Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review - Good Vibrations

I have just finished reading 'Good Vibrations - Crossing Europe on a Bike called Reggie' by Andrew P. Sykes aka @CyclingEurope and what a thoroughly enjoyable read it was too I must say.

It tells story of Andrew and Reggie's six week journey along Eurovelo route 5 from their home in Reading, England to Brindisi at the southern tip of Italy.

From the initial planning of the non-existent Eurovelo 5 route map, to the final preparations and eventual execution of the cycle, the book is lively and contains the perfect mix of descriptive narrative, snippets of history and humour to keep you thoroughly engaged throughout.

From the annoyance of Reggie's occasional squeaks and rattles to the perils of broken spokes; from the search for a place to stay each night followed by the many restless nights under canvas; and from the trepidation and anticipation of meeting people along the way, who had until then only been contacts made through the internet, to the occasional but inevitable language barriers (even for a language teacher - there is hope for the rest of us after all), the book keeps up a lively pace and there literally is never a dull moment. Or maybe Andrew just left those bits out on purpose for the benefit of the reader.

It's a shame that the photographs contained in the book are not in colour (purely a cost saving measure I'm sure) but they can be viewed on the website of the cycle tour, in the index of blog posts that Andrew compiled as he travelled along the journey.

Andrew ends by saying that he has not written the elusive Eurovelo 5 route map but concludes "as with many things in life, it's often better just to work it out for yourself". Having said that though, you could certainly use the book to create your own by noting all the places mentioned and plotting your route between each.

Well done that man... and Reggie :)


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