Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Cycling across Europe...

No, sadly this post isn't about a forthcoming long-distance cycling holiday. Instead, it is about a book I recently read. I've never done a book review before, so forgive me if this one is a tad clumsy.

This book is called Good Vibrations - crossing Europe on a bike called Reggie and tells the story of Andrew Sykes' cycle trip a few summers ago.

As far a such books go, it is extremely easy to fall prey to the blow-by-blow account that hammers readers into mindlessness with punch after punch of sheer boredom.
Good Vibrations certainly does NOT do that! Instead, Andrew is at times surprisingly candid about his fears and uncertainties, and at other times simply hysterically funny.

Andrew's writings give us an insight into the country we live in that perhaps we may not otherwise have seen, while showing us other countries, and their people, through honest eyes, and in a manner no tourism brochure ever could.

Cycling over 3 500 kilometers is an impressive feat, yet there is absolutely no bravado in the book at all. Quite the opposite, in fact, and he paints a picture of just a normal man who did something extraordinary, despite being initially scared stiff of doing it.

If you read my blog, chances are you're either into cycling, or you hate cycling but are masochist. This book will appeal to all kinds of cyclists, especially those of us who'd love to try and do a trip like this. That's to be expected though, isn't it?

What is unexpected is the appeal the story holds for non-cyclists. Having said that, this is hardly surprising, as Andrew crafted the story in such a way that it is about the adventure, and the emotions, more than the cycling.

A wonderful read that I wholeheartedly recommend to anybody.