Customer Review

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Armchair cycling doesn't get better than this, 13 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie (Kindle Edition)
Andrew Sykes is a language teacher, an admirable profession that to do well, I assume, must have some empathy with the countries and people who live and speak those languages. If this is the case then a tour across Europe should come as no surprise. But it was as a result of him watching the cyclists at the Beijing Olympics that the seed of this journey was sown. The idea of doing a long distance tour on a bike is very different to the Olympian cyclists but that is of no matter, the idea was there and two years later, taking advantage of the long summer holiday, the ride to Brindisi, southern Italy started.

Andrews journey took inspiration, and indeed some of the actual route of the Via Francigena, an ancient Pilgrims route and the Eurovelo 5 cycle route, an inspired use of the old and new.

Now, this did not just happen. Andrew describes in detail the two years between the idea and the reality in which route planning and information sourcing took place using an online blog. But happen it did despite little information being available on cycle routes (Eurovelo) in Europe, a situation that is now changing as more information is collated on the internet.

This book certainly goes the extra mile in detailing how the ride was planned and executed. However, it is not dry as some overly detailed books can be. The whole point of a journey like this has to be the pleasure of actually doing it as much as the achievement of something special. It is the pleasure of the ride that comes across so well, even the times when `pleasure' would probably have been said through gritted teeth.

No journey of this distance can be all plain sailing. Andrew and Reggie have their individual highs and lows, sometimes they coincide! No matter what the joys or pains though, the humour and great writing keep you willing them on. With a knack for great descriptions of the terrain, history, people and events along the route we, as readers can feel part of the journey and get a great sense of occasion.

One of the recurring comments I read about this book is "inspirational" and it is. Many tour books come over as a little clinical about how it all came about, a bit macho but, and here I beg the authors understanding, this book refreshingly comes across as an ordinary guy facing the worry, uncertainty but above all, excitement of setting off on an adventure. For me, that is one of the endearing things about this book, the fact that anyone reading it can admire the adventure but feel that maybe even they could do it to.

I cannot recommend this book too much and the icing on the cake is that Andrew is planning the 2013 ride right now with the hope of a another book coming out in 2014. To paraphrase MasterChef's Gregg Wallace, Armchair cycling doesn't get better than this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.6 out of 5 stars (179 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (128)
4 star:
 (35)
3 star:
 (12)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
£2.99
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Peterborough UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 311,307