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Cycling to the Ashes: A Cricketing Odyssey From London to Brisbane [Kindle Edition]

Oli Broom
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

One man, one bike, two Mongoose cricket bats, one tropical disease, 16,000 miles and a lot of dead kangaroos …

Oli Broom loves cricket. So much so that in 2009 he left his 9 to 5 in London and set off to cycle to Brisbane for the Ashes. Along the way he played cricket in the shadow of the Blue Mosque, slept in a goat pen in Sudan, dodged a 5-metre crocodile in the outback, battled mountains in sub-zero temperatures in Bulgaria and successfully negotiated the treacherous highways of India.

Starring the colourful characters he met on his travels, this is a funny and poignant tale for anyone who’s ever dreamt of jacking in the day job to embark on an incredible adventure.

Product Description


"Oli Broom loves cricket so much he cycled from Lord's to Sydney to watch the Ashes. His book is rather marvellous" (Stephen Fry)

"Much more than a world cycle tour ... brilliant" (All Out Cricket)

"An epic adventure" (Bear Grylls)

"I think it's pathetic he isn't cycling home again" (Ian Botham)

"Completely potty" (Aggers)

Book Description

An epic roadtrip from London to Australia by bike - all for the love of cricket.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6535 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (4 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CPR6H44
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Oli Broom is a British travel writer and the Managing Director of The Slow Cyclist Travel Company, which takes people on bicycle journeys that get under the skin of a place and its people. Oli's first book, Cycling to the Ashes, was published by Random House in 2013. Stephen Fry said it was 'marvellous' and The Cricketer Magazine called it a moving, well-paced and thrilling story.'

Oli writes regularly for publications such as The Guardian, Urban Cyclist, Cycling Plus, The Active Traveller and Living North Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 4 July 2013
It's taken me a little over 48 hours to read this new book - absolutely brilliant and could not put it down.

There is lots of cricket chat as you'd expect (i learnt a lot of incredibly intersting things as a non-cricketer) but what had me hooked was the experiences the writer went through, the amazing people he met along the way, the humility he shows throughout his journey and his un-rivalled perseverance.

Not just for cricket and travel lovers - everyone should read this book!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and fascinating adventure travelogue 8 July 2013
I loved this book. Oli's journey on two wheels from London to Brisbane is clearly complete madness but he writes about it brilliantly. He has a great sense of humour about the bizarre places and situations he finds himself in and this is balanced with a very honest, open account of what it takes to complete such a journey. It makes you realise that it isn't simply about the amazing places you see or the struggle to get to them but about the kindness of the people you meet on the way. I loved the cricketing anecdotes and tales of the wonderful characters he met on the way - you will laugh and cry, Oli seems to do a lot of both! I cannot recommend this book enough for anyone who loves adventure, cricket or cycling - or all three!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a cracking read 8 July 2013
A hell of an adventure this guy went on - I feel like jacking in the day job and doing the same, although I'm not sure I'd get beyond the cricket folk of Serbia. Vladimir and Slobodan sound like hilarious characters and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to tear myself away from them.

A cracking read Oli Broom has give us here. I thought it was going to be full of match reports and cricketing statistics but it wasn't at all and is all the better for it. The (often cricketing) characters Oli met on his way in places like Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Sudan, Indonesia and Australia give the narrative some spice and there were clearly times when the author (or rider as he was at the time) felt like giving up, but good on him, he didn't and we, the readers, are the ones who benefit.

