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Cycling to the Ashes: A Cricketing Odyssey From London to Brisbane Paperback – 3 Jul 2014
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"Oli Broom loves cricket so much he cycled from Lord's to Sydney to watch the Ashes. His book is rather marvellous" (Stephen Fry)
"Much more than a world cycle tour ... brilliant" (All Out Cricket)
"An epic adventure" (Bear Grylls)
"I think it's pathetic he isn't cycling home again" (Ian Botham)
"Completely potty" (Aggers)
An epic roadtrip from London to Australia by bike - all for the love of cricket.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
The scale of the challenge he set himself was breathtaking. The distance from London to Brisbane is over 16000 miles and he gave himself thirteen months to cycle it; difficult enough for an experienced cyclist but Broom was hardly that, he was a lapsed weekend cyclist at best. His journey would take him across the continents, through many countries and the weather conditions would vary from freezing cold to blistering heat. As he was riding a bike he was limited as to how much he could carry so he couldn't take much warm clothing or bottled water to slake his thirst. He largely rode alone, so there was illness and the loneliness of the long hours on the road to contend with. There were also more visible dangers; the wild dogs of Eastern Europe, enormous crocodiles and even more enormous road-trains in Australia and would all the hundreds of people he would encounter be friendly?
This is an epic book about an epic journey. It is not your average travel book in which the writer goes into detail about the places he travels through; if you read this book hoping to learn about these places you may be disappointed. Instead this book is about the journey itself and the effect it has on the writer. More than this though, this is a book that gives praise to human nature. As well as celebrating the spirit of Oli Broom in completing his task we learn that almost without exception he is met with nothing but kindness from everybody he meets, apart from the odd inconsiderate motorist. Wherever he was in the world people would usually feed him or give him shelter, reminding us that whatever our differences, religious, political or monetary, people are generally good, despite what the newspapers may say.
As this is quite a long book there are, quite understandably, sections that drag slightly but overall this is a very enjoyable book about an arduous journey.
There is lots of cricket chat as you'd expect (i learnt a lot of incredibly intersting things as a non-cricketer) but what had me hooked was the experiences the writer went through, the amazing people he met along the way, the humility he shows throughout his journey and his un-rivalled perseverance.
Not just for cricket and travel lovers - everyone should read this book!!
A cracking read Oli Broom has give us here. I thought it was going to be full of match reports and cricketing statistics but it wasn't at all and is all the better for it. The (often cricketing) characters Oli met on his way in places like Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Sudan, Indonesia and Australia give the narrative some spice and there were clearly times when the author (or rider as he was at the time) felt like giving up, but good on him, he didn't and we, the readers, are the ones who benefit.
The India chapter is a real highlight. He brings the country to life in a charming way and I'll definitely be looking out for his writing elsewhere. Recommend it highly.
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