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on 13 June 2016
I very much enjoyed this book about Metcalfe's marathon bike ride down the spine of the USA (actually 2.4k hard miles). The book has energy and wit and the trick John Metcalfe achieves is to keep the reader interested to the end which is greatly to his credit. What I didn't appreciate so much were three things: his unnecessarily rococo writing style in the first half of the book where he throws in arcane English words that seem a bit showy and don't add to the reading pleasure (curiously he grows out of this in the last third of the book - I'm guessing this was his attempt at a humorous style) ; secondly an over reliance on the use of the f word seems a bit overcooked; and lastly (and I was reading on a kindle) there were an irritatingly large number of typographic errors or words missing from the text. Is this a kindle thing? Did he not have an editor? Nevertheless, these irritations are like the squeaky bottom bracket or the chafing saddle in the context of an extraordinary, epic bike ride.
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on 18 July 2017
Great book, very light hearted but full of details. to sum it up its a hard ride and will take time to plan and do and you need to be fit, the distances covered daily in ardurous conditions mean you ahve to be well prepared. Great book, well worth a read
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on 6 April 2013
Having only ever read about the Great Divide Trail in magazines previously it was very interesting and informative to read a full length book of two guys under taking this adventure. Humorous and at times slightly infuriating that people could make what seem to me naive choices and mistakes. The writing did let me feel some of the emotions and experiences of the trip. Sadly I know I'm too soft to even dream of undertaking such a trip but it was good to do it in my head along with John and JT.

I can recommend this to anyone interested in travelogues and especially anyone who has read a short magazine article about the GET and are considering it. I'd recommend you look at this book before making your mind up, you'll get a much more realistic picture of the undertaking IMHO.
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on 1 October 2013
This is John Metcalfe's story of how he and a mate flew out to the USA, and cycled the whole length of the Great Divide, from the Canadian border to El Paso on the Mexican border. They did it travelling very light.....at times I thought worryingly light.....on mountain bikes. This was a tremendous physical achievement yet in describing how it went, the author has an innate quality of not taking himself too seriously. He was determined to achieve his goal in the face of great physical hardship, yet he's the first to poke fun at himself and his trail-mate when things didn't go to plan. This was a really good read for those of us who love the Great Outdoors.
PS...Don't take any notes on John and JK's trail food though, I think they had the diet from hell! When I do a long hard ride/run etc, the words Pasta, Porridge and Tuna pop into my head. In John's case, it was more 'Donuts, coffee, and pies.'
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on 9 June 2017
This was a good read but I was reading this to get some insight as I am thinking of riding the TD next year. I would have liked more technical information, more condition information, gear type, bike set up, route strategy, rests etc. Etc. so I could have used it as a reference.
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on 16 October 2014
All cyclist tourist should read this book. Having visited some of the areas the cyclist passed through, you can appreciate the sheer scale of the scenery, and their accurate description of the countryside. They not only had the great American Dream, they rode it.
Look forward to his next adventure.
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on 8 August 2013
I loved this book – it was right up my street. Not the best written book ever but thoroughly entertaining, informative and very readable. I enjoyed the relationship between the two characters, the mistakes that they made and the sheer “for the hell of it” mentality. It the sort of journey any cyclist could do and that is why you remain glued to the last page.

Buy this book.
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on 14 April 2015
A very well written book, that makes you care about the author and his friend in their epic mtb adventure.
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on 10 April 2013
Having read the other reviews on this book I can say that it lived up to my expectations. It is well written in a humorous and descriptive way to give you a connection with both the people involved and the situations that they experienced. John Metcalfe plays down the effort required to complete the route to some degree taking away the hero aspect of the ride which many other books tend to dwell on. I would definitely recommend this book.
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on 16 May 2013
I like my travel books to actually travel so that I meet people and see lots of places from my armchair. I sort of appreciated his sweat, tears and toil, but not really all that much. This was too specialised for me.
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