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on 28 October 2012
Though it is a captivating read just for its descriptions of cycling through the Irish countryside in all weather, this book is at its best when it peels back "received" ideas about the value of cycling and tests them against the writer's own experience.

This testing the of ideal against the actual is a constant "itch that must be scratched" running through O'Doherty's writing -- it is what gives his viewpoint pieces such a recognizable force and focus -- and here he uses it to ask a simple question: "Why should I not find my own way to cycle that brings pleasure on my own terms?"

In O'Doherty's way of it, cycling is neither a sport nor or a mere mode of transport -- though he acknowledges the value of both conceptions -- but a third thing, on the face of it a simple pastime but one that can often, with the cresting of hill or the rounding of a bend, go much deeper, offering something like the experience of meditation, where the rewards don't come after the mastering of the lotus position but after the "hardening of the thighs."

In the telling of it, he reveals a philosophy that adds to his enjoyment of life, keeps his body fit, and lets his mind roam free -- all spoken with no malice to anyone else's reasons for going about on two wheels.
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on 12 June 2012
This book is the story of how a sixty-year-old man, who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, gets back on his bike and rediscovers the joy of cycling. Malachi O'Doherty writes really well both about his own personal experiences of weight loss and fitness, but also about cycling more generally, and conveys brilliantly the joy of being back in the saddle at sixty. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone, particularly cycling enthusiasts.
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on 11 June 2012
This is a great story about an ordinary guy who gets fit and healthy and learns to love cycling again. Loved how the author got himself back on his bike and all of his trips until he was finally able to cycle about 80 miles a day. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a good read and to change their life. And if you love cycling, it's a definite winner.
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on 16 September 2012
Really enjoyed this book, it covers his cycling experiences from childhood to taking it up again as part of a health and fitness regime at 60.Like Lance Armstrong it's not just about the bike, there's quite a lot about growing up and maturing in Northern Ireland, there's a real sense of place to this book, highly recommended if you like being on your own two wheels just for the fun of it.
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on 6 February 2013
Full of personal background and memories as well as a feel for what it is like to travel around Ireland on a bike both now and in the latter part of the last Century! Most of us 'Oldies' will relate to the main sentiment especially if we have recently returned to 'serious' cycling after many years of not turning a wheel!
Malachi tells a good story and describes his rides with feeling, although I'm not sure I would want to face up to some of those Irish drivers!
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on 13 August 2013
What a fantastic read.
Malachi achieves a most pleasing and entertaining balance in challengingthe Type Two sufferers of the factual while at the same time his own experience throws down the gauntlet.
Discovering the book shortly after being diagnosed myself proved a personl epiphany.
It quite simply entertained me and changed my life all in one go!
I can't wait for the sequel.
Stuart King
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on 18 March 2013
For anyone who has grown through childhood and early adulthood with their beloved bike and then moved on to other interests and drives in life, this is a great read to either get you back on a bike or renew and refresh your current love affair with 2 wheels. The story is well written and will make enjoyable reading wherever you pick it up.
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on 7 April 2015
Spoiler - this book isn't really about cycling.

I bought the book thinking it was all about a man taking up cycling again at 60 to address his high blood sugar levels. I found it covered some of that (we never find out what happened to his blood sugar levels), plus a lot more besides - much more besides than I wanted. He has written several books, with a fair bit of biography in them, and for me he was a bit too keen on writing about himself, beyond the remit of the book as I'd understood it - quite a lot on his father, quite a lot on his youth, that was for me neither interesting nor what was "on the tin". Take a prolific writer, who may or may not be "a bit of a character", prone to a lot of abstract, whimsical musings that may or may not be on the topic, and a blank sheet of paper, no editor to take out the many bits that make it look as though the author is paid by the word, and let's see what happens.

I also found the level of detail of street names and routes irritating. I don't know any of the areas that he cycled, yet he repeatedly quoted street names, and even the names of roundabouts, as though the reader knew them. Such a style seems best suited to a pub reminiscence with people from his locality, not a book. Then there were several occasions when I thought he hadn't picked up much knowledge of bikes and cycling, and what he said was wrong. A man cycling at higher cadence because his legs were weak? Really? A hybrid bike has smaller wheels and fatter tyres? I know this was written by a self-confessed "tootler", cycling at first in sandals and leather jacket, and there's nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't excuse daft statements.

So, this may be an excellent portrait of the writer as a young and older man, and of his father, young and older. It may well be a well-written tour round the highways and byways of his 60 year old brain. But it was a confused, rambling, and self-indulgent looking tale to me, someone who approached it as a simple book about getting back into cycling, and didn't expect, or want, the added musings and philosophies.
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on 2 March 2013
Really enjoyed the description of coping with age and what it comes with. Malachi seemed to enjoy working out a practical way of coping. He covered a wide variety of situations before making up his mind what suited him best. Wish him luck in future and hope to hear more of his adventures.
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on 3 April 2015
Funny, informative. Describes the pain of uphill struggles and thrills of down hill descents, the effort needed to unclip without falling off the machine Most of all the wonderful places one sees from the seat of a bike. Thank you, thoroughly enjoyed your adventure
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