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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Man Who Cycled the Americas
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2011
I watched both the BBC documentaries (the man who cycled the world and the man who cycled the Americas) and as well as just being overwhelmed by the depths Mark could dig in order to complete these endurance feats, it made me want to do something with my life. I still haven't decided what yet, but at least I started to think about it!
Mark's books show the strengths humans (or at least Mark) can draw upon to complete endurance feats that most of us can only dream about. Whether it's the physical mountain climbs in Alaska or trying to deal with the over-present police protection in Pakistan or finding the steel to carry on after being hit off the bike and then mugged in America.
As well as being a fascinating read that I literally can't put down (sounds like a cliché, but is appropriate in this case), it's a travelog worthy of Michael Palin (high praise) and a damn good diary.
Do yourself a favour, read this and The Man who cycled the world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2013
I've not finished it yet (he's just leaving Central America) and there's no doubt it's a great effort taking in the 2 continents highest mountains and riding from top to bottom of the Americas, but why is it a read that is a tad disappointing?

Well early on, he says that he wanted the expedition to be more about the people he encountered and less about simply riding fast, which makes it frustrating to see him repeatedly trying to justify any excursions away from bike. These all seem so forced and we don't learn a fantastic amount of the countries he's riding through.

The ride was far from unsupported, a car through Honduras and minders through Guatemala and much of Mexico, constant calls to the support team etc. It would be my idea of hell when cycle touring, being shadowed by a minder in a car. It's an interesting read but if you're wanting to read of unsupported cycle rides there are better books out there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2011
Mark's book is a worthy successor to his first, 'The Man Who Cycled the World'. I have read both books over the past year whilst looking for inspiration for completng my 7 day LEJOG this summer.

I found both books to be extremely well written, detailed without 'going on', and clearly recording the journey as it unfolded. Mark's thoughts and feelings are portrayed in a way that allows anyone with some experience of pushing themselves to fully engage with.

I pre-ordered this book a couple of months ago and kind of forgot about it! It arrived on my doormat last week and I had read it in 4 evenings! I really couldn't put it down! I even cut short my 20+ mile bike-commute home to get back into it!

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to enjoy a vivid and truthful account of an awesome journey!

Just get on and read it! Five stars! Full marks (I am a teacher afterall!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2012
I really enjoyed Mark's first book in which he sets out to break the world record. I was, however disappointed by this book. It did not have any real goal, only one he had made up, so any reference to urgency did not ring true. While in his first book, he achieved a good balance between the small and interesting details of the journey and the overall picture, in this book, one day seems to merge in with another, often with little real interest. Perhaps the journey took too long so he felt he had to be more concise or perhaps it was that there were fewer details of real interest.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2011
The first thing that pleased me about the book is that it was the same cover type as Mark's first. I was worried that it might be a hardback and they wouldn't match on my bookshelf...lol.

The second is that it is every bit as inspiring as The Man Who Cycled The World and yet a very different read. The first book was all about the world record, the efforts in achieving it and he often commented at how little time he got to spend experiencing the places he road through, this is very much about the journey, the people and the places, as well as the small matter of what Mark actually achieved himself. There is so much to be gained from reading this book, even if you watched the programmes about it.

I met Mark last year when he did a tour, talking about his two rides, he signed the bike I will be riding to Italy later this year. Whenever I'm struggling up a hill, or into a headwind I look at it, remember what Mark went through on his rides and dig deep. Reading this book inspires me to push that bit further than I think I'm able... I can not recommend it strongly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2014
Having read his 1st book which I enjoyed to a point, I thought I'd give this one a read on the premise that it was pitched more as a travelogue. Apart from the 2 mountain climbs which were an interesting insight into mountain climbing on this scale. The rest of the book left me just waiting for the end, I understand the premise of adventure travel but if you find it so difficult, don't do it,
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2011
The Man Who Cycled the AmericasMark Beaumont is, like me, Scottish, there the similarity ends. He is an accomplished 28 year old adventurer and story teller, having cycled from John o' Groats to Lands End in the UK aged just 15. Since then he set a world record for CYCLING around the world in 2008 and then two years later, in 2010, he cycled the length of the Americas, but to make it a more interesting journey he also climbed the two highest peaks on that continent, McKinley in North America (Alaska) and Aconcagua in Argentina, don't you just hate over accomplishers? Especially when, as well as cycling these distances, he is also filming it on TV quality HD cameras, blogging, twittering and commentating, he then writes a book as well, over achievers, the world would be a less interesting p[lace without them...

