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Cycling Home from Siberia [Paperback]

Rob Lilwall
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 20 Aug 2009 --  

Book Description

20 Aug 2009

'It is late October, and the temperature is already -40C...My thoughts are filled with frozen rivers that may or may not hold my weight; empty, forgotten valleys haunted by emaciated ghosts and packs of ravenous, merciless wolves.'

In 2004 Rob Lilwall arrived in Siberia equipped only with a bike and a healthy dose of fear. CYCLING HOME FROM SIBERIA recounts his epic three and a half year, 30,000 mile journey back to England via the forboding jungles of Papua New Guinea, an Australian cyclone and Afghanistan's war-torn Hindu Kush.

A gripping story of endurance and adventure, this is also a spiritual journey giving a poignant insight into life on the road in some of the world's toughest

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; Reprint edition (20 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034097981X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340979815
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rob Lilwall was born in London, and studied geography at Edinburgh University and then teacher training and theology at Oxford University. Before he set out on his long-distance adventures, he was a door-to-door salesman in California, and a geography high-school teacher in England.

His two main adventures (the subject of his books) were cycling over 35,000 miles from Far Eastern Siberia to London via Papua New Guinea, Australia, Tibet and Afghanistan (Cycling Home From Siberia), and walking over 3,000 miles from the Gobi Desert to Hong Kong, via China (Walking Home From Mongolia). His undocumented adventures include cycling across Ethiopia, the Andes Mountains, and the Karakorum Mountains; walking across Andalucía, a lap of the M25 motorway, and from the Golan Heights to Masada; canoeing down the Thames, and floating down the Severn on a homemade raft.

Since 2010 he has lived in Hong Kong where he is a freelance TV adventurer, writer, and motivational speaker. He has written over 40 freelance pieces for the South China Morning Post. Together with his wife Christine, he is the joint National Director for the Hong Kong mobilization office of the International children's charity Viva.

He has written two books, presented two National Geographic TV series, and has given speeches about his adventures to over 30,000 people worldwide.

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Product Description


I'm not sure Rob Lilwall knows it, but he has penned a two-wheeled classic. I wanted to rise up singing and strap on my bicycle clips. (The Guardian)

Lilwall has a wonderful ability to inspire trust in his readers (The Guardian)

Lilwall's story is a remarkable one...enhanced by the fact that he has a writer's skill for conveying a sense of place. (The Sunday Telegraph)

A rite of passage adventure, full of thrills, excitement and endurance tests (The Irish Times)

Rob Lilwall is such a transparently decent, honest and likeable bloke that it is difficult not to become involved in the highs and lows of his journey...Ever since Odysseus, the traveller has returned home to find himself wiser and more fulfilled than when he departed. Rob Lilwall is no exception. (TES)

Book Description

The gripping adventure story of one man's epic journey back from Siberia to England by bike

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cycling home from Siberia 10 Jan 2010
OK, I'm also a committed non-Christian but this book is great. The 'faith' aspects do not detract from what was clearly an epic adventure and in no way spoiled it for me. If anything, I knew about these before starting the book and was releived the author had not over-egged this aspect.

You'll have to look very hard indeed to find someone - believer or non-believer - this adventurous who can also write about it in such an engaging way and on that basis alone, it is an absolutely fantastic book. Buy it, i couldn;t put it down.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will put a big smile on your face 31 Dec 2009
Rob Lilwall's open and upbeat attitude shines through his writing and makes this an uplifting read. The passage through Siberian winter is truly an heroic feat- cycling through -40c conditions in one of the harshest landscapes on earth is a pretty wonderful thing to have achieved and the reading of it makes the reader aware of possibilities unthought of. Also the section with Rob battling through the jungles and along the beaches of New Guinea is outrageous and certainly his adventure lives up to his own English-explorer standards of 'ridiculousness' and 'epic-ness'. There are many funny moments and I whipped through this book in a couple of days it is such fun. Totally disagree with other comments about religion being annoying- I am not religious and am not at all bothered by Rob's expressions of his faith at various points. Indeed it ties the book together and provides the tale's spiritual core. A book that will make you want to get up and do something huge yourself. Buy it!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational adventure and human journey 19 Sep 2009
Cycling Home From Siberia is a genuinely exciting and inspirational tale of Rob Lilwall's adventure cycling home to London from the wilds of Siberia.

