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On My Own Two Wheels: Back in the Saddle at 60 [Kindle Edition]

Malachi O'Doherty
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'And yes, I was a sixty-year-old man who wanted to be young again, and that’s laughable for there is no turning back the years, but I didn’t think it was funny. I wasn’t going to try and win the Tour de France. But I was going to try to do what I had been able to do at thirty. I was going to cycle whole days, successive days, along Irish coasts in the west, over the drumlins of County Down, and I was going to ride the horrendously steep Torr Road in north Antrim. I was going to be a boy again, and, what the hell, I was going to be a fitter, trimmer and happier old man at the end of it.’

Four years ago Malachi O’Doherty – writer, journalist and broadcaster – shook the cobwebs off the old bicycle parked in his backyard and found that he had grown too fat to ride it comfortably. He got rid of it. But in just a few months, everything changed. Malachi, approaching sixty, found that he had type two diabetes. On medical advice he lost over two stone . . . and rediscovered cycling – the frets, the struggles and, most of all, the joys.


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Product Description


Malachi's stories are vivid... detailed and humorous Irish News

About the Author

Malachi O'Doherty was born in Muff, County Donegal in 1951 and grew up in west Belfast. He is a freelance writer and broadcaster based in Belfast, a contributor to BBC NI and regular writer for the Belfast Telegraph. Malachi is currently Writer in Residence at Queen's University, Belfast.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 723 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Blackstaff Press (24 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008BI1OLW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #93,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I was born in Muff, County Donegal Ireland, to a barman and a nurse who had met just after the war.
I grew up in Belfast, on a housing estate to the west of the city, in the shadow of Black Mountain and as a child played in fields and on building sites.
School taught me to read and write but had few attractions for me. A pity that, since I might have thrived under a decent education and saved myself the trouble of going the long away round to a sense of being educated.
Still, a life that was more ordered and purposeful might have deprived me of the chance to learn more about myself through the challenges of travel and the need to work in different areas.
I have been a teacher to Libyan soldiers, a ghost writer for an Indian guru and a freelance journalist in Belfast for the BBC and several newspapers.
My books reflect that diversity in my life. Much of my writing career coincided with the Northern Irish Troubles and I have written two books about that period, The Trouble With Guns - a critique of the IRA - and The Telling Year, a memoir of working as a journalist in the most violent year, 1972.
Two of my books address religion. I Was A Teenage Catholic recalls a Catholic upbringing and compares it to the years I spent in an Indian ashram. Empty Pulpits is a more analytical book about the decline of religion in Ireland.
More recently I have written about my father in Under His Roof. This was an effort to get to know and understand a difficult man. One thing I inherited from him was a love of cycling and that is the theme of my book, On My Own Two Wheels.
I have written some short fiction and my first novel is a self publishing venture on Kindle. Iscariot is a retelling of the life of Christ, in which he is two different people who are confused with each other, one a zealot revolutionary , the other quiet mystic.

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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 Finally - the perfect cycling companion 28 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Though it is a captivating read just for its descriptions of cycling through the Irish countryside in all weather, this book is at its best when it peels back "received" ideas about the value of cycling and tests them against the writer's own experience.

This testing the of ideal against the actual is a constant "itch that must be scratched" running through O'Doherty's writing -- it is what gives his viewpoint pieces such a recognizable force and focus -- and here he uses it to ask a simple question: "Why should I not find my own way to cycle that brings pleasure on my own terms?"

In O'Doherty's way of it, cycling is neither a sport nor or a mere mode of transport -- though he acknowledges the value of both conceptions -- but a third thing, on the face of it a simple pastime but one that can often, with the cresting of hill or the rounding of a bend, go much deeper, offering something like the experience of meditation, where the rewards don't come after the mastering of the lotus position but after the "hardening of the thighs."