The India chapter is a real highlight. He brings the country to life in a charming way and I'll definitely be looking out for his writing elsewhere. Recommend it highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read. 1 Sept. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like cycling, cricket, and travelling then I would heartily recommend this book by Oli Broom. However, if you only like one of the three then I would still warmly endorse this book. What I liked about the book is that the author is not rushing to and fro to complete his journey. It's not a race against the clock type of book. Not does the author make any claims to be a great cyclist. I would imagine however that after completing the journey from London to Brisbane he would certainly know a great deal about long haul pedalling. I particularly liked the way Oli Broom relates his encounters with people. The heart warms when complete strangers in country after country offer food, shelter and friendship. Cricket is played along the way in all weathers and in the most unlikely of locations. The significance of the book for me is that ordinary folk have a goodness which cannot be diminished by the forces applied to them by their circumstances whatever they may be. I will read this book again and again especially when I want to have my faith restored in humanity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Owzat for an epic journey? 11 Aug. 2013
I turned fifty a few years ago and I'm reasonably content with my lot but I that can't help musing that when I was young, free and single instead of being chained to an office desk I should have packed my bags and travelled the world. With the gift of hindsight it is all too easy to say what you should have done though, and if I were honest I dare say that if I could live my life again nothing much would change as I would have neither the guts or the self motivation to make such a giant leap into the unknown. In this book though, Oli Broom shows that he had guts, self-motivation and almost certainly a large amount of foolhardiness when he packed up a comfortable job to cycle halfway around the world to see England start their defence of the Ashes in Brisbane, Australia.

The scale of the challenge he set himself was breathtaking. The distance from London to Brisbane is over 16000 miles and he gave himself thirteen months to cycle it; difficult enough for an experienced cyclist but Broom was hardly that, he was a lapsed weekend cyclist at best. His journey would take him across the continents, through many countries and the weather conditions would vary from freezing cold to blistering heat. As he was riding a bike he was limited as to how much he could carry so he couldn't take much warm clothing or bottled water to slake his thirst. He largely rode alone, so there was illness and the loneliness of the long hours on the road to contend with. There were also more visible dangers; the wild dogs of Eastern Europe, enormous crocodiles and even more enormous road-trains in Australia and would all the hundreds of people he would encounter be friendly?

This is an epic book about an epic journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, inspiring and fun read 26 July 2013
Like some other reviews, once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. I finished it in little over 48 hours with tears in my eyes and a sense of awe about what the author achieved.

The word 'odyssey' in the title really sums it up for me. Whilst there are lots of enjoyable and funny anecdotes about cricket, the story is really all about the journey. Oli describes his various ups and downs in an incredibly entertaining and touching way. I particularly loved hearing about the small kindnesses shown by strangers which had such a huge impact on his morale and motivation. I also loved the massive diversity of scenarios he found himself in (whether by design or by chance) and loved his determination to make the most of each experience, regardless of whether or not it was a positive one.

I would recommend this book to anyone who lives beyond the 9-5, loves sport, adventure, or just a good story - it really is all these things. A great achievement for a first-time author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Happy with purchase.
Published 24 days ago by Dianne Harding
3.0 out of 5 stars ... in cricket so I read this book because I enjoy travel writing and...
I am not interested in cricket so I read this book because I enjoy travel writing and as such I found it interesting , entertaining and well written. Read more
Published 1 month ago by jeremy scarsbrook
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyable but seems to drag on a bit
Published 1 month ago by julia ramsdale
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK...
I think you have to have an interest in cycling or cricket or travel, or all three, to fully appreciate this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by S F Canfield
5.0 out of 5 stars ... interesting story of this lone cyclist - with his love of cricket...
really interesting story of this lone cyclist - with his love of cricket emphasized.
Published 2 months ago by heather
5.0 out of 5 stars Howzat!!
I don't normally read books like this but I was absolutely enthralled by this book concerning the author recounting his bike ride from London - Lords Cricket Ground to Australia to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by greenfingers
5.0 out of 5 stars he says it is brilliant as it has both cricket and geography in it
I bought this as a Christmas present for my husband, he says it is brilliant as it has both cricket and geography in it.
Published 4 months ago by MRS C ABRAMES
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Not just a story about biking or cricket but about human kindness and helping people out.
Cannot recommend it enough.
Well done Oli.
Published 5 months ago by D. P. Gibbons
3.0 out of 5 stars (Not) cycling to the Ashes
I usually like this sort of book, but didn't finish this one. Perhaps it is because the author starts the book by telling you he didn't make it to Brisbane on his bike, which means... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mr. D. R. Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars great Read
A great read and truly entertaining story of his journey, highly recommend this to anyone who wants a good adventure
Published 8 months ago by DF2441
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