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Life Cycles - A London bike courier decided to cycle around the world. 169 days later, he came back with a world record.

Life Cycles - A London bike courier decided to cycle around the world. 169 days later, he came back with a world record. [Kindle Edition]

Julian Sayarer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Julian Sayarer grew up riding a bicycle. Working as a bike courier in London, he learned the world record for a circumnavigation by bike had been broken, and that cycling into the sunset had been bought by banks and big business. Determined to do things differently, Julian set out to take back the record for the people.

Life Cycles is his story of that record, riding 110 miles every 24 hours for 6 months on only £8.84 a day – a route through jungles, snow and 20 different countries. He found himself stranded without money in the deserts of Kazakhstan, held up by insurrections in northwest China, and sleeping under motorway bridges in America’s Deep South. Taken by life on the road and a spirit of adventure, he loved every minute of it.

A tale of excitement and world politics by bicycle, travelling at 12mph, Julian found that the Tartars of Central Asia aren’t so different to the trailer families of Louisiana. This book is a reminder that the world is out there… and it’s waiting for us.

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More About the Author

Julian Sayarer is an author, journalist, and is often called an adventurer, although normally by other people. He has cycled six times across Europe, and in 2009 broke the 18,000-mile world record for a circumnavigation by bicycle.

He has spent three years working as a cycle courier on the streets of London, hitchhiked from New York to San Francisco, and worked on books and documentary projects along the way.

A politics graduate, Julian's writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, New Statesman, Aeon Magazine, and many others, including a host of cycling publications. He writes slow travel, his writing from the roadside a 12mph view of the world in passing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed this book as a book 16 July 2014
Stellar. So much more than a book about cycling. None of that "gruelling man against machine, no pain no gain" spiral of self. None of the jargon, shaved legs and cranks and cogs......Witty, aware and warm. It is about travel, it is about people and it is about cycling but only in the same way that Bridge Over The River Kwai is about engineering-there's so much more. It's not a place, it's a feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as a book. Not a book about any thing specific other than the joy of cycling, travelling, meeting people and thinking. There's also some great bits on food, love, sleeping rough and just the effervescent joy of humanity. Spiced with politics, incisive comment and some scenes that really made me laugh. This book was none of the things I thought it would be-yet I was delighted by it. Read it, it'll make you want to be you more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is much more than a cycling book 17 Jun 2014
Let's be honest, there are an awful lot of books about long distance bike rides. Most are written by people who ride well and write badly. This is most definitely not the case with Life Cycle. It goes without saying that Julian Sayarer can ride well, but he can also write damn well, and, equally importantly, has something worth saying. This is much more than a cycling book, it is a thought provoking commentary on the way we - and others - live. No hesitation about awarding five stars. But one minor quibble: the primary market for the book is cyclists. So why no details of the equipment - bike and camping - that Julian used?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, thoughtful and warm tour of the world 22 July 2014
This is a fanatic book. The story alternates between dream-like descriptions of what it’s like seeing the world, all of it, at 12mph and more lucid intimate accounts of the human kindness that it seems strangers everywhere are just waiting to offer.

One page you’ll happily drifting along with a beautiful series of descriptions of that range from neat observations to sleep deprived hallucinations then bang! the next page is straight back into a dialogue with Khazak man about the price of dinner several hundred miles from a cash machine. Each dialogue is so finely scripted it could only have been written by the man selling burritos at the Mexican border, or the Orthodox priest on a beach in California, or the Maori forest ranger in the New Zealand…there are loads more but I wont spoil the surprise.

Some of the scenes play out into farce like the over protective Chinese border guards while others turn to piercing insight like the reaction to an unshaven cyclist in the US, and yes at one point there is even a little 400mile/48hour race but always there is a warmth and curiosity that constantly links them together and draws you out. After reading Lifecycles I don’t think I have ever been more inspired to get on a bike and go meet some strangers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard work and delusions of grandeur 8 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am hugely disappointed with this book. It's a Cliche ridden mix of current and past tense written in such a way that suggests the author is attempting to create a literary work rather than an interesting record of his journey. Don't buy if you want any technical details about the journey as there are none. The constant changing of grammar, style and tense is incredibly wearing. Obviously other reviewers enjoyed the book which surprises me a little. I'm not sure who the target audience for this book is. Not cyclists for sure...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not my type of cycling book. I preferred the account of Mark Beaumont of his round the world record ride. I'm a long distance cyclist myself. I like plenty of techical detail about the bike, descriptions of problems encountered and accomodations. Theres not much of that in Julians book.
I would have liked to read more about the countryside passed through but less about politics.
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