Monday, August 20, 2012

A good read

I've mentioned before how I enjoy reading, and books. I don't subscribe to the e-reader model, all the people that want to read whatever smutfest trash disposable novel is trending on facefriend without others knowing can keep to those.
Anyway I've just finished reading One Man and his Bike by Mike Carter freelance travel writer. It was a birthday present from my girlfriend's folks, plucked from the shelves 'because we thought you'd like it'.
Very right they were too.
I won't give too much away but Mike presents himself as a slightly day weary individual unsure if he is running from problems. In that sense it is quite similar to Ted Simon's recollections post-Jupiter's Travels in Riding Home. We don't ever really find the conclusion to Mike's problems, but what we do get are some very close answers. Dipping between the highs and lows of human contact and insect infestation and roaring through sections of countryside maybe under-recognised, the book is really rather good. In fact, and I mean no slight upon Mike here, but if I'd been told it had been written by a travel journalist I probably would have considered it to be filed alongside the dry Lonely Planet guide style books.
Thankfully there is none of that.
For the gear nerds amongst us, the bike spec is left pretty much out of it so don't go expecting an appendix similar to Long Way Round detailing kit types and sources. I would have to say that because of that, and although the bike is a definite constant companion, the focus is always more on the experiences.
Here is a person on a bike with the same general aspirations as any other rider; getting to the end, hopefully without too many hills.
I liked it, it has found it's way into my top 5 I think.

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