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Two Wheels on my Wagon: A Bicycle Adventure in the Wild West Paperback – 1 Apr 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845965612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845965617
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 482,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Equal to the heroics of Le Tour, with extremes of weather, sleeping rough in toilets and gorging on blueberry pies in diners which provide the only grub hundreds of miles apart on this epic" (London Cyclist)

Book Description

Acclaimed cycling writer tackles the Tour Divide

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What a fantastic adventure! How anyone could even contemplate riding more than 2500 miles on a mountain bike, when their only previous experience of that type of bike is the South Downs I don't know, but Paul not only thought about it but did it!! This is a funny, entertaining and thoroughly readble book, even if, like me, you haven't been on a bike for years and then not more than 10 miles at a time. There were wild animals, cowboys, hippies and torrential rain producing mud that you could barely push the bike through to contend with, but Paul and his travelling conpanions refused to be beaten. This wild west adventure story has something for everyone -I couldn't put it down.
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Paul Howard's account of his participation in this pell mell cycle race down the Rocky Mountain spine of North America is a very entertaining read. It is mountain biking in real mountains. For such a masochistic enterprise the 'Tour Divide' is surprisingly under-subscribed. I hope it stays that way, it would be a shame if it became 'popular'. There is a very small field of competitors (less than 50), some competing against each other but for those with whom the author rubs wheels it was more often a competition against the elements and potential calorie deficiency.

Starting at Banff in Canada the route is broadly up and down, and up and down, but Southwards through Alberta and then the continental-divide states of the USA. The finish, nearly 3,000 miles from the start, is on the frontier between New Mexico and Mexico proper. There are lots of wild-life encounters of the insect, animal and human variety. The book is written with good humour, an essential characteristic for any would-be Tour Divider. This is not just small-town America, it's hamlet America and I am persuaded that I will have to go to see some of these places for myself. As for mountain-biking, I am not persuaded, life is too short.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am three quarters the way through this book and I don't want it to end. I feel part of the journey and the company is perfect. Paul's description of the ride keeps the reader gripped. Paul sells himself short by not making much of what a remarkable feat of cycling he undertook. To keep a distance of over a hundred miles a day through some of the toughest terrain imaginable and to do it for over two thousand miles leaves me with nothing but admiration for all who take part. These riders are just like you and me,ordinary cyclists with superman and superwoman stamina.
The book made me seek out more information on the tour divide race so much that I ordered a T shirt and the DVD.

Would I recommend this book ? Absolutely.
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Format: Paperback
I have a bit of an obsession with books about endurance sports and adventures, so picked this up as one of the few products available about the epic Tour Divide race. I was initially made aware of this event when James Cracknell and Ben Fogle planned to take part, but those expecting this book to reflect the gritty masochism and punishing drive demonstrated by Cracknell's adventures will be disappointed. Howard spends a great deal of time in motels and diners rather roughing it at the more extreme end of the scale.
Paul Howard reminds me of Bill Bryson - rename this book "A Ride in the Woods" and you might get the idea. His observations about American society and the locals he comes across are wry and witty, as are his characterisations of his fellow companions (I would say competitors but they don't have a very strong sense of rivalry). The writing is fluid and easy - I read this in just two days - and never becomes repetitive, even though the type of event would make this a possibility in less capable hands.
Ultimately I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to armchair adventurers, but for those actually into their endurance sports this may seem tame, hence the three stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed every page of this book. It's very well written, about a race down the great divide from the top of America to the mexican border. Paul writes about it so well that I felt I was riding with him, sharing the highs and lows, [physical and mental,] the scenery, the heat of the deserts, the comradeship. Ideal reading for for anyone thinking of taking part in a race of this kind, but a really good read for anyone who likes travel books.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who has done distance-cycling, even on a small scale, is going to enjoy reading this book. The author has a great sense of humour which comes across in almost every page. He has the ability to poke fun at himself down to a fine art.

The author describes his experience of the 'Great Divide Bicycle Race' which begins in Canada and ends on the border of Mexico. There are 28 chapters in the book, which turns out to be a diary for the 28 days it took him to complete the journey (which is over 100 miles a day). The threat from mountain lions and grizzly bears is not an idle one and this adds a sense of drama to the journey. It is a well written book because you feel you are being taken on the journey as well.

I am a very fussy reader when it comes to reading material. I cannot just pick up any old book and start reading. I have to say this book gripped me from the very first page and held me captive to the very last. A most enjoyable read.
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