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Purple Mountains

America From a Motorcycle

Notch Miyake
Notch Miyake
Meet Finger Lakes member Notch Miyake, the author of a new book called Purple Mountains: America From a Motorcycle. The publication date was September 15th, 2001. He had a number of pre-publication copies available at the 2001 Finger Lakes Rally, and sold out quickly. Those who had time at the rally to browse the book enjoyed what they read.

Let's see what Notch has to say about the book:

"Although Purple Mountains is about my cross-country motorcycle trip, it doesn't focus on where I went and what I saw. I tried, instead, to describe the experience of traveling great distances in the most open and vulnerable way one can in today's world.

I wanted the book to address our common urge to step out of our comfortable everyday lives. So I focused on how going to new places changes the way we see things, about casual encounters with people along the road, and intense visits with friends not seen for decades.

Purple Mountains is also about recognizing and accepting our personal histories. I put a lot of myself into the book because the perspective of a long journey encourages this kind of introspection.

I tried to write about people and places as truthfully as I could, to capture them for the reader. I tried to create real characters with nobility and flaws. I tried to show how I grew and changed over my three months on the road.

I hope you enjoy the book."

For more information about the book or to purchase a copy online, you may visit Whitehorse Press ↗ , or call them at (800)531-1133 [USA].  The book may also be purchased at Barnes and Noble, Borders, Classic Motorbooks, or your local bookstore.


"A man who has seen much in his life sets out to see a country that still leaves much to be seen. No question he should travel The cover of Purple Mountains by motorcycle! Spinning out the steady rhythm of the yellow line in his wake, author Notch Miyake takes advantage of a change in his circumstances to experience the United States from the seat of his BMW GS. In intimate contact with his environment, Miyake relates his experiences of contemporary America in lyrical prose, narration and in dialogue with the people he meets. Those of us who ride beyond our comfortable, safe and familiar surroundings will smile in recognition at Miyake's narration of the many scenes familiar to solo motorcycle travel."

— BMW Owners News, December 2001

More reviews from Whitehorse Press

The following reviews were posted at Whitehorse Press:

"Finally, a book that we love. . . . the energy that propels this book is unstoppable. . . . Mr. Miyake writes with a perfect balance for both motorcyclists and casual non-riders. . . . Without a doubt, this is the best motorcycle book since Melissa Holbrook Pierson's "The Perfect Vehicle." It reminds you of your specific reasons that you ride, may enlighten non-riders why we ride at all, and is a damn fine trip guide to Alaska. If you read but one book this year, make it Purple Mountains."

— Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly

"Purple Mountains is any place and every place your soul can guide you on two wheels. . . This is a book that makes you think about the choices in your own life, good and bad."

— Classic Bike Rider

"[Miyake's] "lone ranger" approach brings out long-dormant observational skills, and his text becomes rich with metaphors that seem right on target and are quite entertaining."

— Friction Zone

"You can pick up Purple Mountains and put it down at your convenience. But you'll be putting it down less as you read more. . . . Notch grabs your attention with the promise of a well-written travelogue. But he delivers more. By keeping a detailed journal along the way, he provides a multi-dimensional ride across America. That's what makes it hard to put down. . . .(a) story born out of a love of traveling by motorcycle across our great country."

— BMW Owners News

"You want a nice read? Get this book. What it may also do is make you figure out how to take a few months off and do a really long trip."

— Rider Magazine

"All of us dirt bike riders possess the fantasy of seeing the USA by motorcycle, and here's a book by someone who's done it. . . . Read the book and then go out and do it yourself."

— Trail Rider

"If you haven't had the chance to travel, this book will open your eyes to many little slices of small town and rural America. . . .The places that I've been to are accurately described and leave me with the impression that the parts of the country I yet wish to see will be as he says. . . .He seems to be healing his soul as he travels, looking inward and forward as the miles roll by, always focused on the ride."

— Long Riders

"Purple Mountains is by far the best book to capture riding and what it is all about!"

— BMW rider from Marcellus, NY, customer

"An outstanding read for anyone who likes to tour by motorcycle."

— MW from Peosta, IA

"Bought the book and enjoyed it immensely!"

— RB from Penfield, NY

" I am about finished with Purple Mountains on my second reading. The book is better the second time around. I picked it up again after spending a few days in the darkroom thinking about Notch while I printed pictures, and trying to figure out the title of the book. I think it took until the half way point of the trip for Notch to stop being bothered by the color of the motorcycle and once over that hurdle, he started enjoying the ride. As I recall it used to make Notch very angry when I raised the antenna on his 56 Ford from their sexy down position. I am now more aware than ever that all we have in life is food, the road, a few friends and sleep. It doesn't matter if a motorcycle isn't black, but mine is. "

— Jerry McCullough

Whitehorse reviews reprinted with permission from Judy Kennedy at Whitehorse Press. You may read them there as well: Whitehorse Press ↗

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