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4.6 out of 5 stars314
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 7 March 2012
I should declare an interest in this book as I am Dave's mum, but I am very proud that he has managed to finish something for once in his life as he never got round to tidying his room or doing his homework on time. I've read each of his stories and can confirm that they are mostly factually correct and in some places a little too much information has been supplied. They made me laugh, cry, reminisce and also email him a stern ticking off for some of the naughty language he has used. His dad read it as well and is currently in discussion with lawyers concerning the paragraph concerning labelling. On a serious note, I am not a fanatical cyclist and confess to a bike with a shopping basket attached. Yet I enjoyed reading Dave's "tales from two wheels" as he has made a real effort to bring non-cyclists into his world. I'm still not sure I understand all of the jargon but get the general gist. So I am going to give this book five stars on the condition that Dave pops round in the near future and helps us with some gardening.
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on 9 March 2012
With no knowledge of cycling other than the odd bike ride down country lanes, my initial thought was that this book was not going to be something to get stuck into. How wrong I was.

Dave Barter captures the readers attention from the first few pages, and writes from both heart and soul. His sense of humour shines through - even when the going gets tough - as does his heartfelt determination and self deprecation when tackling the most trickiest of rides and challenges. It's a wonderful book that captures his ups and downs and even makes you feel like you are riding alongside him at times.

I wish him every success with this and future publications - and would recommend it without doubt to all cyclists and non-cyclists looking for a different read.
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on 7 August 2012
I was bored waiting for a train when I decided to purchase this book. The day had been long and tiring, it was raining hard and the station was packed. Faced with another hour long battle of sudoku on my phone I gave in and bought the book. Ten minutes into my commute I had managed to block out the fact that I was pressed uncomfortably against my fellow travellers as I was busy laughing my way through the tales within the book. I defy any cyclist not to find elements of themselves within the various tales, my wife quizzed me as to wether I had actually written half of this. Sadly I am not nearly as eloquent as the writer who captures the many facets that keep cyclists turning the pedals. Russian bride struck a particular chord in my house!

A great fun read, easy to dip into as it is comprised of many short tales.
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on 13 April 2012
This is an excellent cycling book. At 77p its a steal. Setting aside the price, it is still a very well written book.

I still recommend buying and reading this book.

Three reasons:
1. It is a fun read.
2. It is inspiring to read about Dave's adventures on two wheels and his passion shines through.
3. It will get you back on your bike.

I throughly enjoyed reading this book. I relate to this book because, I too go through some of the doubts and obsessions with regards to runing, cycling, climbing etc. And after reading Dave's book, I am not feeling guilty about the three bikes in my garage and even thinking about buying another one.

I look forward to more books on Dave's adventures.

Keep writing and riding.

Thank you
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on 2 May 2012
OK, let's get the criticism out of the way first. I'm aware that the following observation is going to mark me out as a friendless, pedantic sociopath, but I need to say it: there are a few too many spelling mistakes and malapropisms in this book. It's distracting and can look a bit amateurish. But Dave, our author, comes across as an engaging and pleasant chap, so I'll go easy on him and blame his English teachers instead.

Criticism over. This is a good book. It contains a number of self-contained short stories and articles on various aspects of cycling. Each is interesting, and as a bonus they're usually about the right length to read on the toilet (an advantage which rarely gets enough praise in the Times Literary Supplement).

Dave's cycling adventures cover a wide range of two-wheeled derring-do (and derring-don't). Those who spend their spare time riding and fiddling with bicycles will find themselves nodding in agreement and sympathy with Dave's various highs and lows. Those who don't have any interest in cycling will probably overlook this book in favour of Jeremy Clarkson's latest nonsense, let's face it, but it's their loss. OCCD is amusing, perceptive, and even inspirational in places.

I've paid much more and been entertained much less. Do buy it.
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on 21 March 2012
At the end of this book of articles written over many years, and linked with explanatory text that sets the scene is a great description of the book 'This is a book about Dave. It's written by Dave and it concerns bike rides that were ridden by Dave'.

