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The Middle Kingdom Ride: Two brothers, two motorcycles, one epic journey around China Paperback – 2 Dec 2012

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Paperback, 2 Dec 2012

Product details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146815981X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468159813
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,560,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


BBC News Asia featured a lengthy interview with the authors, talking about their journey and their book. Colin Pyle took part in a fantastic long-form interview with London Real TV - April 2013. Reviewed and featured on --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ryan Pyle: After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in Political Science, Ryan Pyle made his home in Shanghai, China, where he still lives today. Over the last 10 years, he has gained an international reputation as an award-winning documentary photographer and is regularly invited to give talks about his work and about China at universities and institutes around the world. Colin Pyle:After graduating from Ryerson University, Toronto, with a degree in Finance, Colin Pyle established what was to become a very successful currency trading company, two years after he sold the company, he resigned in order to “see the world” and have experiences that will enable him to make informed choices about what he does with the rest of his life.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Baz #1 REVIEWER#1 HALL OF FAME on 28 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
Note: The author's agent provided me with a paperback copy of the book for review, the opinion of the publication reflects my own personal view

This book ties in with the DVD of the same trip around China which clocked up about 18,000km/11,000 miles in total, following brothers Ryan and Colin on their adventure during this epic bike ride via their BMW cycles.

Firstly the book is written in a dual format it's not a simple diary entry for each day/section of the journey, but you do get a mixture of both. For me this worked better than just a bog standard date by date entry system which can get monotonous after a while.

The next point to note is having seen the DVD of this trip the book is quite a bit different to the documentary production, though there are some obvious major events that are covered by both. This however goes a bit deeper into events and gives you an element of behind the scenes that the DVD can't really cover (due to length limitations I imagine editing etc)

Writing style is engaging and quite fluid striking a good balance between being descriptive enough but offering some detailed insights into the thoughts and feelings of the brothers it makes for an interesting read and it feels genuine and sincere. I've no doubt some notes were taken along the way as there are a lot of details and events that would be hard to get factually correct (places, dates etc) in such a long journey. Credit to the author's for putting in a good effort here this certainly wasn't done as an afterthought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DARKcell TOP 50 REVIEWER on 20 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
I was kindly supplied this item free of charge to test and evaluate. In exchange, I agreed to provide an honest review detailing my thoughts. This is said review.


276 pages; 24 glossy photos in centre; high quality paper; good font size - not tiny


---- IS IT ANY GOOD? ----

Yes! There is a direct correlation between the speed with which I read a book, and my enjoyment of it; I read this book quite fast. I enjoyed it.

The narrative is flowing and easy to read; the anecdotes are amusing and interesting. I'm not a motorbiker myself and feared that I wouldn't find it interesting - I needn't have worried: it's written for motorbikers and non-motorbikers alike.

I like Ryan Pyle's style of writing: it's easy-going and engaging. Sections with grey background are written by his brother, Colin. They tend to be shorter and in more summary format. Occasionally there was some duplication which I found slightly irritating - when this happened I just skipped a paragraph or two - but mostly I found this interesting as it presented a different perspective and put emphasis on different things.


---- WHAT'S IT ABOUT? ----

Ryan Pyle, a photo-journalist living in China, and his brother Colin, from Canada, set out on an adventurous motorbike ride. Their aim? To circumnavigate China, covering 18,000km, breaking records, and filming it.

On first glance I'll admit that I thought motorbiking round China wasn't that big a challenge - afterall people have cycled round the world on a pedal bike. But the more I read, the more I realised just how wrong I was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
The quote above from the end of this book pretty well sums up the tone and the content of this travelogue, which I enjoyed. As an accompaniment to The Middle Kingdom Rideit's an interesting read.

The book takes the format of a first person description of the journey that the two Canadian brothers made, travelling for 64 days around the perimeter of China on BMW bikes and through some difficult terrain and interesting landscape. Ryan tells most of the story and there are diary entries from Colin too. If you are looking for a book in high-fluted language or massive insight into the history and culture of China, this is probably not it, but as a genuine, honest and interesting addition to the DVD (the programme has also been diffused on the Travel Channel), it's a good read. Some of the language is quite strong and the focus is on the journey rather than any deep insight into the places, which reflects the DVD.

It was interesting to learn about the difficulties with officialdom and equipment the boys faced in more detail than the DVD. If you've ever thought "I wish I could just leave my life behind and do something interesting" the DVD and book are probably going to be something that you might enjoy. There is an endearing naivety about this project - I'd guess they learned a lot from this journey and I will certainly keep an eye out for their further adventures.
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By Mrs. A. Wright VINE VOICE on 22 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
This is the story of the record breaking motor cycle ride, through China by Ryan and Colin Pyle. There is also a DVD of this event The book has obviously more detail than the DVD's although it doesn't have the same visual impact. There are however 24 good photographs. The writing style is easy to read, both men doing a piece each day. Ryan has a more descriptive style while Colin writes slightly tongue and cheek and more concisely. This did help with the repetitions which are inevitable when two people are describing the same experiences. However it did become a little tedious towards the end, perhaps because I had seen the DVD's first. Descriptions were excellent and the fights and struggles with officialdom were eyeopening and quite amusing. Although they must have been incredibly frustrating for Ryan and Colin. The culture certainly came across well in the book format. Ryan and Colin come across as engaging young men, not saints but not sinners either I have to say that I preferred the DVD' but I think motorcyclists and seasoned travellers may appreciate the more detailed description in the book. It is of course a travelogue but a frank and amusing one. I don't know China at all other what can be gleaned than news reports and I was amazed at the wonderful diverse country it is. Even if you have been to china I think you will learn for but for an ignoramus such as me it was enthralling. As I said I watched the DVD first and think it would be better the other way round. I may well have another look at the DVD's now that I am armed with more details obtained from the book. This book would be great for anyone with an interest, however slight, in China, anyone who likes travel books and anyone who enjoys culture. It contains all of that and much more. I was given this book free in return for honest review. It is not a book I would have chosen to read (not my usual genre) so I'm glad I was given it. I would have missed so much if I had not read it
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