Yesterday, 9th March, we went along to London’s Ace Cafe for a talk by Ted Simon, seasoned round-the-world traveller and famous author of Jupiter’s Travels, the epic story of his journey 25 years ago and inspiration for many a two-wheeling adventurer. He was there to promote the launch of his latest book, Dreaming of Jupiter, which retraces the steps he took all those years ago and gives some enlightened insights into how the world has changed in that time.
This was a pretty novel (no pun intended!) experience for us. We’d never previously been to London’s biker’s mecca, nor is it our habit to go to book signings to meet celebrities. It was great. We got to meet the man who’s gone round the world twice on a motorbike and have him sign a few copies of his book for us. When we discovered that Ewan McGregor was there too (Ewan’s a self-confessed Ted fanatic) we took the opportunity to get his signature too, and have a quick chat about his own plans for a trans-Africa trip with friend, Charley Boorman.
Now, you might be tempted to accuse us of celebrity-mania, but because we didn’t actually manage to speak much to Ted at the Ace Cafe, we took the opportunity of travelling down to Dorset where we knew he was doing another book signing. This, it turned out, was an excellent idea. We not only managed to have more of a chinwag with the man himself, but he kindly obliged to have his photo taken with us too! In so doing, he showed is classic, calm approach to things. His bike, which was on display at the venue, had a ‘do not touch’ sign on it. When we asked about a pic, he asked the organiser in his most disarming and gentle voice ‘why can’t I touch my bike?’, then moved the sign and hopped on! We were chuffed. Now we had a couple of signed copies of his book and a pic together with the man who’s inspired so many intrepid biking travellers.