A Conversation with J. Brandon

Pounding out a career in marketing and media in Silicon Valley didn’t give J. Courtney Brandon the happiness and peace of mind that he was seeking. So after about two decades of work, he searched for where he wanted to live and then what he wanted to do. That’s how he landed in Nevada, and he brought along his skills to help adventure travel companies, outfitters and outdoors organizations with their marketing efforts.

J_Brandon_300x300J. provides marketing, communication and event management services for adventure travel companies through American Sahara, a company he founded. He says one of the skills adventure travel companies need to develop is utilizing social media more effectively. “For outdoor companies, social media is like sitting around the campfire.”

When he’s not helping others, J. is off on his own little mini adventures whether it be in the Nevada desert or the Sierra Nevada mountains, not far from his home.

J. and I used Skype to talk about his work and trends in adventure travel. What is it and where it’s going as more and more individuals opt for something different in their travels? Here’s our conversation, recorded November 15, 2012.


Visit J.’s website, www.AmericanSahara.com, and/or join in the Twitter conversations around the campfire at #ATQA and #MotoChat on Wednesdays.

Thanks for listening. See you on the highway.


A conversation with Sam Manicom

Sam Manicom had only been riding motorcycles for three months when he started out to ride around the world on his BMW motorcycle. His lack of riding experience and riding skills might be considered by some to be foolhardy, but it sure provided the fuel for misadventures and a really good read. He wrote and published his first installment of the adventure, Into Africa, and then the subsequent installments, Under Asian Skies, Distant Suns and Tortillas to Totems.

Into Africa begins with a story from the middle of his African adventure, an accident in Tanzania that includes loss of limb, police, jail, fear, African courts, and the incredible generosity of strangers, and fear. Did I mention fear? Sam craftily lays out the scenario and action, and the only way to describe the printed word is “it’s a page turner.” You will not be able to put the book down, or in the case of the new audio release, stop listening to Sam tell his story.

Sam says he only had two concerns, fears actually, in setting out on an around-the-world motorcycle adventure, having an accident and ending up in jail somewhere. He experienced those fears and survived to tell his stories.

Sam Manicom

Encouraged by readers and fans, Sam was pressed to produce one of his books in an audio book format, and the recently released Into Africa audio book is now available. Printed copies of the books are available directly from Sam’s web site or from Aerostich if you live in North America. Visit the web site for details, www.Sam-Manicom.com. You can listen to sample of the audio book. All of the e-books are available in Kindle format from Amazon.

With the release of the audio book, Sam and I had chatted for a couple of months about an interview. His travels to Spain and my own schedule hindered a conversation until recently.

With Sam in Great Britain, and I in the USA, we decided to “chat” using Skype, and I recorded the conversation. The audio is incredible. It sounds like we’re sitting in the same room rather than thousands of miles apart.

Here is our conversation, recorded November 8, 2012.


Thanks for listening. See you on the highway.


Interview with Melissa Holbrook Pierson

Buena Vista, Virginia

Melissa Holbrook PiersonWhen I learned Melissa Holbrook Pierson was attending the Moto Guzzi National Rally, I set out to see if I could arrange an interview.

Pierson is the author of The Perfect Vehicle, and her most recent book, The Man Who would Stop at Nothing. She has also written two non-motorcycling books. The Perfect Vehicle is about her start into motorcycling, finding and buying a Moto Guzzi. The latest book, The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing, is about her mentor, a long distance rider. The Perfect Vehicle is one of the first motorcycling books I purchased. It’s a good read, and I am re-reading it … again!

In the morning, we found a quiet place to talk about her books and travels.

For more information, and/or to purchase her books, visit Melissa’s web site.

Coming up next: A ride to Washington D.C. and mission to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.


Motorcycling for a cause

Book Review: Live Full Throttle: Life Lessons From Friends Who Faced Cancer

Tamela Rich was looking for a cause—something she could get behind and get involved. Although she says she has not had cancer, she picked breast cancer research and joined other women motorcyclists to raise awareness and funds. Then, she turned it into a book.

Live Full Throttle is a collection of photos, essays, women’s stories and a set of exercises for deeper reflection on the eight chapters that relay those individual stories. The cover photo gives a clue with a pink bra strapped across the front of Rich’s BMW G650GS. Inside, more photos of women and men sporting bras on bikes, over clothing and on cowboy hats.

For such a serious topic as breast cancer, there is a lot of laughter along with the tears in this book.

“This book is like an unexpected food to taste buds. Suspend your expectations as you explore, and let yourself contemplate, this memoir and photo essay hybrid that is inspired by the soulful people and places I’ve encountered as a long-distance motorcyclist for breast cancer causes.

These encounters taught me a great deal about myself and through these stories, pictures and suggested exercises, I hope you will learn about yourself too.”

Tamela Rich.

With Tamela Rich on a book tour, and passing through Ohio, I managed to connect with her for an interview. We met at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, and the fine folks there graciously let us use there conference room.

As we sat down to talk, I learned a lot about Tamela Rich, and how she came to produce this book.

Here is the interview:

Tamela Rich [audio:Tamela_Rich.MP3]


You can learn more and purchase the book from her web site: www.TamelaRich.com.

Thanks for listening. See you on the highway.