Bikes, Cars and Thoughts from Mars: Memoir Revs from Streets of Belfast to a Life of High Octane Hoggin’


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Michael WJ Wilgar’s ‘Bikes, Cars and Thoughts from Mars’ is a unique, celebrated memoir – taking readers from the author’s humble beginnings on the troubled streets of Belfast, to a life of motorbikes, thrills and fast-moving toys that prove everyday is a chance to live. It’s uplifting and deeply-rooted with sharp wit, inspiring one critic to write, “Great tales of his adventures, plenty of laughs and some tears too. What I loved most is that he just comes across as a truly decent family man”.

Michael WJ Wilgar may have been born into a Belfast reeling with danger and division, but it didn’t stop him from living a life that packed forty-eight hours into every day. In fact, if it moved, had an engine or offered even a millisecond of fun, Wilgar grabbed it by the horns.

It’s resulted in a life story worth sharing, which Wilgar is doing in his new memoir, ‘Bikes, Cars and Thoughts from Mars’. It’s a rip-roaring journey through life in the 1980s and 90s, from the perspective of handlebars and a man who knows how to live life to the fullest.


Bikes, Cars and Thoughts From Mars is Michael W J Wilgar’s evocative and refreshing memoir that’s a must-read for anyone born in the 1970s. Packed with scenic motorcycle adventures and coming of age memories, stories of friendship, fatherhood and family relationships, loss and laughter, this is an unforgettable depiction of his life so far. He shares his diverse anecdotes with relish, honesty and humour, to create the kind of read that stays with you long after the book is finished. From his early childhood in Northern Ireland, the broken bone stories, and the toys he played with to his first bicycle and the youth club discos, there is much in here to bring a smile to any ‘70s child. His lifelong love of motorcycles has enabled him to enjoy escapades without circumnavigating the globe and forge biker friendships which last forever. What stands out most in this entertaining memoir is the author’s wry sense of humour, plenty of which is sprinkled throughout the book. He offers ‘Sound Advice’ to other bikers and shares his personal insight into the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ programme (both past and present versions) – both of which will provoke a reaction from even the most tight-lipped people. If you’re an avid memoir reader you will thoroughly enjoy Wilgar’s chatty, warm and articulate writing style, and by the final page you’ll feel like you know him inside out.

“I really wanted to write something to show people that life is exactly what they make of it,” explains the author. “It’s not about where you come from – but the opportunities you seize, the zest you embrace and the friendships you make along the way. When you look at the life I was born into, you’d be amazed and shocked at how different my existence is now. Life is plain fun, and it’s hardly over!”

Continuing, “Initial feedback has been extremely positive, with readers really embracing the vision I had for the book, and using my stories to reflect on their own lives. I hope they turn the last page feeling inspired and refreshed to go out into the world, find new experiences and throw themselves out of their comfort zone.”

Indeed, reviews have been glowing. One reader writes, “The book is well-written and its style engaging. The author is undoubtedly a philosopher, of the humanist kind. The language is sometimes earthy rather than Martian, unless there is more to Mars than meets the ear. The author impresses as being: intelligent, practical, companionable, insightful and thoughtful. Apart from that he seems to be all right. What he has to say, and is wiling to divulge, about his experiences and about his interests is very interesting.”

Another adds, “A brilliant read made me giggle a lot, brought back many teenage memories, lots of sound advice the novice motorcycles, has the appetite for maybe throwing the leg over and old bike and clocking up some miles around our beautiful wee Island.”

Full review to feature shortly…..