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214
4.8 out of 5 stars
One Man and His Bike
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Showing 1-10 of 35 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2011
I absolutely loved this book, especially when he visited my home town and other places I know well. His portrayal of the scenery made it come alive for me and likewise the people he met on the way. A slight pity he raced through some localities without too much comment, but he does explain why in the book. A few photographs would have made a really good book even better. Well worth reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2012
Firstly, I recommend this book. Nice travelogue that really does seek to find a hidden Britain and look for the good as the Credit Crunch took hold during the summer of 2009.

If you're interested in cycle touring, buy it (that'll secure him thousands of sales)and if you are looking to visit Scotland this year, definitely buy it (see Mike's note on the east coast, deserted, midge free and beautiful).

I'm a biker as well as a bicyclist so I'd read his BMW motorcycle Europe tour, mid-life crisis book last year and had been disappointed really, so I'd bought this book ready to be similarly rewarded. But I was wrong. It's almost as though two different people had written them.

Mike wrote about his tour in The Observer during 2009 and for those reviewers looking for support pictures, there are plenty on the Guardian website which still has all his diary pieces from the ride [...](Remember from the book, he's a freelance sub editor for the paper).

Overall, lovely book, which, as some have said, does feels rushed towards the end but it fits perfectly with the mentality of the author, though merely focuses the reader's attention on the disappointment you feel as the book, and journey, come to a close. It's a fine book, it's not Riding Home from Siberia, but what is?

You will know in the first 100 pages whether you like the author - if you do, then you will love this book. Recommended, even to non cyclists interested in their own country.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2013
This book is really good fun. It dispels the theory that Britain is broken as he met so many kind people of his travels. I really enjoyed the book but in particular the passages set in Scotland. I now want to visit places like Findhorn, Cape Wrath & the village where the film local hero Local Hero was set - read the book to find out where it is!. It's even inspired me to read some Bruce Chatwin. My only criticism is the small number of pages dedicated to the final leg across southern Britain. But after five months in the saddle I would probably want to get the final leg over & done with as well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2011
Purchased this from Amazon.

A great read from cover to cover. Perhaps it helps that I 'buy into' Mike - his ideas, views, politics and a smattering of rail enthusiasm.

I wanted more from the journey though, several chunks of the journey were missing - I wanted to know what Mike made of Newquay for example. I guess this is ultimately an editorial decision - there needs to be a trade off when covering the whole country in one book. Perhaps this could have been volumes one and two, though this may not be attractive for the sales figures / publishers.

Could there be some more content online?

I've tried to search for the photos he kept taking, they'd be fascinating to see but no joy yet!

Keep a decent road atlas by your side when reading this, particularly for the areas you are less familiar with.

Well worth your time, a great book full of Mike's personality, totally enjoyable and feelgood. As others have said, Britain isn't broken, you just to get off your arse and make the effort - you'll soon meet decent folk. Just wish I had the guts and stamina to do it for myself!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2011
I read this during a recent rain-sodden "holiday" in the South of France and it made me wish I'd stayed at home and done some cycling like this instead!

It's a lovely, unpretentious book, full of humanity and characters. During the way, Mike has some quite profound experiences, but he treats them with a light touch. As someone who has cycled a fair amount on the West coast of Scotland it made me seriously want to follow in his footsteps. Now how to arrange a few months career break...

Highly recommended.
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on 16 May 2014
This is such an inspiring and thought provoking book. I love Mike's sense of humour. Four stars because I was really looking forward to what he encountered in, and thought of, Wales and the West Country but was sadly disappointed as these and the rest of the return journey were crammed into the last 25 per cent of the book. He seemed to lose interest in his trip after Blackpool and dismissed most of Wales in a couple of sentences.

It would have been really nice to have an epilogue too - I was dying to know what happened after the trip. Did he get to Argentina or just pick up with his old life where he had left off?

It seemed that he was a troubled man rushing so much to finish the trip that he missed out in many ways. I wish he had taken some time off - a day here and there for a rest along the way, instead of rushing, and had included more of his experiences in a longer book.
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on 23 December 2011
I'm in my mid 30s and have recently returned to cycling after many an adventure in my teens and early 20s. Mike Carter's 'One Man and his Bike' well and truely hit the spot concerning my rediscovered enthusiasm for cycling. I really felt like I got to know Mike and every night, just for 20 minutes before going to sleep, I joined him on his travels. Only two things prevented this review from being a 5 star return - firstly, the last third of the journey seems very rushed. I was looking forward to Wales and the West Country and Mike covers north Wales in a sentence. Secondly, why oh why are there no photos? Surely any sort of travel book deserves a couple of photos? A cost-cutting exercise by the publisher I suggest.
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on 11 March 2013
As with similar give up work for a bit and go travelling books, this will have you hankering to do the same. This is about the journey of making a change in life, both the mental and the physical one. Personally, I'd have liked a bit more detail about the choice of bike and how it performed, plus the actual practicalities of some of the routes taken ...a great read for touring cyclists nonetheless, although the author does seem to go into a cycling trance whilst in North Wales and you get little or no details of all the wonderful places he could have visited...I suspect he experienced very bad weather and just wanted to get through it!
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on 21 April 2012
This is a good description to someone who has a rebelliousness look on the repetitive things that goes on in every day life. Just to think to himself what the heck!- I'll just keep going and see what happens! Well written and amusing read.
The way he interacts with you, the reader and the people he meets, you can't help empathizing how well he draws you into this book. I just love the way that he overloads his bike and tries to makeup his mind on what he should of bought on his travels and just post's it home. Just read it. You must!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2011
I enjoyed this immensely. Easy to read, funny, yet thought-provoking about the country in which we live and the way we view the world. It was the perfect companion over the course of a week of commuting by tube into London. Highly recommended.
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