Theresa Wallach wrote The Rugged Road about her 7500-mile journey from through Africa in 1934 accompanied by her friend Florence Blenkiron. What was the inspiration for the trip? Florence simply needed to get to South Africa, so Theresa made it happen. Sounds like as good of a reason as any. A trip of a lifetime and one for the record books as they were most likely the first to have traveled the route by motorcycle. Not just any motorcycle mind you, but a Panther 600cc motorcycle with a sidecar pulling a trailer.

Theresa Wallach’s personal story is just as interesting as her trip through Africa, if not more so. As a woman born in England, later moving to the U.S., she imported motorcycles and taught motorcycle safety. She also won the coveted Gold Star for circling the famous Brooklands circuit at over 100 mph (on a Norton 350). This movie has practically written itself. For casting, I’d nominate Jennifer Lawrence for Theresa, and perhaps Emma Watson for her friend Blenk.

  • azicat

    Telemovies, documentary, or direct distribution flicks to arthouse and niche audiences, perhaps; but I doubt they have enough appeal to mass cinema audience without some narrative embellishment. A lot of these books are in the biographical or travel journal form, and lack the protagonist/antagonist figures and sensationalist appeal so loved by Hollywood these days.

    • BMelPel

      See Deryl Clark above. “Stealing Speed.” That’s a story! And a true one. And one with multi-dimensional real-life characters.

      • azicat

        The Ernst Degner story certainly fits the mould. It’s an incredible tale.


    I would add Journey to the End of the World by Alfonse Palaima (Author), Colin Evans.

  • Deryl Clark

    Sorry to break the news to you but you have no clue.
    Compared to “Stealing Speed” these are all bad romance novels.

  • Starmag

    I don’t know about movies, but this is an excellent motorcycle reading list. As you first point out, reading lets you create your own word pictures. There’s a few in here I don’t have yet, but will soon.

  • Mahatma

    @3: That could be awesome if done right.The best book on HA I’ve read,to be fair the only other book is by the founder of HA and Thompsons protagonist in his book Hells angels mr Barger.

    Thanks for reading list.Bookmarked.

  • Bmwclay

    “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

    • Johnny Blue

      I hope not! That book is different… that book needs to be read.

      • Tom Pava

        Could not agree more!

  • Keith Spicer

    If you want to up the ante and step outside of travel journals, how about “Two Wheels Through Terror”, by Glenn Heggstad.

  • David Kraft

    Motorcycle Camping made easy. Lol, it’s the only cycle book I have read!