In the telling of it, he reveals a philosophy that adds to his enjoyment of life, keeps his body fit, and lets his mind roam free -- all spoken with no malice to anyone else's reasons for going about on two wheels.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A celebration of cycling and life 12 Jun. 2012
By Reader
This book is the story of how a sixty-year-old man, who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, gets back on his bike and rediscovers the joy of cycling. Malachi O'Doherty writes really well both about his own personal experiences of weight loss and fitness, but also about cycling more generally, and conveys brilliantly the joy of being back in the saddle at sixty. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone, particularly cycling enthusiasts.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for anyone who loves cycling 11 Jun. 2012
By Milo
This is a great story about an ordinary guy who gets fit and healthy and learns to love cycling again. Loved how the author got himself back on his bike and all of his trips until he was finally able to cycle about 80 miles a day. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a good read and to change their life. And if you love cycling, it's a definite winner.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A bit self-indulgent 7 April 2015
By Bill H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book thinking it was all about a man taking up cycling again at 60 to address his high blood sugar levels. I found it covered some of that (we never find out what happened to his blood sugar levels), plus a lot more besides - much more besides than I wanted. He has written several books, with a fair bit of biography in them, and for me he was a bit too keen on writing about himself, beyond the remit of the book as I'd understood it - quite a lot on his father, quite a lot on his youth, that was for me neither interesting nor what was "on the tin". Take a prolific writer, who may or may not be "a bit of a character", prone to a lot of whimsical musings that may or may not be on the topic, and a blank sheet of paper, no editor, and let's see what happens.

I also found the level of detail of street names and routes irritating. I don't know any of the areas that he cycled, yet he repeatedly quoted street names, and even the names of roundabouts, as though the reader knew them. Such a style seems best suited to a pub reminiscence with people from his locality, not a book. Then there were several occasions when I thought he hadn't picked up much knowledge of bikes and cycling, and what he said was wrong. A man cycling at higher cadence because his legs were weak? Really? A hybrid bike has smaller wheels and fatter tyres? I know this was written by a self-confessed "tootler", and there's nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't excuse daft statements.

So, this may be an excellent portrait of the writer as a young and older man. It may well be a well-written tour round the highways and byways of his 60 year old brain. But it was a confused, rambling, and self-indulgent looking tale to me, someone who approached it as a simple book about getting back into cycling, and didn't expect, or want, much more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable 16 Sept. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book, it covers his cycling experiences from childhood to taking it up again as part of a health and fitness regime at 60.Like Lance Armstrong it's not just about the bike, there's quite a lot about growing up and maturing in Northern Ireland, there's a real sense of place to this book, highly recommended if you like being on your own two wheels just for the fun of it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good general read 6 Feb. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Full of personal background and memories as well as a feel for what it is like to travel around Ireland on a bike both now and in the latter part of the last Century! Most of us 'Oldies' will relate to the main sentiment especially if we have recently returned to 'serious' cycling after many years of not turning a wheel!
Malachi tells a good story and describes his rides with feeling, although I'm not sure I would want to face up to some of those Irish drivers!
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5.0 out of 5 stars my own two wheels by malachi o'doherty 13 Aug. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a fantastic read.
Malachi achieves a most pleasing and entertaining balance in challengingthe Type Two sufferers of the factual while at the same time his own experience throws down the gauntlet.
Discovering the book shortly after being diagnosed myself proved a personl epiphany.
It quite simply entertained me and changed my life all in one go!
I can't wait for the sequel.
Stuart King
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for the older guy in your life
Great read - as a 59 year old, with similar background to the author, it's given me a direction of travel and some nice nostalgia.
Published 9 days ago by Eugene
5.0 out of 5 stars most enjoyable
Funny, informative. Describes the pain of uphill struggles and thrills of down hill descents, the effort needed to unclip without falling off the machine Most of all the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good little tale.
Not my favourite read but acceptable for easy reading.
Published 3 months ago by MR A GRANTHAM
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Being of the same age and someone who feels that Ireland is a gem for touring cyclists, this book is human and humorous
Published 4 months ago by Mr. J. M. Patton
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tonic for elderly or not so elderly lapsed cyclists.
A brilliant record of a guy's way back to health and fitness through half forgotten pleasures.Also a good read for all cyclists.
Published 5 months ago by Crickles
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed this read. Very entertaining
Published 8 months ago by murrier1
4.0 out of 5 stars ... do it -even when at our "advanced age" very funny.
Just shows that you can do it -even when at our "advanced age" very funny.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 months ago by Rosemarie Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth a Read
Really well written and enjoyable book. Sadly I don't know Ireland that well so most of the place names I didn't recognise, but still a good read nonetheless. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Andy
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed the book very funny in parts but some really good...
What a really good read . Very good well explained how we are all different with bikes and how we all have different challenges .
Published 15 months ago by MARK BOWEN
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