Inspired by boyhood stories of the “Lost City of the Incas,” Ron Bowman decided to leave his old life behind so he could explore Peru firsthand. He quit his reporting job and sold his car. He bought a 150cc Lambretta scooter and persuaded his friend Jon to ride as far as Mexico with him. His family set a date for the going-away party. Then, three weeks before his departure, Ron met Tove.
She was from Denmark. She was beautiful and young like him. Their conversations sparked a connection he had not felt before. But, Ron couldn’t see a way around his dream. He was going to drive from Canada to Peru on a scooter. So far as he knew, he was the first man to try.
As Ron drove South, doubt clouded his journey. He wrote to Tove as often as he could, and with each letter and postcard, he felt that more and more of himself was with her. Just two weeks into his trip, he knew he couldn’t go on pursuing two dreams in two different directions. He told Tove he loved her and asked her to fly to Mexico City, where they would be married and continue South on the scooter ride of a lifetime.
He got his answer in Mexico City. Tove was ready to fly.
Together, they traveled through the Andes and through volcanic ash. They crossed paths with armed bandits, border guards, and a fuming bull. They tested the limits of their 150cc engine and their love, and they lived to tell the tale.
When the couple returned to Canada, Ron wrote his memoirs and stowed them in his closet. Years later, after Ron’s death, Tove brought out her late husband’s papers, passing them onto her son Gordon.
Today, Gordon has turned his father’s diaries into memoir and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish a book illustrated with notes and photographs from that fateful trip to South America. Playing on title of The Motorcycle Diaries, Gordon tells the unlikely story of how his parents found love and saw the world, too. His campaign has nine days left to go, so, if you want to see The Scooter Diaries in print, head on over and spread the word.