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We thank Dorit Brauer for the generous gift of her book to review.
The title of this book is what caught my attention, and I certainly wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading Girls Don’t Ride Motorbikes by Dorit Brauer. If I had to sum this book up in a sentence, it would have to be a story of personal discovery, reflection, and breaking the speed limit.
About the Author
Dorit Brauer has led a very adventurous life. She was born on a dairy farm in Germany where she spent her youth. When she was older, she spent ten weeks backpacking around Brazil before, much to her parents’ horror, moving to Israel to study art. She ended up staying in the city of Tel Aviv for eight years, all of which stemmed from wanting to know more about the origins of her name.
Dorit is currently based in Pittsburgh, USA where she is the owner and founder of the Brauer Institute for Holistic Medicine.
Dorit’s journey starts in the same place as most good adventure stories… at home. In the first chapter, aptly called ‘The Awakening’ Dorit, who had just turned thirty-eight, reflects on the life she built for herself and realized while she had a stable, some might even say thriving career, she was not happy. A mid-life crisis may be the wrong word, but after briefly considering and then rejecting another trip to brazil, Dorit decided to combine her passions for two wheels and a motor with sacred circles.
We then skip forward to August 2006 at 6 am the first day of a six week trip, solo, across the USA. The story starts with Dorit struggling to lift her fully loaded blue Suzuki Bandit 600 off its center stand. That may not have been the start she was looking for but to be fair, it did weigh over 230 kg fully loaded. With some perseverance and help from her partner, she gets there and sets off on the adventure of a lifetime.
On the first day, she finds herself in every rider’s worst nightmare, being stuck on a long road in the middle of nowhere with a mostly empty tank and no idea when the next fuel station is… in the rain. She manages to make it through her first day thankfully and puts over 800 km under her belt. Through-out her six-week journey, Dorit is welcomed into the homes of old friends and strangers she meets while researching labyrinths.
We learn very early on in the book that the title “Girls Don’t Ride Motorbikes” was actually a quote from her own father, making it so much more meaningful. I know from my own experience that telling the people you love that you are going to be riding a motorbike and they don’t have a say about it does not always go over well. Dorit talks about her father’s hatred of motorbikes and she makes it easy to sympathize with her position. She loves her father but also acknowledged her own passions which happen to be bikes.
Dorit certainly has the ability to take you along for the ride through her writing. She captures the excitement of the trip perfectly and really makes you feel as if you went. She highlights the best parts of riding when she talks about the other bikers she meets along the way.
For Dorit, this trip was more about paying homage to an inner awakening than getting out and going on an adventure. I think her story serves as an inspiration and proof that there is no one size fits all motorcycle trip. You don’t have to traverse desserts or continents in order to have a meaningful or even just exciting adventure on your favorite two wheels.
“Riding a motorcycle is one of life’s greatest pleasures.”
When I first started this book, I had no idea what a labyrinth was, if not a giant maze. I am not a spiritual person; however, Dorit took the time to explain the concept in the book helping the reader understand. After I finished the book, I even found myself googling labyrinths in my area to see if they were as popular here as they are overseas.
Dorit is a very creative person and it flows into her writing. This book is very easy to read. It is perfect for armchair travelers because the timeline bounces from her childhood in Germany across her years of living abroad and also to where she sees herself in the future.
The way that Dorit has managed to combine two passions is inspiring and goes to show motorcycles are suited for not just one type of person.
Although this is a very insightful and interesting book, if you are looking for a motorcycle-based adventure, this may not be for you. This book is equally about a spiritual journey with the Bandit 600 acting as just a means of transport rather than the base for the adventure itself.
If you are looking for a motorbike based adventure, be sure to check out our review of the Best Motorcycle Adventure Books.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy Girls Don’t Ride Motorbikes?
There are a variety of places where you can get your hand on a copy of Girls Don’t Ride Motorcycles. If you follow this buy now link, you will be able to purchase it from Amazon and also be able to choose the kindle or paperback version.
Where can I read more about Dorit Brauer?
Thankfully, Dorit has a very informative website. It displays a lot of her artwork and you can also find pictures from her trip. You can find her at https://doritbrauer.com/