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andrew gilbert

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Mid-life Cyclists
Mid-life Cyclists
Price: £1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of an anticlimax, but OK., 8 April 2014
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This review is from: Mid-life Cyclists (Kindle Edition)
2 men set out with a dream of riding the route of the Tour de France. They train little, one of them buys loads of Gucci kit, they have some fun training rides. Then they fail to even start the challenge. Still, it's an amusing book, and if you don't read it in expectation of a great cycling achievement, it's light-hearted and fun. I'm not sorry I bought it.


Kök & Tvätt - Through Scandinavia on a Tandem (Eurotandem Tales Book 1)
Kök & Tvätt - Through Scandinavia on a Tandem (Eurotandem Tales Book 1)
Price: £3.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this, 8 April 2014
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This is the first of 2 books describing Neil and Kathryn's ride from Norway's North Cape, via Denmark (this book), to Sicily (the sequel, "No Room at the Moustache & Mullet"). I used to like cycle-touring myself, though I never did a ride like theirs. Few people have. It's more than just a cycling narrative, you get an insight into the mindset of these 2 intrepid cyclists on their great personal adventure. If you are planning a similar trip, there are things you can learn form this book, e.g.:
1. In Scandinavia, summer finishes in late July
2. Choose your sleeping bag & waterproofs very carefully
3. Norway is expensive
4. Norway is very expensive
5. Surströmming (tinned rotten fish) is not for the faint-hearted, and smells like cat-vomit.
6. Swedish camp-sites are very well appointed, & Swedish people are generally very helpful.
7. if you travel the length of Sweden you will eventually find Klitterhus.
Enjoy this book, if you like any kind of cycling you'll struggle to put it down.


No Room at the Moustache and Mullet (Eurotandem Tales Book 2)
No Room at the Moustache and Mullet (Eurotandem Tales Book 2)
Price: £3.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it, good fun cycling book., 8 April 2014
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This is the sequel to "Kök & Tvätt, a continuation of Neil and Kathryn's odyssey on a tandem from Norway's North Cape to Sicily. There's little detailed technical stuff about the relative merits of the equipment they carried, it's more of a "Journey of the soul" through the diversity of Europe. I like cycling generally, used to do some cycle-touring, and really got into the 'vibe' of this book. it is objective, and has a certain dry humour running through it.
There are certain themes that keep coming up, and will interest you if you are thinking of embarking on a similar great cycling venture:
1. You will get really hungry
2. You will lose weight
3. Try not to spill your pasta meal in the grass
4. A steel-framed tandem climbs slower than 2 separate tourers. (Don't understand the physics of this, as the weight and wind resistance are probably less on the tandem, but I think it's to do with the gearing and the relative fitness/endurance levels of the riders).
5. You will get really hungry and lose weight
7. You will get really hungry and lose weight
I enjoyed this, Thank You Neil and Kathryn for a cracking good read.


What Men Live By and Other Tales
What Men Live By and Other Tales
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 15 Feb 2014
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Classic Tolstoy short stories, they are very descriptive and the 'moral' transcends the generations. In my opinion the jewel in the crown is 'What men live by'


Pirates and Privateers
Pirates and Privateers
Price: £0.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview, 15 Feb 2014
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Very good summary/overview of key figures in the pirate/privateer world, against the historical background. Concise, well-written and engaging, it throws also up some quirks of the 'Pirate Code' that you'd never have imagined.


Twelve Years a Slave (Illustrated)
Twelve Years a Slave (Illustrated)
Price: £0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars A very powerful and evocative book....and a 'Must Read', lest we forget., 15 Feb 2014
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The header of my review says it all. This is the brutality and inhumanity of the slave trade in all its horror. It is all the more impactive as it was written by a man who had been born free, and worked in a far more egalitarian society. Plucked from hearth and home, this literate, eloquent and economically active member of society was kidnapped he suddenly found himself in what was essentially the same country, but deprived of every basic imaginable human right.
As a footnote; Those Southerners who still fly Confederate flags, and look nostalgically backwards with slogans of "The South will rise again" also need to read this book, then take a long, hard look at themselves.


Don't Let It Happen To You : What Every Mother Should Read Before Emigrating
Don't Let It Happen To You : What Every Mother Should Read Before Emigrating
Price: £2.41

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. A 'Must-read' from so many points of view, 2 Nov 2013
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This is the factual and astonishing story of one woman's desperate struggle for the simple, basic right to a family life with her child, in the teeth of adversity. Most particularly, it shows how the 'law of unforseen consequences' affects the laudable ideals of the Hague Convention on the Rights of the Child.
HOWEVER, this is not just a great read for mothers/fathers/prospective emigree parents etc, who may be thinking of moving abroad with a child....Of course the book sounds a very clear warning to this audience in particular;-But it's also a really good read for anybody. It's a non-fiction book in which truth is literally stranger than fiction. There are events which you might 'dismiss' if they were in a Hollywood movie, as being too improbable.
There's something in this book for everybody. It is a triumph of hope and the human spirit over tyranny, abuse and officialdom. Ordinary people involved in this story 'raise their game' and stand out as a shining example to all.
It is a gem. Do read it.


Classic Rock Climbs in the Lake District
Classic Rock Climbs in the Lake District
by Bill Birkett
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 23 Oct 2013
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This is a really good guide to Lakeland's best. Some of the climbs (e.g. Bowfell Buttress, Corvus, Giants Crawl), are low in the technical grade, but they are deservedly classics. The book.....or at least the version I bought.....is a large hardback, so you won't be actually stuffing it in the pocket of your cargo-trousers as you merrily climb up the routes, but it's excellent prep. reading, and you can always make notes from it. (As the routes are all in Lakeland, they are usually well 'signposted' with polish, stray gear etc. anyway). There's plenty of description in the book as well.
NB A word of warning; If you take on Bowfell Buttress (V.Diff);-The end of pitch-1/start of pitch-2 has a fairly short but completely awful chimney. At the time my mate and I tried it, I was comfortably on-sighting Severe, and sometimes harder....He had been soloing Hard Severe. We both failed to get up this chimney despite repeated attempts!!!!!! It's not the role of a climbing guide like this to give technical tips, but that section was so 'off-the-wall' that a couple of suggestions wouldn't go amiss


Long Road, Hard Lessons
Long Road, Hard Lessons
Price: £2.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read!, 23 Oct 2013
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The narration of Steve and Sam's experiences was excellent, and it was also really informative about the conditions for cycle-touring in all the countries they visited. What really gave this book an extra dimension, was the fact that it was a kind of odyssey for 50+ parent and 19+ son......I'm now getting back into cycle touring after a break of many years, and my youngest and I are the same ages....so I could really relate to what was 'going on' between them. You don't have to be interested in cycle touring to thoroughly enjoy this book. It also makes a very good travel guide. I'd sum it up by saying that it's three books in one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2013 11:28 AM GMT


Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie
Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie
Price: £2.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Good read!, 1 Oct 2013
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I ordered this book 'cause I'm now getting back into cycle-touring after an abstinence of about 25 years. In 2016 I plan to cycle from Bristol to Lugo in Northern Italy, then possibly further afield, so I found this book not only entertaining, but helpful and informative. A real traveller's book this, it's the journey that's important. The destination is almost secondary.


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