Sunday, 2 March 2014

Gone Riding is selling well. And I've been extremely pleased with the reviews I've had. So pleased, in fact, that I'm going to post some of them here.

I''ll be signing books at Ace Cafe, London on March  23rd. I'm also signed up to give a presentation and book signing at the BMF in Peterborough in May and the HUBB in the Midlands in June.

If you can't wait that long to get your hands on a copy of my book. Click here (

Reviews for Gone Riding...

This book contains a tale that has many messages and I love it for this. You don't need to be 100% prepared to have a journey and adventure such as this. The world is an enthralling place. There is so much more to do and to get involved with when on the road. For many, disasters simply don't happen, but that in no way decreases from the fun. Mind you, Dom Giles has his moments! I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
Sam Manicom (Author of Into Africa and three other Motorcyle adventure travel books)

One of the aspects of the book that I enjoyed reading about was the contrast between individual travel and joining a group of overlanders who happen to be heading in your direction.
I recommend reading this book as it gives a wonderful insight into overland motorcycle travel without the need to pursuit endless amounts of 'Dakar' style adventure. Dom's English humour echos through the paragraphs leaving one feeling 'in the moment' with him. His emphasis is on travel and his BMW GS is simply the motorcycle he chose to use to accomplish his dreams. Don't expect endless commentary on the mechanics and benefits of a BMW motorcycle - you can get that info from other books. Simply sit back in a comfy sofa, with a English cup of tea and enjoy the ramblings of Dom, the overlander:

An awesome read. I started the book Sunday afternoon, picked it up to read when I came home from work Monday evening and the same thing tonight Tuesday and I finished it this evening (Tuesday). I couldn't put it down I was absorbed in it… I want to read another get on another adventure.
Ann Henderson

The author Dom Giles was originally inspired by reading Ted Simons Jupiter’s Travels given to him as a leaving present when he left the UK in the mid 90’s to teach in Argentina.

While there he bought a motorcycle and started exploring the adjacent countries before work meant travelling to other places and leaving the two-wheeled exploring behind.

Later his desires to see more of the world on two wheels was fuelled by reading Sam Manicom’s two-wheeled adventures and basically he eventually gave up a good job in the UK rode 30,000 miles through 18 countries and stepped out of his comfort zone, which gave him the material for this excellent softbound work. Manicom thankfully helped with the writing of this 324 page account of his adventures and it has been edited by Paul Blezzard. As a result it is an excellent read that will help it stand out from the plethora of similar books on the market.

He has adopted Manicom’s almost laid back style of writing that helps bring the journey to life and allows you to feel part of his journey, rather than a voyeur looking on. Giles describes things well and manages to add in some fascinating history snippets (he is a history teacher by profession!) from the various locations as well as many humorous anecdotes to keep the whole text light and entertaining, as well as informative.

However, rather than just being another account of somebody who has been fortunate enough to be able to take a year out and ‘find themselves’ or tick something else off the ‘bucket list’, this book has a few differences that make it stand out. It is definitely not just another book about a mid-life crisis on a BMW GS following well-worn routes around the world!

For starter s Giles breaks up the journey with a several stints as a volunteer on several worthy projects, has his wife join him for several stages and manages to do some group riding along the way with fellow travelers. It is a book about travel, culture and geography, rather than a motorcycle book just detailing places visited and he is certainly not a hardcore biker also blessed with mechanical aptitude as he tells in a somewhat self- depreciating manner!

There are some images dotted throughout, with a small colour plate section, but in the main pictures are vividly painted by the author. Each chapter starts with a pithy quote to lead you in and the book starts with the question “Why” something the author answers at the end with the simple reply “Why not?” He once again proves that anybody can make such a trip if they really want to!

Certainly a book that has all the hallmarks of good travel writing with a few different aspects that help make it stand out and it is certainly well –worth the £13.95 cover price.
Ian Kerr MBE

Gone Riding is an illuminating story of adventure that’s full of thought-provoking insight into the lives of people across two continents and the challenges and triumphs of solo motorcycle travel. The Ted Simon Foundation

Dom’s writing, packed with nuggets of information, contains the real essence of travel writing… he seamlessly links the bike ride with a social conscience and desire to learn from the people he meets. Overland Magazine  

Today I’m happily digesting the first bits of Dom’s efforts and loving every second of it. Yes, it’s about the road and the challenges. But its about more than that. Measure the reading on your personal wanderlust meter before picking up the book. Read a chapter. And then take another reading. I dare you. That thing … that thing you try to contain during the 9-5, that thing that’s only satisfied when its got wind in its face, that thing that has the ability to make your soul at once terrified and ecstatic, will have just dialed itself up to ten. Or eleven. And that’s just one chapter.
So here’s to your wanderlust. Feed it well. Get Dom’s book when it comes out. Support a fellow sojourner. Spend a couple of bucks. Your soul will be that much happier.      Moto Underground

I like the back up trivial info. and the funny interior dialogue. I have laughed out loud a good many times.     Phil Freeman, founder of MotoQuest and award winning author of The Adventurous Motorcyclists Guide to Alaska

