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The Road Headed West: A Cycling Adventure Through North America Paperback – 7 Jul 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (7 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184953635X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849536356
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leon McCarron is an adventurer, filmmaker and motivational speaker specialising in long-distance, human-powered expeditions. In recent years he has cycled around the world, walked 3,000 miles across China and trekked 1,000 miles through the Empty Quarter, the largest sand desert on the planet. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and has released an independent film, Into the Empty Quarter, as well as his flagship four-part TV series, Walking Home from Mongolia, for National Geographic. 'The Road Headed West', detailing his journey across North America by bicycle, is his first book.

Product Description

Review

'A witty and charming adventure, that will be loved by all, except maybe if you are from Iowa!' (Mark Beaumont, author of The Man Who Cycled the World)

'A book that will inspire you to chase your bicycle adventure dreams across the long highways and epic mountains of America.' (Rob Lilwall, author of Cycling Home From Siberia and Walking Home From Mongolia)

'Leon's trip across North America is a wonderful rite-of-passage journey; one that shows what exciting experiences can lie in wait if you choose to set off in search of adventure.' (Alastair Humphreys, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2012 and author of Moods of Future Joys)

'A funny and insightful soul-searching roll across America. Leon McCarron makes for a very likable Irishman on a bike. On his roaming-wherever-the-fancy-takes ride he sheds the weight of his worries and preconceptions along with his excess books and mandolin and adapts and embraces his new life a-wheel with great humour and sensitivity.' (Josie Dew, cyclist and author) --.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Milemuncher on 7 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Leon McCarron’s first travel book, The Road Headed West, is something very special: as it says on the cover, it tells the story of his adventure cycling 6000 miles across America - and it’s a proper adventure. I read it in three long gulps, unable or unwilling to put it down.

McCarron travelled from New York westwards to Seattle before striking out to the south and down towards the Mexican border. For much of his route he criss-crossed the historic Lewis Clark Trail, battling into headwinds and getting into scrapes with bears, rabid car drivers and gun-totting, psychotic mid-westerners while dodging typhoons and RVs. All this in addition to ploughing across the endless plains of the mid-west and the high mountains of the Rockies and beyond. A brilliant effort for a novice cyclist who barely made it out of New York on his first day and was tempted to give it all up before completing his first month in the saddle.

The Road Headed West stands out from the peloton for a number of reasons.

Firstly, McCarron writes beautifully and with an easy, loping style that makes reading a pleasure. Better still he is a natural story teller and he peppers his text with memorable and amusing tales of his encounters with the Americans he meets as well as the fellow cyclists he falls in with on the road. He neatly avoids the traps of relying too much on a diary of details or inflicting on his readers the all too common tedium of recounting where I slept and what I ate. This is a much more reflective book and all the better for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 21 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
A fantastically well-written account of the realities of a long cycling expedition. For me, the reason I love travel books like this one is the chance to live vicariously through the author's experiences and for that, the reader needs honesty from the author. To his credit, Leon doesn't shy away from telling you about the more mundane or depressing aspects of his trip, which for me makes it all the more real.

I feel as though books like this one can often get by without being particularly well-written because the story itself is so interesting and engaging. But, to be a great book, rather than just a great story (with the best example I can think of being Ted Simon's Jupiter's Travels), the story itself isn't enough. It needs to be to told by a brilliant writer. I was thrilled to find that The Road Headed West ticks both of these boxes and more.

For my own completely selfish reasons, I hope Leon McCarron decides to go on some more adventures like this one and decides to write another great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Wiffen on 21 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Leon begins by asking us to forgive him any liberties he has taken with his writing of The Road Headed West. This is not a problem for me as I was hooked from the prologue!
Leon has a way with words, that as others have commented makes you laugh out loud and feel as though you're cycling with him.This results in a book which gives you both an insight into a cross section of American people ( some stranger than others!) and paints a picture of the changing landscape as he heroically cycles across America.
However, there's more.....
Leon's optimistic view of life causes you to consider your own. Maybe there are more possibilities even if we don't cycle!
I'm looking forward to reading more of Leon's adventures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Craig on 1 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
I expected a pretty straightforward travel book, but was pleasantly surprised to discover a very well written book. The author is wise beyond his years and I found his journey across our great country to be inspirational and very funny. It is hear warming to see how strangers still go out of their way to help a young man on the road and the cast of characters that the author meets on his trip keep the story moving along at a good clip. Highly recommend this and look forward to reading more stories by this young adventurer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 17 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
I thought this was written in a very easy to read way. Having seen McCarron at a travel film festival he writes as he speaks, with wit and clever observations of human behaviour, all without the cynicism that can affect travel writing.
I think that this book will not only appeal to those interested in travel but also those who wish to read a book that is not just about a physical journey but also the adventure of discovering one's self and wonder in the world around us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter on 29 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just finished Leon McCarron's The Road Headed West. Couldn't put it down, it's amazing. Buy it immediately. This made me laugh out loud c. 8 times, which is approaching the Bill Bryson order of magnitude. Also, I bought a bike yesterday so it must have had a a profound effect. Touching, hilarious and inspiring and there is a now a little hole where this book once was. Please write another about the second half of your adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mo on 15 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I soooooooooooooo want to pack up my bike and go! From the off this book captured my imagination. I found it hard to put down. I love the style of Leon McCarrons writing (Indeed its the same when you watch any of his DVD's he speaks as he writes. Anyone with a sense of adventure would enjoy this book thoroughly and it will be my great pleasure to share word of it with my friends.
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