Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Rugged Road by Theresa Wallach

"You are going WHERE? - You'll never get there."

Not very encouraging comments for any overlander, let alone in 1934 when you are planning on using a motorbike with a sidecar!
Theresa Wallach and her friend Florence Blenkiron did what no man had yet achieved - and that was to ride a motorbike from London to Cape Town.

Extracts from the book: 
The Rugged Road by Theresa Wallach



The motorbike, a Panther Redwing Model 100 was essentially standard, though fitted with extra heavy duty Webb forks, stronger wheel spokes, wider mudguards to accommodate Fort Dunlop 3.50in car tyres and a Moseley block pillion saddle.  The sidecar was essentially a standard Watsonian touring model with long heavy duty flat leaf springs at the rear and coil springs at the front.


View Larger Map

El Golea was a heavenly place, like some Garden of Eden or Emerald Isle. In the midst of hundreds of miles of barren sand, an artesian well forced fresh spring water under pressure from deep underground to ripple on the surface.
Theresa Wallach and Florence Blenkiron
A DVD is available - highlights can be viewed here:


Theresa made the film using a 16mm Cine Camera.  According to the notes in the back of the book, the edited video is now held by the Arizona State University Foundation.  The highlights above include the Map of the route, of which Africa is reversed (due to the film being spliced incorrectly).

Additional Reading:
Trail Blazing Women
AMA Motorcycle Museum

Easy Motorcycle Riding