To all my motorcycling friends. I've just finished reading "Gone Riding" by Dom Giles. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting this author/adventurer in Nakusp, BC at a Horizons Unlimited travelers meeting. I just want to encourage all my friends to search out this book that he wrote about motorcycling from Alaska down to Panama and then over to Southern Africa on his BMW GS "Heidi" while volunteering at different locales along the way. Great storytelling from this history teacher of the different locales visited, of solo riding and of group dynamics. I could also relate to his lack of motorcycle mechanical skills, which is why I usually ride with my friend Kevan! This book is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition and I have seen some paperback editions for sale on there as well. Let the wanderlust begin! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Mark Kuzminski

A fabulous effort - fascinating, insightful and inspirational. It's given me a few ideas for future travel plans of my own, in particular the volunteering, as although it's something I've thought about doing I hadn't previously thought of tying it into a journey. If I had anything to add it would just have been a few more photos, but please don't take that as a criticism, just a personal thing from me. I urge you to consider another book on your other travels - I would definitely buy !!! 
Chris Hunt

Loving the book so far Dom! You totally make me laugh. I want to consume it all but am really trying to savour the story and the writing - well done! Read chapter 1 last night. So honest. i love all your first impressions of being in America and being an adventure rider.

These reviews are on Amazon (UK and USA)

 I genuinely and heartily recommend this adventure travel book - You really don't need to be a motorcyclist to enjoy this but if you are... then you will appreciate Dom Giles' honest and personal approach to tackling modern bike maintenance, like who the hell knows how these things work? Dom has really captured the essence of the traveller and beautifully conveys the joy of immersing himself in the culture and communities through which he rides. An honest and candid tale of an epic journey over 30,000 miles and 18 countries on two continents, Dom Giles confirms there is so much more out there than the BBC et al will have us believe. Essentially the people of the world are good; they are not corrupt, dangerous or immoral and if we take the time to get involved they will enrich our lives... if only we would give them the chance! Dom concludes his writing by saying that travelling breaks down barriers, dispels myths and broadens the mind... and he posits the idea that all world leaders should be forced to take a GAP year and travel before taking office - What a wonderful notion!

Why travel? wrong question. Actually... why not? All peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry and die and if we try to understand each other we may become friends. Dom Giles clearly and effectively shows us the world is full of generosity towards strangers and a general desire to live in peace. Life is lived, family by family and mile by mile and this fantastic book simply encourages us to go explore. I'm out of here... cheers Dom!  Jay

The author, Dom Giles, is or rather was, an ordinary man, who had done a little travelling, who had a motorcycle licence and dreamt of doing so by ‘bike. So far, similar to many motorcyclists, but unlike others, such as myself whose visits to far flung places by motorcycle is achieved vicariously, he achieves his dream and therefore is becomes extraordinary.

His book shows, in an entertaining manner how to overcome fears that may prevent one from undertaking a long, arduous journey. His lack of knowledge of all things mechanical, should he ride alone or with a group a subject many a motorcyclist has deliberated over and the pros and cons of both are laid bare for all to see and assist in making that decision.

His enthusiasm for the feat he is undertaking is infectious; the benefits of doing so far outweigh the trials and tribulations he has to contend with during the trip. This book will probably assist those teetering on the brink of making a decision to do something similar to be positive and make the significant life-changing step to see and experience more of the world.  Sharik

I met Dom a good few years ago when we both taught in the Falklands, so I read this book in two minds, as a friend and as a new biker (I learnt to ride very recently and now own a KLR 650).
It is an easy read that frankly kept me going throughout. I have a busy life and I rarely find time to read other than when I'm stuck on a plane, but this book kept me engaged throughout.
It is extremely well written, informative and entertaining, above and beyond all of this it is a truly inspiring read. I have recently gone on line and sought out information on panniers for my bike. The 1000 miles of Falklands roads first!
I highly recommend it to anyone, biker or otherwise.    Steve

Not your average self-obsessed travel book! Makes a big journey seem possible without the need to be superhuman! Fun, engaging and entertaining in equal measure with a good dose of useful travel information thrown in! Feeling a bit low? Why not curl up with Dom Giles on a winter evening? You know you want to!   The Scribbler

I met Dom briefly at the beginning of the trip he's documented in Gone Riding - he's a great guy and when I heard he was writing a book about his travels, I knew I'd have to read it. There are a lot of great motorcycle travel adventures in print, but not many that combine volunteerism along the way. I really enjoyed reading about his on-bike adventures but also about his time spent working with sloths and turtles as well as his time teaching. How great to take time out of a trip of a lifetime to give back.

If you're interested in travel, whether you ride bikes or not, you should give Dom's book a read. It's well-written, has a solid pace, and frankly is really enjoyable. It might even inspire you to take a trip yourself.  Elizabeth Howe

This book is not just about travel on a motorbike across two continents (North America and Africa) it's about a lot more. Dom Giles explores these two continents on a motorbike and gives really great insights into the history and geography of the places he visits. He gives tips for any traveller wether on a motorbike or not. I could not put this book down. As I read chapter after chapter I felt immersed in The travels of Dom Giles. I felt I was there with him and could imagine what he was seeing. Dom explores his thoughts as he travels alone, he does meet other interesting travelers along the way and even travels with other people doing the same thing. As Dom says why travel after you read this book your answer will be like Doms "well why not". This book is one of the must reads and a book you need to have in your library. Well written and full of witty insights. Walter E Eckhoff