Packed with fascinitating insights to the places, cultures and people he met along the way, this is a hugely riveting and personal account of his journey.

Hard to put down, I look forward to his next adventure!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Rob Lilwall's tale of his 35,000 mile adventure on a bike makes compulsive reading. His descriptions of both the extraordinary things that happened to him together with the fascinating and the so generous people that came to his aid come alive on every page.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cycling home from siberia 7 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
absolutely awe-inspiring, phenomenal journey, spiritual main character and he gets the girl... he literally makes you feel that he has the whole world in his hands and freedom to go just about anywhere... I can only recommend this with highest praise. This book could change your life forever if you are still young at heart and brave of spirit
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, exciting and inspiring 27 Oct 2010
By Chelli
This lengthy book about Rob's epic 3 year cycle ride home to London from Siberia -going the long way round via Eastern Asia, Australia & South east Asia - is a really fascinating read. Despite the size of the book, he skims through or misses out a lot of parts of his journey and only concentrates on the most exciting & dangerous parts -Siberia, Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, Iran, so the book is never boring.
Rob does an excellent job of recreating the tension of the most scary moments of the trip, he really had me on the edge of my seat in parts. I also enjoyed reading about all the interesting people he met along his travels, and although he seemed more concerned in asking them about their religion than about their lives he did still manage to uncover some really interesting points.
Rob doesn't always come across as the most charismatic person, but he's quick to admit his faults, and I trusted him to tell the tales without any boasting or exaggeration. I have to admire his amazing bravery and determination in doing this trip and this book has certainly inspired me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Journey Great Read 4 Aug 2010
"Rob Lilwall has written a book that really takes you with him. A great book and a classic example of how to keep going and never give up when you battle with your mind to keep going. It was refreshing to read about the people who have nothing but expect nothing in return. Perhaps some of our western leaders should read this book to gain a better understanding of the real people of this world and not the evil nations they and their media machines like to portray. Iran was one of the most welcoming countries he travelled through which speaks volumes.... Great book and next time you go on a bike ride can I come with you!!!"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cycling Home From Siberia 18 July 2010
LOVED IT. Well done Rob, very inspirational book for cyclists and non-cyclist, everyone should read it. Only wish the book was longer as I slowed at the end to make it last longer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay
it was ok but not in as good condition as i thought it would be
Published 3 days ago by Stewart Turnbull
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Great Journey
I loved reading this book. Well written, great stories, great adventure.
I've bought quite a few copies and passed them on as birthday or Christmas presents.
Published 2 months ago by Smart Mart 13
3.0 out of 5 stars GOOD READ
Published 4 months ago by bub
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story
This was a book I could not put down . Totally absorbed in this amazing expedition. Made me think so many things about life and how the journey would change my out look on life .
Published 5 months ago by MARK BOWEN
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Read :-)
Really enjoyed it Rob.

Not so sure about the low temperatures. Hardy sole! Well done.

Many Thanks.

Happy Bicycle Warrior! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nigel
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a cracking read !!!!!
Superb book which is well written and hard to put down, the distances covered are unbelievable and there is even a romantic side to it which is a bonus. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tool Man
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
As something of a weekend warrior when it comes to cycling I found this a fascinating and inspiring read.A great account of the many challenges both physical and mental.
Published 6 months ago by Thebrassinator
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic ride and a story very well told
Rob Lilwall is a mate of Alastair Humphreys who has written two excellent books about his cycle ride around the world. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Noel
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read.
My wife fancied this book too when she saw Walking home from Mongolia. She is looking forward to reading this over the winter.
Published 8 months ago by Wattygadget
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiration to anyone with an ounce of adventure in their soul.
Rob Lilwall displays a unique mixture of courage, luck and humility in this amazing account of his circuitous journey from deepest frozen Siberia to the safety of his London home. Read more
Published 10 months ago by R. L. Russon
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