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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational
Just finished reading the book, at 4;00am this morning. I found the whole context of the book to be in the real world from the planning, or lack of, the meeting people and the comments on the places he visited and people he met. As someone who is too old to start,too overweight and hasn't been on a bike since last summer i am inspired. The bike lights are on charge as we...
Published on 26 Feb 2012 by Amazon Customer

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Steady pedalling, could have done with more freewheeling
I take my hat off to anyone who does these long distance rides, so Andrew Sykes deserves congratulations on making the trip and putting the book together. And while the trip through safe, prosperous, France, Switzerland and Italy is unlikely to be as exciting as, say, Mark Beaumont's crossing of Iran on his round the world trip, I have to say I did find this book a bit...
Published on 10 Oct 2012 by Bristol Gog


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational, 26 Feb 2012
Just finished reading the book, at 4;00am this morning. I found the whole context of the book to be in the real world from the planning, or lack of, the meeting people and the comments on the places he visited and people he met. As someone who is too old to start,too overweight and hasn't been on a bike since last summer i am inspired. The bike lights are on charge as we speak and planning my first ever sponsored ride, in a word THANKS
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brysonesque, 2 Jun 2012
I am no cyclist, but Andrew P Sykes' account of his eventful journey to the southern tip of Italy left me yearning for similar adventure. His Brysonesque style of wry humour will capture the interest of even the most ardent couch-potato! I look forward to reading more from this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reggie comes smiling through..., 10 May 2012
Let's clear the air and cut to the bunch sprint - I really enjoyed reading about Reggie's European adventure. Good Vibrations is a book you can read on the big chain ring - it's a light read that delivers just what its title promises: it tells the story of the author's 2010 summer holiday cycle trip from his home in Reading to Brindisi in the south of Italy.

Good Vibrations tells the story of the author's first long distance cycle tour. Cycling for some 30 days, travelling anywhere from 60 to 175+ kilometres a day and camping most nights, he more than earns the long-distance cycle-tourer description he seeks. Reggie is his trusty (a couple of broken spokes apart) Ridgeback Panorama bicycle and his main travelling companion. While the author is certainly not into bike mechanics nor maintenance, he certainly has a love of his bike and he is keen to give Reggie a co-starring role in his saga.

Andrew Sykes is a modern languages teacher and this may explain the origins of his lively, very readable and refreshingly light writing style. This is a book you will read with relish, reluctant to put it down and keen to keep the pages turning. Sykes spins a very good story. This is his first major trip and first book and as you read you can sense his growing confidence - in his cycle-touring and writing. The writing zips along at a brisk pace at all times in the author's no nonsense style, but just occasionally in some of the reflective passages you catch a glimpse of the writer he may well become in the future. These passages are often from his blog and carry real promise. At all times he has the happy knack of making the reader feel they are right with him and along for the ride - in sunshine, showers, downpours and deluges: and for most of the journey there appeared to be plenty of the latter.

There is a refreshing naivety to the author's writing that is very appealing. He seems genuinely proud of his trip and his book's success: and so he should be. Others have certainly travelled further and in more exotic places. However, the inspiring thing about Reggie's trip is that every cycle-commuter or day-tripper can imagine that they just might be able to emulate the author. This, therefore is a book that will inspire more than most.

Sykes has a nice sense of humour and a good line in one-liners. I especially liked the mention of the French swimming pool cunningly disguised as a small nuclear power station. He is also a good story teller and introduces us to the friends he meets and makes on the road with warmth and good humour - even the Italian control freaks!

While there is plenty of detail on the trip and how it was successfully, but lightly planned, I would have liked to see a wee bit more detail on some aspects. For example, the book drew on blog postings made on the move from the author's iphone, but we are offered few details of how this happened. Indeed, the iphone seems to have been used each day, but we are left in the dark as to how affordable this was. Some sort of GPS tracker was used to plot the stages, but no details are provided. At 300 plus pages the book is long enough, but a better balance might have been struck if some details of the trip each day were cut and more space devoted to these technical matters.

