Guy Martin. Motorcycle racer, TV presenter, record breaker…truck fitter?
Yes, if you had to ask Guy Martin what he did for a living, that would be his answer. At least that is the impression you are left with after you have read this book.
The book is not actually just about a professional motorcycle racer, which is not what you would be expecting when you first pick it up. As you read on, you begin to learn that there is more to the Guy Martin story than one may expect.
Guy is passionate about his motorcycles and his racing, yet it is not what he had envisioned for himself until later on. He mentions on a number of occasions, that he can’t bring himself to stop working on trucks and be a full time racer. Being a truck fitter is what he does and he loves it.
The book leads you through the life of Guy Martin, in his own words. From his upbringing in Kirmington, England, where he would watch his Dad work on his bikes in the converted garden shed, through his career in racing and a number of other unexpected journeys that occurred along the way. Surviving a 170mph crash at the Isle of man TT and returning to try it all again, is just one of the thrilling stories Guy tells of. He takes us on a ride through some of the world fastest street tracks as he battles for the wins. Guy also speaks of the highs and lows of his career, from team to team and bike to bike, as well as his personal life.
There is most definitely a likability to Guy Martin that is brought out in the book. I feel it may be because he is someone that you can relate to, because of the way he was brought up and the way in which he lives his life. He does not come from money. He built his career piece by piece, step by step, working where and when he could to save enough money to put a bike together to race. He has slowly but surely made his way up the ranks of road racing and has become a legend of the sport. Not only that, but he has become a record breaker and TV presenter, yet he continues to live the simple life of a nine to fiver, clocking in each day and grafting.
All in all, the book is great. I would recommend it to anyone, fans of motorcycle racing or not. Everyone can take something a way from it. I learnt a lot, and not just about Guy Martin. His approach to life is one that you will not come across often. He could decide to leave it all and be rich, drive fancy cars, live the life of a ‘rockstar’ motorcycle racer and TV personality, but he chooses not to. There is something about the way he lives that is refreshing. The idea that you can be more than just one thing, that what you do as a job does not define you, and that you can take as much out of the little things in life than the big.
It’s not your typical, “hey look at me, I’m famous, these are all the amazing things I’ve done”, kind of autobiographies. It’s about a boy that loved to work on engines, grew to love motorcycles, worked hard and did some great things, but never lost touch with who he was and where he came from. He still prefers to sleep in his van at race meetings than in any fancy hotel, and that’s Guy Martin.
My word on Guy Martin’s Autobiography.
(Feature Image credit: http://www.penguin.co.uk)