Butterflies and Flat Tyres
From Zurich to Singapore Via Siberia
(Kindle Edition)

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Butterflies and Flat Tyres: Zurich to Singapore via Siberia, is Lorraine Spence’s remarkable, often hilarious, travelling memoir detailing her extraordinary trip from Zurich, on first a Suzuki DRZ 400 (aka, Dizzy), and when Dizzy died, a Suzuki DR650 SE (aka, Dozer).
Lorraine journeyed for six months, over 33,000 kilometres, spending fifty percent of her time riding with three different groups of adventure motorcyclists on various legs of her journey, and fifty percent riding completely solo, unsupported. Prior to this, Lorraine had done a reasonable amount of trail biking, but was not what you would call the world’s most experienced adventure motorcyclist.
Lorraine’s account of life on the road (or thing that possibly once vaguely resembled a road) veers between moments of comedy, days of difficulty, great challenges, and often, scary situations.
One of the pinnacles of her trip, Lorraine became the second woman (the other being a local Russian lady), to ride the western half of the BAM Road, which is considered to be one of the toughest adventure motorbike routes. The Baikal-Amur Mainline is a Russian railway line traversing Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East. It runs 4,324 kilometres, and is parallel to the Trans-Siberian railway (about 700kms distant), to which it was built as a strategic alternative. It has a fascinating (and rather gruesome) history, mostly having been built by prisoners.
The BAM Road is the railway’s service track and is in exceedingly poor condition, with collapsed bridges, bogs, dangerous river crossings and ridiculous potholes. The BAM is only passable by off road vehicles and adventure motorcycles, and indeed, very few people have ridden this trail. Even Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman in “Long Way Round” shied from the challenge, diverting by train.

As a testament to Lorraine’s courage and incredible spirit, she chose to ride the Vitim Bridge, one of the most notorious bridges along the BAM: high up, narrow, rotting timber, no rails, with a raging and very wide river beneath. Lesser men dismount, and walk their bikes across, but according to Lorraine: “It’s not that scary... if you don’t look down.” To quote the ‘Tough Miles’ adventure motorcycle dudes (who dismounted for the Vitim crossing): “To ride that, you must have balls of steel.”
That’s Lorraine!

Jeff Kill, the owner of Kudu Expeditions, with whom Lorraine traversed the western half of the BAM Road as well as other parts of her trip, clearly admires Lorraine, saying: “Lorraine should be an inspiration to any woman wanting to do it (adventure motorcycling), and should be a lesson to all guys on how to.”

By Cerian Griffiths (author of Jade & the Deva)

AuthorLorraine Spence
BindingKindle Edition
FormatKindle eBook
LanguageEnglish
Language TypePublished
Number Of Pages245
Product GroupeBooks
Publication Date2014-07-01
Release Date2014-07-01
Sales Rank147842

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