Book and DVD Video by: Des Molloy ISBN: 0954791258 Dimensions(in mm): 233x154x14 Publisher:Panther Publishing, 2006
183 pages, Color and B&W Photos and Illustrations
The Last Hurrah is yet another fantastic motorcycle touring adventure tale.
It is brought to us by Rollo Turner at Panther Publishing, who also published The Rugged Road by Theresa Wallach.
This time it’s two Real Old Timers — and I do mean old — who in 2005 decided to ride, of all things, a 1965 Panther 650 and a 1954 Norton 600 from Beijing to Arnhem, Holland.
Just taking two bikes of that vintage across town can be an adventure, much less taking them on a trip like this with two men at the helm who, to be honest, really do look like they’re way past their prime.
I’ve searched high and low in both the book and the DVD to determine the age of Des Molloy and Dick Huurdeman, but the only clue is when Des mentions his younger sister, who was 70 years old.
The book mentions in passing that Dick Huurdeman is a septuagenarian and by the way, he is also the survivor of a couple of strokes.
Oh, and one more thing: Dick had a serious case of diabetes!
But as is usually proved time and again in many of these types of motorcycle adventure narratives, the locals are usually very gracious, kind and friendly hosts.
Further proof that it’s not the average citizen but the egocentric power-hungry politicians that ruin the planet for the rest of us.
Des’ son Steve came along for the ride, so there was a backup vehicle to hold some of the camera equipment, although not much is said about its role in the journey.
Both Des and Dick had health problems along the way, requiring stops in various hospitals and local medical assistance and this is what makes the reader think more about the folly of the adventure.
Dick’s health finally gave out in Iran and he flew back to Amsterdam, probably a stressful trip in and of itself.
I did have some trouble understanding the heavy accents in the video, but the book explained all the details.
I can highly recommend the book as a great summer read; the video is nice as a sort of reference and as a way to get a look at the scenery and some of the characters, but if I had to choose one or the other, I’d pick the book.
The cost of both the book and the video are very reasonable, so it would be a shame to get one and not the other.