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On My Own Two Wheels Paperback – 24 May 2012
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Malachi's stories are vivid... detailed and humorous Irish News
About the Author
Malachi O'Doherty was born in Muff, County Donegal in 1951 and grew up in west Belfast. He is a freelance writer and broadcaster based in Belfast, a contributor to BBC NI and regular writer for the Belfast Telegraph. Malachi is currently Writer in Residence at Queen's University, Belfast.
Top Customer Reviews
This testing the of ideal against the actual is a constant "itch that must be scratched" running through O'Doherty's writing -- it is what gives his viewpoint pieces such a recognizable force and focus -- and here he uses it to ask a simple question: "Why should I not find my own way to cycle that brings pleasure on my own terms?"
In O'Doherty's way of it, cycling is neither a sport nor or a mere mode of transport -- though he acknowledges the value of both conceptions -- but a third thing, on the face of it a simple pastime but one that can often, with the cresting of hill or the rounding of a bend, go much deeper, offering something like the experience of meditation, where the rewards don't come after the mastering of the lotus position but after the "hardening of the thighs."
In the telling of it, he reveals a philosophy that adds to his enjoyment of life, keeps his body fit, and lets his mind roam free -- all spoken with no malice to anyone else's reasons for going about on two wheels.
I bought the book thinking it was all about a man taking up cycling again at 60 to address his high blood sugar levels. I found it covered some of that (we never find out what happened to his blood sugar levels), plus a lot more besides - much more besides than I wanted. He has written several books, with a fair bit of biography in them, and for me he was a bit too keen on writing about himself, beyond the remit of the book as I'd understood it - quite a lot on his father, quite a lot on his youth, that was for me neither interesting nor what was "on the tin". Take a prolific writer, who may or may not be "a bit of a character", prone to a lot of abstract, whimsical musings that may or may not be on the topic, and a blank sheet of paper, no editor to take out the many bits that make it look as though the author is paid by the word, and let's see what happens.
I also found the level of detail of street names and routes irritating. I don't know any of the areas that he cycled, yet he repeatedly quoted street names, and even the names of roundabouts, as though the reader knew them. Such a style seems best suited to a pub reminiscence with people from his locality, not a book. Then there were several occasions when I thought he hadn't picked up much knowledge of bikes and cycling, and what he said was wrong. A man cycling at higher cadence because his legs were weak? Really? A hybrid bike has smaller wheels and fatter tyres? I know this was written by a self-confessed "tootler", cycling at first in sandals and leather jacket, and there's nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't excuse daft statements.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good read. I've cycled some of the Antrim Coast roads myself, it's a beautiful, peaceful place.Published 4 months ago by Mr John P Dixon
Whimsically written, but suddenly stops without a sense of really having gone anywhere.Published 5 months ago by Shaky
A nice easy read thats covers a wide range of topics, not just cycling..Published 7 months ago by steve
Great read - as a 59 year old, with similar background to the author, it's given me a direction of travel and some nice nostalgia.Published 14 months ago by Eugene
Being of the same age and someone who feels that Ireland is a gem for touring cyclists, this book is human and humorousPublished 18 months ago by Mr. J. M. Patton
A brilliant record of a guy's way back to health and fitness through half forgotten pleasures.Also a good read for all cyclists.Published 19 months ago by Crickles