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A Bike Ride: 12,000 miles around the world Paperback – 21 May 1992


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A Bike Ride: 12,000 miles around the world + Lone Traveller: One Woman, Two Wheels and the World + Two Wheels In The Dust: From Kathmandu to Kandy
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books; New Ed edition (21 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863696503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863696503
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Evocative reading" (Observer)

"Her wry sense of humour is one of the great charms of Lone Traveller" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

AN EX-HEADMISTRESS, A BIKE, AND 12,000 MILES

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Imperial Topaz on 17 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
This was an inspirational book, written by a historian. I enjoyed the book.
However, I was disappointed with the book in one way. The author speaks mainly as a historian, taking the reader on a historical tour of all of the places she visted on her bike. Even by the end of the book, we know very little about the author herself, or her personal feelings. There are several very poor, black-and-white photos of places she visited, but there is not even one photo of her! I would have preferred one photo of her, with her bicycle, anywhere, than all of the other photos she included in the book. I would also have liked her to share more of her personal life with the reader, which she seems to have purposely avoided (In the chapter where she travels through the American Midwest, she comments that Americans seem to discuss their personal problems even with strangers, but indicates that she feels that is an oddity. I found that an interesting comment on American culture, and probably very true, when compared with other cultures, especially the British culture.)
This one issue aside, I found the book inspiring, for a woman of her age, and poor physical condition (at the outset) to have cycled around the world. I read with great interest her descriptions of the people's behavior (both toward her and toward each other) in various places. I was quite surprised by her descriptions of Pakistanis, Indians, and various Americans (as an American myself). I was both surprised and not surprised by her travels across America--it being the hardest place because of the vast, empty distances (particularly in the West).
Disappointingly, the author shared only a few minor details of her life. I am quite a history buff myself, but this book rather overdosed on history.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 2002
Format: Paperback
Mrs Mustoe wasn't very fit or very young when she decided to embark on her adventure around the world. She wasn't even sure if she would make it, but was certainly going to give it a go. As a result, I have thought "well, if she can cycle around the world, I can cycle a country" and am looking forward to doing so this year. This book gives you an insight into the history of the various areas visited as well as a glimpse of the wonders of human nature along the road. Truly an inspiration and should be read by anyone who is even beginning to think "Oh, I don't think I'm capable of adventure anymore!"
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Chris Gooderham on 18 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
What an amazing feat. A cyclists dream, but one which is getting more and more difficult to attempt due to all the world unrest.
Unfortunately the book doesn't quite live up to the feat itself. The book tells much of the history of the places visited. I would have preferred more narrative on the people met, and the emotions of Anne herself. I must admit I skipped a few chapters because I got bored.
Well done on the cycle, but a disappointing book in which I wanted to know more about the author, and was left wanting.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Everard on 12 Mar. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book. It is not a standard Great Outdoors bikelogue; Mrs Mustoe's style is too genteel for that. She stays in rooms rather than tents (ranging from the cheapest of the cheap in Pakistan to international hotels elsewhere), and writes with more enthusiasm about the cities she crosses than about the countryside which separates them. Much of its charm comes from the personality of its author and in particular her passion for history. For Mrs Mustoe this was probably a much greater adventure than for more typical long-distance cyclists; up to the great day when she set out she had been, as she says, a headmistress in a Hardie Amies suit, and her descriptions of her slow adaptation to this completely different lifestyle are intriguing. She has shown that even the less likely candidates can enjoy long distance cycling, without any of the special skills which many bikelogues consider essential; as far as I can tell she accomplished her journey without toeclips and without knowing how to fix her own punctures!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An odd book, this. Despite the length of the book (290 pages) and the epic scope of the journey (12,000 miles round the world on a bicycle) we learn nothing about the author, other than the basic facts that she was a retired school headmistress with a love of ancient history. This, for me, is a major flaw. A good travel writer should make you feel like you're on the journey with them, yet after reaching to the end of the book, I couldn't tell you who I'd been travelling with or what her thoughts and feelings had been. This made it hard for me to warm to her and maintain interest in her journey.

Much of this book follows in the footsteps of Alexander the Great across Europe and Asia and it seems that the author is far more comfortable describing the ancient world than revealing her own thoughts and personality. The author doesn't really bring to life the places she visits and the people she meets. There is too much of 'I did this, then that..' kind of writing rather than expanding on the more interesting episodes, which would make for a much more interesting read.

The print and paper quality of the book is poor, making the small number of photos and maps that are included difficult to decipher. I should add that there is not a single photo of the author on the cover or inside the book, which is a strange omission.

In short, probably best to give this one a miss.
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