by Glen Heggstad.
“The time I spent in the vengeful hands of a terrorist organization was like holding my finger in a light socket for five weeks. That brain-frazzling experience taught me as much about myself as well as the world around me. There is a lesson in everything – often the greater the pain, the greater the lesson.”
Three weeks after 9/11 ex-biker, martial arts expert, judo instructor and adventure tourist Glen Heggstad embarked on a planned 25,000 mile, 8-month motorcycle journey from his home in Southern California to the tip of South America.
A few weeks into the trip, having crossed Mexico and Central America without incident, Heggstad’s decision to take a run up to Medellín from Bogotá, Columbia will change his life forever. Four hours into the jungle ride his spidey sense kicks in telling him something is not right. However he keeps going, right into the hands of the ELN, one of Columbia’s most brutal terrorist groups. Five weeks of beatings, mistreatment and malnourishment follow before he is eventually released. Only to continue his trip to Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia.
This is a story of a man who, even as he fights the demons arising from his captivity, continues to reach out to the common person, finding the best in men and women struggling to survive in extreme poverty and despair. Cities offer some security and opportunities to recharge mentally and do needed repairs to his motorcycle, but Heggstad is happiest on the road braving extreme weather conditions, questionable roads and, wherever possible, engaging with the locals.
Based on previous books I’d read I had low expectations for a motorcycling book written by an “outlaw motorcyclist” and “international martial arts champion” but fortunately that turned out to not only be unfair, but incorrect. Two Wheels Through Terror is a well written and engaging narrative. Heggstad brings the reader along on his journey, a pillion passenger feeling the same freezing rain, the pot-holed roads, the terror of the known, the fear of the unknown, and the joys of riding hard on empty highways.
A recommended read for inclusion in any motorcycle library.