Top positive review
Amusing, light hearted read
on 22 February 2016
I really enjoyed this book, it was an easy, erudite book about a longish distance cycle ride that would inspire the average rider to try something similar. I see some people have complained about the amount of description and history in the book, it seems to me to have been written in the style of Anne Mustoe (maybe she's out of fashion now??) who always included fair chunks of educative stuff. Personally, I find this adds to the value of the text as I can't imagine what else you could write in a book about a cycle ride, surely there are limited numbers of times you can write about a freewheel or a climb?
I felt that he did a good job of describing a lot of small towns in a part of England I am not that familiar with and I ended up thinking they were more interesting than I expected and that the route he followed was slightly unusual and worth visiting. It's also part of the tradition of cycling, going right back to the late 19th century, to be interested in the history and architecture of the areas you are cycling through. The arrival of the bicycle gave people the chance to leave their locality and experience and learn about the wider world.
I have been known to chat to my bike, I have five bikes and I find each has a specific personality so I found the author's interactions with his bike definitely amusing. He describes really well the dogged nature of the true cyclist who keeps going through appalling conditions and long days and if there's no companion to share the hardship with, well, what's wrong with nattering to your bike?!
The style of the whole book reminded me of Edward Enfield's cycling memoirs, full of wry, gentle English humour. I'm definitely going to buy others by the same author.