“I’ve realized that when things are really tough and there seems no hope for the future, it’s sometimes just Chapter One of a really cool story, and the ending is entirely up to you.” – Joey Evans
How far would you go to pursue your dream?
From Para to Dakar
I first became aware of rider Joey Evans through Lyndon Poskitt’s videos, especially during the 2020 Africa Eco Race, where Joey was a welcome personality on Team Races 2 Places. I hadn’t really appreciated that Joey had spent several years as a paraplegic after an accident, eventually overcoming huge odds and continuing problems from his spinal cord injury to be able to ride again. When I learned that he wrote a book, I bought it, and devoured it short order. Its an even more extraordinary true story than I could have anticipated.
While Joey’s passion is rally racing, in case its not obvious, this is not a book about motorcycles, or motorcycle racing. While I appreciate the insight into the world of endurance racing and the alluring Dakar Rally, From Para to Dakar is remarkable for so much more. Its an incredible story of overcoming devastating hardship, impressive mental fortitude, and nearly superhuman perseverance and determination to pursue a goal. As one reviewer wrote, “This could be a ‘how to book’ because it reveals on so many levels the way to live. The power of positive thinking, shunning negativity, the importance of having a goal and the determination to succeed. Its a treatise on living a happy marriage and raising children successfully.” Inspiring is an understatement.
After what he’s been though and accomplished, at this point I’m pretty sure that Joey Evans could kick a puppy at this point and I’d still admire him. That guy is made of tougher stuff than most. I rated his book a rare five stars, I’m that impressed. I’m willing to grade the writing on a curve. Its better than most (including myself) could do, and plenty good enough to do justice to the story, even if using a ghost writer may have been better (maybe). I’m just grateful he took the effort to write the book, and was willing to make his story public. I agree with other reviewers that our world would certainly be improved with more people like Joey and Meredith. These people are really living, even if I think he takes his “death before DNF” philosophy way too far.
Edit: Good timing – this excellent ADVRider interview with Joey Evans happened just weeks after this post.