Lois on the Loose - wBW
Lois on the Loose
One Woman, One Motorcycle, 20,000 Miles Across the Americas
by Lois Pryce
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publishers: Thomas Dunne, Arrow, St. Martin's Press
ISBN-10: 009949356X, 0312352212
ISBN-13: 978-0099493563, 978-0312352219
Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
Cost (List/Street): £8.99/£5.81 ($23.95/$16.29)
Book Review by Alice Dryden
Buy it at the wBW
Amazon.com Book Shop!
What happens when a bored commuter packs in her desk job
to travel the length of the Pan-American Highway on a
225cc Yamaha Serow?
By turns funny, enthralling and
scary, Lois on the Loose is a light read that's
perfect to take along on your own motorcycle adventure.
Most of us must have dreamed of clearing our desk,
telling the boss where to stick it, and disappearing
round the world on a motorcycle odyssey.
Lois Pryce is one rider who's turned the dream into
reality, quitting her job at the BBC to travel the
Pan-American Highway from Alaska to Argentina. At 29,
she didn't even wait for a mid-life crisis.
There are plenty of motorcycle travelogues out there, so
what sets this one apart from the rest?
The very fact that Lois is a woman has undoubtedly made
her journey a subtly different experience. Some people
will always assume that women are weaker or less capable
than men, which can place problems in the path of the
female rider that their male counterparts won't have.
the flip side, sometimes doors will be opened and
courtesies extended that would have remained off limits
to a male rider.
Then there's the bike. Wisely plumping for a vehicle she
could lift by herself in the event of a drop, Lois made
her trip on a 225cc Yamaha Serow. This tiny, tough,
temperamental little beast makes a nice change from the
big trailies we usually see attempting this kind of
Lois's writing style is funny and honest. She readily
admits her mistakes and has a knack for describing
incredibly frustrating or downright terrifying events
with self-deprecating humour.
Riding solo most of the way, she is sometimes joined by
a companion for a few miles or a few days. Lois has a
good eye for character and paints excellent
word-portraits of her fellow-riders and the other
people, nice and nasty, she meets on her travels.
She vividly conveys the highs and lows of the adventure:
crossing the Atacama Desert, joining a Harley rally in
Ecuador, freezing temperatures in Peru and floods in
There's one gruesome accident, too, but that's all I'm
saying - you'll have to buy the book to find out what
happens and to whom.
Colour photographs, including several snaps of the Serow
on its side or stuck in mud, help recreate the
atmosphere of the journey.
Unlike some travel writers, Lois doesn't get bogged down
in purple prose describing the magnificent scenery and
how it made her feel like a tiny insignificant speck in
the vast, awesome universe...and so on and so on. Her
sense of wonder is apparent, but it's never overdone,
and she gets as excited about Inca Kola as she does
about Inca ruins.
This was Lois's first book and it does show in the
writing, which is sometimes a little clumsy or just too
chatty. She would have benefited from a stricter editor,
too. The story took a while to get going; I didn't need
to read all the minutiae of office life, because that's
something I'm all too familiar with from my own daily
grind. And some of the incidents described must have
seemed funnier at the time than they do when committed
Yet the author's joy and energy shine through her
narrative, and carry the reader along. You can't wait to
find out what obstacles lie ahead and how Lois will get
I bought Lois on the Loose after hearing the author
speak at a club meeting. As fifty or so bikers listened
spellbound to her punchy, witty anecdotes, it was easy
to see how she had dealt so well with Canadian cops and
Lois was kind enough to sign my copy for me. When I
cracked it open, I saw that she had written 'To Alice,
Hope this gets you in the mood for an adventure!'
It certainly has...
Reviews Index & the "Flaming Helmet" Rating System |
All Reviewed Books Ranked by Rating
►Your Comments and
Please send comments to
Comments are ordered from most recent to oldest.
Not all comments will be published (details
). Comments may be edited for
clarity prior to publication.