The Long Ride ‘Home’ a book by Nathan Millward
Reviewed By Justin Thor Simenson
Show the average person a Honda CT110 and tell them that you plan to drive it across the U.S. What you'll probably hear is something along the lines of “you’re joking right?” In Australia and New Zealand the Honda CT110 has the nick name 'postie' because it's most commonly used to deliver mail. They're a far cry from the motorcycles you'd likely think of for your next adventure.
When Nathan Millward found himself in Australia with a short amount of time left on his visa and a "postie" he didn't pack up, sell it off and catch the next plane back home to London. He did something many people would've said was (among other things) impossible; pack up his 'postie' and head home on the slow road. His journey covered over 23,000 miles, eighteen countries, and took him nine months. With just a mere 105 cc's, it's only a fraction of a displacement from bikes such as the BMW R1200GS, KTM Adventure 990, or even the Kawasaki KLR 650. Nathan is convinced that the reason he and Dot made it to London is because his top speed was less than 50 mph. The slow, steady turning of the chain gave him more momentum than acceleration or power.
As he rolled across Australia, hoping to get out before his papers expired, his original 'postie' named Doris began to show signs of trouble. The closer he got to Brisbane the more he began to worry that Doris wouldn't make the entire trip. When he finally got to a mechanic in Brisbane he was told the bad news, Doris wasn’t going to make it. He was left with the decision to either spend the money to get her fixed or buy the newer 'postie' they had. After a tough decision, he decided to buy the new bike, affectionately naming her Dorothy, or Dot for short.
His journey was now moving along; his first challenge was to get Dot on a boat in the town of Darwin in time. His journey there was filled with soaking rains, floods, and pot holes that threatened to swallow the both of them whole. They made it to Darwin just in time for Dot to be loaded up on the boat and Nathan to catch a flight to East Timor. When he landed and was reunited with Dot he twisted the throttle and took off through East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, and India. Along the way he traveled long slow days and nights and settled into a routine of being on his long journey home. The places that they visited along the way varied from iconic travel destinations to out of the way roads.
He documented his time in the saddle in written words and photographs which he shared on his website as well as Facebook and ADVrider. Through his ups and downs on the road he maintained a sense of humor and humility that made reading his posts a joy. Even when he encountered a mechanical problem his posts would summon a laugh from the readers.
In India he hit a wall trying to figure out how he was going to move forward. Which countries he could go through logistically and which he could go through safely. He initially wanted to go through Iran and into Turkey but that didn’t work out. After some time he finally got a route planned and all the paper the paperwork cleared. It brought him through Pakistan and China then out the other side to Krygystan, Kazakhstan and then into Russia and Ukraine.
As he neared home the interest in his journey grew and by the time he rolled into London a book deal was waiting for him. After nine long months on the road his homecoming finally came. Soon after the dust settled he sat in a shed his dad built him and started to write. In February 2011 his book Going Postal launched in Australia by Harper Collins. Sadly, those of us state side and even his fans in Europe, were left in the dark. He took as many books as he could home and sold them himself but that supply didn’t last. Good news came earlier this month to those of us outside of Australia. Nathan (and Dorothy) announced that they have released a self published version. This new version was laid out and edited by Nathan, which allowed him to add 140 images and tell his journey exactly as he recalls it. The new book is under a new name The Long Ride ‘Home’ and is available online at Lulu.com.