If you are looking for anything more than that then you may be disappointed; personally I loved the humour, the self deprecating style, the sense of man versus adversity (and his own lack of mechanical and planning ability). The book covers mountainbiking (which is my thing) as well as road cycling and longer rides such as Lands End to John O'Groats - all of the articles are excellent and well worth a read - go on, the book is only a few pence after all!
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on 4 October 2013
As a "born again" cyclist returning to the sport/hobby after a number of years' absence it was great fun to read of the author's exploits as someone who started late but is determined to experience everything cycling has to offer from racing in an étape on a TDF stage to mountain biking in Wiltshire. The vignettes of cycling life are hilariously told and very entertaining. Barter is obviously an accomplished cyclist, and raconteur, but his exploits are tantalisingly within reach of the keen amateur. All in all a very funny book and an inspiration to get on your bike! Well worth the price, especially the Kindle edition.
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on 24 June 2016
I was given this as a present after having read about 5 or 6 cycling books in the past year. Of all the cycling books I've read, this is easily my least favourite.

Perhaps the harshness of my 1 star rating is that I am measuring it against books such as Tyler Hamilton's "The Secret Race" or Tim Krabbe's "The Rider". May that is unfair as Dave Barter has neither the experience of Pro Peleton racing, nor the writing prowess of Tim Krabbe. And there lies my dislike. Reading this book felt like listening to a boring acquaintance going on about how his cycling experiences are more powerful and insightful than anyone else. I found his writing style to be that of a 3rd rate comedian with a clumsy style trying to be self-deprecating which just wasn't for me - though clearly is for others given the volumes of good review.

I didn't really get any new insights from the book and it was less entertaining than I had hoped for. Someone like Ned Boulting does self-effacing cycling books far better in my opinion, but again I acknowledge that we are comparing people with 2 different background here.

Clearly though mine is a minority opinion. If you are thinking of buying this, I’d suggest you read the preview available in Amazon. If you like that – crack on. I wish I’d read the preview 1st and asked for something else.

Fair play though to Dave Barter for the dedication to write and self-publish this book. He is clearly very driven and deserves credit for that. Just not my cup of tea. Sorry.
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on 15 March 2012
I'm an ex-serious cyclist and although that sounds odd I should explain.....I wasn't a cyclist, then I was, then I was an obsessive mountain biker and then a roadie, then a triathlete (of sorts) and then a serious achilles injury forced me back into my pre-cyclist days of curry, cider and I am so inspired by Dave Barter's book that I am back on the road again on two wheels! This is honest stuff! If you aren't a cyclist you should read it.....if you'll live every moment with Dave! My lungs are bursting at the thought! Well done DB!
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on 7 December 2012
I finished reading this book this morning on my commute to work, and I am disappointed on two fronts. Firstly, I am disappointed that I have finished it, and secondly, I am disappointed it took me so donwload a copy!

As a self confessed bike book nut, this is without a doubt one of the best cycling books I have read in a long time. Dave Barter is a normal man, wife, two kids etc, who happens to be obsessed with bikes and cycling in all forms. This collection of writings are witty, thoughtful, extremely well written and a delight to read. Barter has a wonderful writing style, and anyone who has ever ridden a bike will be able to relate to his descriptions of rain, wind, hills, traffic and the like.

He has done some remarkable challenges on his collection of bikes, including riding the 3 Peaks on a single speed, and you can feel his enthusiasm for every event he's ever done coming through in the words that pour off the page. Barter's enthusiasm for bikes and bike riding is infectious, and I defy anyone to read this book and not want to head straight to the garage, grab the nearest bike and get out to get some miles in.

I am so pleased I read this book, and have been boring people silly recommending it.

I reckon Barter would be a splendid chap to have a night in the pub with, only if I didnt have to try and keep up with him in the morning!

5 stars all round.
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