In July 1968 a mentally insecure philosophy teacher began a motorcycle ride across the US with his not-yet 12-year-old son. His name was Robert Pirsig and the journey from St Paul across to San Francisco was immortalized in his subsequent best-selling book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. His focus on the metaphysics of quality and the deep philosophical musings have led the book to be referenced as required reading across a broad spectrum of university degrees ranging from Engineering through English to Sociology, Physics, Psychology and Philosophy.
Well-known Kiwi old-bike adventurer, Des Molloy, and his daughter Kitty, with friend Myles attempt to marry a modern re-enactment of Pirsig’s ride, with the American marketing of Zen and The Last Hurrah, Des’s book of riding across the world on a near-vintage UK-made Panther motorcycle. On the correct-period 1965 BMW and Honda, they follow the back-country roads of 1960’s northern America in the wheel-tracks of their antecedents, recording their thoughts and comparing with the bestselling philosopher.
About the Author
A dreamer and schemer, Des Molloy loves to tell a story “Maybe mum was right when she used to describe me as a ‘little Walter Mitty’ a fictional character of James Thurber. I laugh when now as an adult I can reference authorities like the American Heritage Dictionary and find Walter Mitty noted as ‘an ordinary, often ineffectual person who indulges in fantastic daydreams of personal triumphs.’ In my childhood Id not enjoyed the Danny Kaye movie portrayal and thought mums description was mean and a little demeaning, even though she always said it with a smile on her dial. Now I would wear it as a badge of honor. More Bill Bryson than Robert Pirsig, I enjoy sharing my adventures with others. I come from a line of raconteurs who loved a fireside yarn and I humbly endeavor to continue this affliction for the generations who follow.”