member who attends the most rallies and rides the most miles. Not a problem as Mr H isn’t competitive... much! As this challenge is open to Triumphs of any age including modern motorcycles, Daisy and Graham might be thought to start with a disadvantage; this does not allow for a certain, shall we say, stubbornness shown by the rider. One might also say that to ride 8000 miles in a few short months on a bike like Daisy requires more than a little grit even before any problems start.

Daisy's Diaries: 'An Adventure Too Far'
Tired Triumphs on Now...

Graham’s writing style is very personal, intimate even, and very honest: we are made aware of the stresses and strains of his life at that time and acutely aware how his failings nearly brought disaster after disaster down on to his head. As you might imagine, riding a bike of Daisy’s age over that many miles in such a short time throws up one or two mechanical issues, and more than once her relaxed maintenance schedule threatens to derail the whole endeavour. In the end... nope, read the book if you want to know how it all turned out.

I really enjoyed this book: there was enough detail and description for me to feel the anxiety, adulation and adversity without it becoming a litany of facts and figures. The descriptions of the people Graham meets on his travels are excellent and the shenanigans that seem to happen at the rallies evokes some slightly hazy memories in me. Note to self, the next time someone says ‘hold my drink and watch this’, make sure there is something solid in front as protection.

All in all, thoroughly recommended as a great read, if not as service notes!

RC Reviewer Ian Woolley

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‘An Adventure Too Far: Daisy’s Diaries’ by Graham Ham is published as an ebook at Amazon priced £4.99

Daisy's Diaries: 'An Adventure Too Far'
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