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One Man and His Bike [Paperback]

Mike Carter
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 2 Jun 2011 --  
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One Man and His Bike One Man and His Bike 4.7 out of 5 stars (145)
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Book Description

2 Jun 2011

What would happen if you were cycling to the office and just kept on pedalling?

Mike Carter needed a change. Fed up with a Britain rife with crime and sliding into economic downturn, one day he decided to cycle straight past the office to find out for himself what was going on. He would follow the Thames to the sea and then ride around the entire coastline, a journey of 5,000 miles, the equivalent of London to Calcutta. If he completed it, he would end up exactly where he started. Physically, at least.

Camping or relying on the hospitality of strangers, Mike met an array of brilliant characters and experienced innumerable random acts of kindness. He encountered drunken priests and drag queens, gnome sanctuaries and hippy communities, fellow travellers and people building for a different type of future. He also found a spirit of unbelievable kindness, generosity and hope that convinced him that Britain was anything but broken. During the five month journey, cycling the byways of the nation, he became...happy.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (2 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091940559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091940553
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"[Carter is] a likeable and self-deprecating guide, the gentle comedy of his endeavours conceal[s] a vivid portrait of a Britain rarely seen by many city dwellers" (Financial Times)

"A breath of fresh air" (Nicholas Crane)

"A lively road trip round the periphery of Britain that goes to its heart. Wonderful" (William Fotheringham) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Mike Carter's journey around the British coast by bike

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Man and his Bike 12 Aug 2011
By Chloe
I haven't quite finished this book. The reason is because I'm enjoying it so much I don't want it to stop! His descriptions of countryside, cities, roads and people are outstanding and give you a different and encouraging perspective of everything good about the UK. As a Geordie by birth I was itching to read his descriptions of Newcastle and Northumberland, but he rather whizzed through that area in his desire to get over the border, where his obvious enjoyment of Scotland and its outstanding scenery made me long to be there too. He is clearly an outgoing and friendly person who not only enjoys the company of interesting and quirky people but who is honest enough to give his readers an insight into the feelings which these encounters produce in him, thus making this book much more than just a travelogue or a list of places he cycled through. The book is not only well-written but extremely funny and there are sections where I laughed out loud (rather unfairly, seeing I have never been the object of a mass mozzie attack). If you have ever wondered about cycling around Britain, this book will help you to decide whether you could do it or not; if you have never entertained the idea, this book might just make you think again. A really enjoyable book by a very perceptive and entertaining writer.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book 9 July 2011
I absolutely loved this book, especially when he visited my home town and other places I know well. His portrayal of the scenery made it come alive for me and likewise the people he met on the way. A slight pity he raced through some localities without too much comment, but he does explain why in the book. A few photographs would have made a really good book even better. Well worth reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wanted more 12 Aug 2011
Purchased this from Amazon.

A great read from cover to cover. Perhaps it helps that I 'buy into' Mike - his ideas, views, politics and a smattering of rail enthusiasm.

I wanted more from the journey though, several chunks of the journey were missing - I wanted to know what Mike made of Newquay for example. I guess this is ultimately an editorial decision - there needs to be a trade off when covering the whole country in one book. Perhaps this could have been volumes one and two, though this may not be attractive for the sales figures / publishers.

Could there be some more content online?

I've tried to search for the photos he kept taking, they'd be fascinating to see but no joy yet!

Keep a decent road atlas by your side when reading this, particularly for the areas you are less familiar with.

Well worth your time, a great book full of Mike's personality, totally enjoyable and feelgood. As others have said, Britain isn't broken, you just to get off your arse and make the effort - you'll soon meet decent folk. Just wish I had the guts and stamina to do it for myself!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended. 4 Aug 2011
I enjoyed this immensely. Easy to read, funny, yet thought-provoking about the country in which we live and the way we view the world. It was the perfect companion over the course of a week of commuting by tube into London. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivatingly human 22 July 2011
Enchanting and insightful - made me feel that it's more than ok to be human in the 21st century. Best book I've read in along time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ 31 July 2011
Just finished reading this, and have to say it's one of the best books I've read for a long while.T
he characters and settings can be visualised very easily through Mike Carters writing. I now intend to read about his exploits on the BMW in Europe.

I do however agree with one comment about the latter half of the book appearing more rushed than the first,that aside still a great and interesting read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal 22 Jun 2011
I've read a few cycling travelogues recently and for the most part they've been fairly disappointing. But although I'm only a quarter of the way through Mike Carter's excellent book, it already stands head and shoulders anything else.

He's got a lot going for him; he's a Guardian sub-editor and writes well; he's got all the time in the world to take in his surroundings and the people he meets along the way - and it's damn funny with a lot of the humour being his own self-deprecating comments. I'd put it up there with Eric Newby and other travel writers of that ilk.

He suggests his trip is due to a mid-life crisis so I'm looking forward to how this will pan out in the rest of the book. But so far I'd call it a glorious success.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic. Loved Every Page 10 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved it. What a great read.
I read this alongside my computer so I could follow his progress on Google Maps which made the book even more enjoyable.
This book has made me want to do the journey but also made me give up on the idea of writing about it: I could never write it as well as this.
The only negative, for me, is that the parts of the coast I know well were the bits he cycled past too quickly to comment much on.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
As title says great read enjoyed every page. Apparently you have to a minimum word count on a review!!! Unbelievable amazon!!!!
Published 5 days ago by Jjbrewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic fun that had me laughing out loud. Highly recommended
Published 11 days ago by Mick C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
presnt for husband who said it was quite amusing
Published 21 days ago by bloon27
5.0 out of 5 stars best ever
best book I have ever read, excellent use of vocabulary, brilliant descriptions, enthralling tale that I didn't want to end...
Published 27 days ago by Mr G
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exactly as advertised, delivered promptly
Published 1 month ago by Miss M S Ramplin
5.0 out of 5 stars What an adventure.
Book that make you question whether you should also carry straight on or go home thought provoking compelling read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by mr paul saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really inspiring book with a healthy dose of humor.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and inspiring
Mike Carter's self-deprecating and comedic writing was a joy. For once a cyclist who was not driven by testosterone, by going further faster, but by reasons even he wasn't sure... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miss A Gutfreund
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Ms. Hajnal Huszti
4.0 out of 5 stars ace
Really good book - amazing trip that comes alive in your minds eye while reading. I wish I could go now and see the country
Published 2 months ago by Cliffiths
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