About the only thing I like better than Gordon Lightfoot’s Greatest Hits CD playing is reading stuff by Peter Egan — even better while the CD is playing.
That’s because just as Lightfoot’s music is often about things and places we know and remember and have experienced, so is Egan’s writing.
He connects by writing with wit and vivid observations on the motorcycle life, the rest of life and shared experiences. Of course, his telling of those experiences tends to be much more engaging, funny and true than the rest of us could ever manage.
It’s like listening to an old friend spin a yarn where the old friend is a professional story-teller who can make even something as mundane as an oil change or kickstarting and old bike funny and worth reading about.
That effect is evident to anyone who has read his first two Leanings books, which, as Leanings 3 is, are compilations of his columns written for Cycle World.
Leanings is a collection of the best of his columns from 1977 to 2002. Leanings 2 covers select features and columns from 1988 through 2004. In Leanings 3, Egan reprises selected columns from 2005 to 2013 and five features from the same period.
Being that these selections are relatively recent, if you are a regular reader of Cycle World, you may recall some of them fairly well, but it’s likely you’ll find them just as satisfying a second or even a third time.
Like riding down that favorite back road, it never really gets old. One of my favorites is entitled, “Bonneville Fever,” about one of Egan’s friends making the decision to take an old British twin to the Bonneville Salt Flats to try to set a record in the Production Pushrod 650 class. The story includes some people I know and I can relate to the Bonneville fever phenomenon.
There are even columns with sage advice worth repeating, for example, “The Fine Art of Riding Your Own Bike,” which ran in July 2006. In it, Egan gently reminds us to ride within our own abilities, no matter how much faster other riders around us are—or may think they are.
There is of course, much more and even if the issues of Cycle World that these selections are drawn from are still piled in a banana box under your workbench, just imagine how nice it would be to be able to haul this book down off the shelf and find some of the best ones just by looking in the table of Contents!
See our retro review of Leanings and Leanings 2.
- Title: Leanings 3
- Author: Peter Egan
- Published: 2014
- Publisher: Motorbooks, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, USA, Inc., 400 First Ave. North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN, 55401 USA.
- ISBN-13: 978-0-7603-4642-6