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Spirit Traffic recounts how, at the age of 50, the author learned to ride a motorcycle, overcame the terror of navigating her steep dirt driveway in Vermont, and, three days after her son's college graduation, set off with him and her yoga-teacher husband (his stepdad) on a 10,000-mile two-wheel adventure that took them all into uncharted territory-both as novice riders, and as a family. As if in the saddle of her dual-sport BMW, the reader will experience the good, the bad, and the heartbreak of her journey as a soon-to-be-empty-nester grappling with impermanence, sexuality, hot flashes, high winds, and tailgating tour buses.
Spirit Traffic is at once a colorful travelogue of a bucket-list bikers' route across America and an unflinching memoir of a middle-aged mom conquering her fears (on and off the bike), unpacking a complicated childhood with an addict father and stoic mother, and ultimately, learning to let go of her only child. (Think Blue Highways meets Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance meets Operating Instructions meets Wild.)
With its first-person accounts of legendary rides such as the Burr Trail, Hell's Backbone Road, and the Pacific Coast Highway, Spirit Traffic has a ready audience among bikers. But as a midlife memoir, Spirit Traffic resonates for anyone who is navigating the departure of a child, negotiating the dynamic tensions of family, or simply yearning for life's next adventure.