ELSPETH BEARD is a motorcyclist and award-winning architect. In the early 1980s she completed a solo motorcycle trip around the world and became the first British woman to achieve this. She runs her own architectural practice, specialising in creating and remodelling interesting and unusual buildings. She lives in a converted Victorian water tower in the southeast of England and still enjoys riding her collection of motorcycles, which includes the trusty BMW R60/6 which carried her around the world.
When I set off to ride my motorbike around the world in 1982 I never imagined that my story would be published. On my return, in 1984, I put all my journals, tapes and photos in a cardboard box in the back of a cupboard where they remained for over thirty years. In 2008 freelance journalist Paul Blezard was commissioned by Andy Dukes to write a short article about my round the world trip for BMW International which was sent out as an international press release. It was picked up by Motorcyclist Online and over the next seven years my story gradually spread.
In early 2014 I was contacted out of the blue by an agent in Hollywood who had found the article on the internet and expressed an interest in buying the rights to my story, with a view to making a film about it. In October that year I was invited out to Los Angeles and after a series of meetings with various scriptwriters and producers it became clear to me that writing a book was the first logical step to ensure that there was an accurate record of my journey. I had always wanted to write a book but the lack of interest from anyone when I returned in 1984, combined with my dyslexia, finishing off my architectural studies and then buying the water tower that is now my home, all became obstacles and my trip became a distant memory. However, with this new interest in my story and encouragement from friends, I was encouraged to write this book.
My book was published in July 2017 by Michael O'Mara Books and is available on their web site or on Amazon and most good book shops. If you would like a signed copy this can be ordered from this web site.
Lone Rider was selected as winner of the Best Shextreme Adventure Book Award 2018. The judging panel described the book as 'a classic of the genre.'