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Michael Galbraith (Liverpool, UK)
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Moods of Future Joys. Round the World Part One: Riding into Africa
Moods of Future Joys. Round the World Part One: Riding into Africa
by Alastair Humphreys
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not about the bike - it's how well he writes., 10 Jun. 2007
Riding to Cape Town (let alone around the world) is not something that most of us could begin to imagine doing. It is also something that many of us would not want to do. So Alastair Humphreys is already in a small minority at the start of his trip. But what makes this book remarkable is not that he undertook this 'safari', or even that he completed it. What makes the book special is Alastair Humphreys' ability to write about his experience.

Humphreys' is startlingly honest - not in a 'feel sorry for me' or 'I'm going to shock/impress you' kind of way either - I did not feel that he was looking for sympathy or admiration (although I felt both). He writes with both humility and humanity, talking about his own struggles and strife and those of the people that he comes into brief contact with. The book highlights both the commonality of the human condition between people and also the differences in their social-economic 'condition'.

I found it hard to put the book down, and fantisised on my short cycle commute to work the about being with Humphreys at the place that he had reached. As a bit of a cyclist I would have liked more on how he kept first Rita and then Rita II on the road - but I'm also sure that this was good editing to save non-cyclists from excessive detail about deranged derailleurs. And this book deserves to be read by cyclists and non-cyclists alike.


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