So, this book, The Man Who Cycled the Americas, what's on the label is what you get inside. But, if you are not used to reading these type of books but more used to reading an adventure novel or crime thriller or love story, please do not be put off by the fact that this is a first-hand narrative recount of a truly massive journey.

Beaumont really does have the easiest writing delivery style and he has produced a book that is easy reading, that at times sways from the dramatic and scary to the funny and the worrying. Not funny for him, but I did laugh at the thought of this wiry Scot trembling at his fear of meeting spiders, but when he describes what has been described to him, what can happen when and if he comes across the `Banana Spider' it is quite funny and then he compounds his fears by checking it out on Wikipedia, Numpty, you feel for him. Or the time he gets worried at a cash machine when some guys are behind him and he rushes off clutching his money, only to realise he has left his card in the machine, bless. His poor command of Spanish also makes for a laugh as he tells a chap he is sharing a tent with as they are acclimatising for the climb up Aconcagua, that he is `feeling horny', when he did in fact mean `feeling hot'!

He describes the acclimatisation for the climb up McKinley in detail with prose describing the beautiful scenery and snowy landscapes that makes you want to visit the area and then the harrowing scene of a tumbling climber dying in front of his party.

The climb up Aconcagua felt like he wasn't going to make it and you can literally feel his gasps of pain and yourself willing him on to the summit with his fellow climbers, will he make it ....... and remember he still has to get back down and cycle another couple of thousand miles down to the very tip of the Americas before he finishes his journey!

The variety and mix of people met on the journey are presented as a full cornucopia from the ludicrously outrageous to the mildly insane in both North and South America, and which included a couple running a rundown road side store in North America who he thought were going to kill each other while he was there and his conversation with an uncommunicative armadillo, and the kindly old Argentinean who told him to "Keep his heart big" ,and the whole book just makes marvellous reading.

If you have never read this type of book before, please do not be put off, it really is a good read and it is a book you don't need to rush through, but as I say he does have a really easy style and this makes it difficult to put down, but if you do, it is so easy to come back to it time and time again.

Well worth a 5 out of 5 stars
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on 22 May 2011
Wow amazing, the best book I have read this year!!

Read this book after being blown away with Marks first book The man who cycled the world, and the man who had inspired my fiance to cycle for Help for Heroes.

Readers and Fans of Mark will not be disappointed with this book, its again inspiring, a page turner, a book that you wont be able to put down and some times a book that you will be on the edge of the seat reading especially when Mark is climbing the mountains. You will feel Marks high and lows and want to both laugh and cry on many occasions throughout the book. You will travel with Mark through every page. What can I say this book is purely amazing. Even if like myself you are not a cyclist or a climber this will appeal to everyone so will recommend to friends and family.
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on 23 May 2011
I followed Mark on Twitter as he undertook the journey detailed in this book, and have eagerly awaited this publication. I have not been disappointed. The book is written in a very easy-to-read style, and, as with The Man Who Cycled The World, I have once again been drawn into the story. It's like meeting up with an old friend.

On this journey Mark had more time to stop and investigate when he passed something of interest, and the book records many encounters with fascinating people and places (and animals!) as well as the trials involved in such a marathon undertaking. You do not need to be a cyclist, or a mountaineer, to enjoy The Man Who Cycled The Americas. I heartily recommend it.
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on 2 July 2011
Another great read Mark. I followed the trip on the Blog and Twitter so it was great to read about the trip in even more detail.

As with the previous book, the writing was great at portraying the emotions of such a challenging trip. It was nice to read that there was more time to take in things and meet more characters along the way. Amongst the personal account of the journey it was interesting to read some of the similarities about preconceptions of certain countries that previous cycling adventurers had, only to discover something completely different.

I thoroughly recommend this book to anybody even if you are not in to cycling.
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