However, the slight coverage of technical matters means the book will appeal to both cycle-tourist and general reader or traveller alike. Good Vibrations is something of a Swiss Army Knife in the travel book world: it offers something for everyone.
While on less positive matters, never was the old adage truer, than the wisdom of not judging a book by its cover. Good Vibrations has a dreadful cover, with garish titles and a dismal photograph taken at the end of the journey. In the euphoria of his Italian finish the author can be forgiven for taking the photograph in one of the less picturesque parts of Brindisi, but with a little forethought he might have chosen to finish somewhere more uplifting and he certainly would have been well advised to chose a more inspiring photograph for the cover. His trip and the book deserved something a bit more eye-catching than Reggie in front of a graffitti-scarred concrete wall.

However, this is no place for carping. Good Vibrations is a wonderful, witty and inspiring book. I'll shelve my copy between Josie Dew and Barbara Savage: it more than deserves its place. I suspect the author's next offering may well find a position next to Dervla Murphy, and that's high praise indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, light-hearted, informative, inspiring....., 24 Nov 2014
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Given I thoroughly enjoy cycling and European travel, I had high hopes of liking this book....and it hasn't disappointed whatsoever. The pace of the story-telling is ideal; no item is dwelled upon too long, yet items of real interest are never skipped over/ignored. I also found it a struggle to put the book down....eager to know how the next part of Andrew's journey unfolded. The book also provides plenty of evidence of the warmth of human nature, with many tales told of a number of people of different age, gender and nationality helping Andrew along the journey.
If you like cycling, and are perhaps looking for some inspiration to turn over a few pedals, this book is ideal. After all, Andrew is a just a normal bloke who packed a few panniers (with obligatory uncomfortable camping mat!), bought some maps and went for it.......with unforgettable and memorable results.
I shall be purchasing Andrew's 'Along the Med' book and will be following his 2015 journey from Spain to Norway closely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A humorous and honest journey, 1 Aug 2012
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Dr. D. Love "David Love" (Hampshire England) - See all my reviews
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The author manages to communicate his feelings in few words. It was an easy read and kept me amused right to the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read, 30 Jun 2012
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M. J. Mullins (UK) - See all my reviews
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I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in cycle touring, but also to anyone without any interest in cycling at all. It's well written, very witty and never gets bogged down in statistics or technical issues, but the author's concise descriptions of the route, scenery and the places he visits keep the reader well entertained as do his rather dry observations on some of the people he encounters along the way. Well worth the cover price!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If this book doesn't inspire you to get on your bike...nothing will!, 8 Oct 2011
The EuroVelo network covers just about anywhere you would wish to cycle in Europe. Out of the 13 routes, number 5 is the only one that gives a starting and finishing point but only a general direction in the middle. Providing you stick to the EV rules (see EV wiki) cyclists can pretty much do their own thing. That is the joy of this route and what clearly gave Andrew Sykes such a buzz. One can positively taste, smell, hear and touch his journey in his book 'Good Vibrations' (The title refers to the many cobble stones the bike and rider had to endure as well as the good vibes the trip brought about) Well done Andrew. If this book doesn't inspire the reader to jump on their bike and go....nothing will. It did me and although I was overweight, less fit and much older than Andrew, only one of those things applies now !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie, 28 Jun 2014
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Amazon Customer (Residing in the Kingdom of Mercia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie (Kindle Edition)
I really loved this book & reading it on the kindle fire means you can highlight places then look at a map to see the route travelled. Written with just enough detail to avoid it being a tour guide & focusing on the journey.
Really enjoyed it than thanks Andrew.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 22 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie (Kindle Edition)
An easy read that you can't put down. Andrew writes of his experiences whilst biking through Europe as though they were everyday happenings. This book has inspired me to buy myself a new bike and take on a cycling challenge of my own, just need to think.of a name for my bike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine read for those contemplating their first bike tour., 5 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie (Kindle Edition)
Little by little you will see the author, Andrew, go from novice bike tourer to a seasoned one.
Amusing in many places
This book makes me want to start planning my first tour.
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