12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
What a great read, never though it would be this good., 12 Nov 2011
I bought this book as I have recently got back into cycling and thought it would have some inspiration for my planned trips. I was not disappointed.
This is an easy to read book, although in places feels that you are reading Steve's travel diary rather than an edited story.
The main characters are a classic odd couple and as Steve writes he makes no excuses for the differences between himself and J.
The story is based around an ambitious plan to cycle from Cherbourg in northern France to Barcelona in Spain, with a trip to Ibiza as a treat. The boys are unsupported have limited funds, basic equipment and on the surface a carefree attitude. Their appetite for fast food, cigarettes and beer (whiskey for J) are only outweighed by their tenacity to keep going and get as far as possible.
One of the things I noticed was missing was details of the bikes, no detail on technical specification, performance or anything other than the fact that they are using bikes and they get a puncture or two. This is the essence of the story, it is not a travel guide it is an inspirational story with bicycles as a by-line.
Steve's description of the places and people they meet is superb, France is a hard country to crack, and this story shows just how hard it can be.
I loved Cycles Tents and Two Young Gents. I have travelled extensively in Europe, on bicycle, motorcycle and camper, and have experienced a lot of the things that Steve and J experienced.
Read this book now, and forever be aware that when you travel you do not need to be guided just inspired.