An entertaining proposal by a young debutante in the narrative, the engineer Wilhelm Willeke, is the novel “The call of the road”. It is read with the same speed with which its protagonist moves, from chapter to chapter, on his mechanical steed through Chilean and Argentine routes trying to discover a criminal who threatens him.
The story manages to catch the readers with an original mystery plot that unfolds in the privacy of the brotherhood of those who love the road and ride on it on their fast motorcycles. The plot is starred by Daniel Balmaceda, whose life is altered when alarming packages from anonymous sender begin to arrive.
The serious thing is that these are related to a succession of suicides in “Sanhattan”, from whose skyscrapers people are thrown into the void with their faces covered by bird masks, after receiving such mysterious orders. Hilarious. Rare. Intriguing. Dangerous.
Daniel tries to distance himself from such an inexplicable threat, fleeing on his motorcycle to southern Chile. By chance of fate, he stumbles upon a group of fellow bikers who, with the solidarity that characterizes that urban tribe, welcomes him. Among them is Camila, an attractive rider on the asphalt, who becomes her ally to solve a mystery that even leads them to Argentine roads.
This is how “The Call of the Highway” (edited by Trayecto Comunicaciones, 255 pages), written by Willhelm Willeke Balmaceda (37, Logistics Engineer), who, like the character in his novel, is a motorcyclist of tomo and loin.
Engineer, writer, biker: Willhelm Willeke on his metal steed
-There is a singular phrase in your book: “Whoever has not traveled the world on two wheels, does not know what freedom is.” Could you explain this to us?
Well, if we look for what the word Freedom means, we are going to find many definitions, such as: it is the faculty or capacity of the human being to act or not to act following his criteria and will. Regarding this phrase, I go further, in the sense when you go up riding your motorcycle or as a ‘backpack’ (companion), you manage to connect the five senses throughout the environment, producing a unique sensation that makes you feel like a everything and that feeling we call freedom.
-Actress Javiera Contador revealed that her colleague Fernando Larraín, when he was fed up with the recordings, left the studio to ride his motorcycle to regain strength … and returned refreshed. What do you think?
It is a great revelation by Javiera Contador. The truth is that the same thing happens to Fernando, like many and even like me. It really is a great therapy, because as I mentioned in the previous question, when you ride your motorcycle you achieve that connection that makes you forget any bad time, stress or grief. It is a great therapy. Several times it happened to me that when I returned from work, late, tired and mentally exhausted, I would equip myself and go for a walk and arrive with another spirit and totally renewed. So I fully understand Fernando Larraín, as well as many who are reading this interview who will say “all the reason, the same thing happens to me”, and to those who have not yet experienced a motorcycle, I invite you. Then they won’t go down any more (haha … haha).
Motorcycle, travel, diving
-It is said that motorcycles are “coffins with two wheels”. As a motorcycle rider, are you aware that your “bumper” is your leather jacket?
Yes. One is aware that the body of the motorcycle is your body. Hence, the conscience to equip itself accordingly, leaving fashion or comfort behind. The most important thing is the protective equipment, as well as learning how to ride the motorcycle well. For this, and I am glad, there are several schools that teach it, for example Bikeroute, which instructs you and gives you the necessary tools to be a good motorcycle rider, responsible for your safety and with compliance with traffic laws, for both men and women. Incidentally, it is incredible how women add more to this lifestyle every day.
-Apart from motorcycling, he is in love with the deep sea. What attracted you to that world?
It is one of my 3 passions: motorcycle, travel and diving. I think these three passions mix very well. In the sea, since I was a boy I feel a super special connection, so much so that my sport was always swimming. Later, in my search for adventure, I discovered diving and finding this world so different, where you need special equipment to adapt, like an air bottle to dive, it was amazing to see an environment that amazes you every time you dive into it. . This led me to train as an ANDI diving instructor. Today I have my own school and diving center, Minke Diving, where I teach the beauty of this world, taking advantage of the fact that we are a privileged country because of the coasts we have and the rich underwater treasure that is there.
“To tremble hearts”
-Let’s go to the narrative. I read in the prologue that he is described as “a lone wolf” and an adventurer, who in addition to being a diving instructor and an asphalt rider, now becomes a writer. What bug did he bite to throw you into the literary pool?
Hahahaha, I wonder the same thing. What a bug it was, haha, what a joke. The truth, many have told me that I am super intense and passionate in my way of living. Right, I have a thousand stories. This led me to find ways to transmit these passions to more people. So I became a diving instructor. Regarding travel, I always help give advice and propose routes. In the case of the motorcycle, I thought about how to transmit this passion, and I started writing a kind of self-help book, how to learn to ride a motorcycle. But that was not with me. So I mixed our things, such as Mapuche mythology and the motorcycle world, together with a suspense that gives birth to this book full of adventure, suspense and love, in order to transmit this passion to those who do not know this world and to those who already They know her, make their hearts tremble.
A Chilean “Netflix”
-It seems that “The call of the road” is a novel especially intended for young readers, but how do you think the parents of these young people could receive it?
Very good. In this novel, I think that what is transmitted is transversal, both to motorcycle riders and to anyone. I have received very good and entertaining criticism and comments from all ages, from people over 84 years old, who tell me that it makes them feel as if they are riding a motorcycle, as teenagers who know this lifestyle, to families who love me. They have shared that on trips they play at greeting gestures when two motorcycles cross. The truth is that I am very happy to see how I make this culture of brotherhood of motorcyclists known and if your children want to learn to ride a motorcycle, the most important thing is education, to ride it and have adequate safety equipment.
-Your book is fast to read, like riding a motorcycle, and somehow the reader is happy with little. Have they told you?
Wow! Yes, actually, many people have told me they want more about The Call of the Road. Others have commented to me that it should be the next Chilean Netflix movie or series. This makes me very happy, because the idea of my novel was that it be light to read, that it managed to leave the reader intrigued chapter by chapter, looking for more and more, feeling at the moment of reading that he is on top of a motorcycle, turned into a character more of the book, wanting its protagonists captivated by their love story and with an unexpected ending, next to real places and our present time, inserted in our geography, bathing together with a Mapuche legend. They are, I think, the perfect ingredients for a novel to be successful.
-At 37 you have already written your first novel. Will there be a second one? Maybe about underwater life?
I am really happy with how the book has developed. I cannot deny that I already have many ideas for another book. I also listen a lot to my readers who want more and happy I think that this year I will start a new project. Everything can be, I do not rule anything out. But many have asked how “The call…” continues and this song to Freedom.
Both the members of the motorcycle family and those interested in this unknown world will enjoy this production, available in bookstores.