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  1. #1
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    Book Recommendations?

    hey guys, I've been reading a lot of the journals on Crazyguyonabike, but I was wondering if you have any books that you know of that give the same kinds of perspectives about touring. Or any books that are informational would be great as well. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DukeArcher's Avatar
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    'Moods of Future Joys' and 'Thunder and Sunshine' by Alastair Humphreys are a large part of the inspiration for my own big trip.

  3. #3
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    Over the Hills: A Midlife Escape Across America by Bicycle by David Lamb

    I read that and it was just all right. I think he misses a lot—not a keen observer. Even though he's a reporter/writer by trade.

    I'm fix'in to read "Free-Wheelin': A Solo Journey Across America" by Richard A. Lovett. I'm expecting better things.
    None.

  4. #4
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    Informational: The "Adventure Cycle Touring Handbook" by Stephen Lord. Awesome book. It contains touring advice, possible routes around the world, and touring stories by long distance tourers. Very inspiring. It will make you want to pack your bike and go.

    In terms of Crazyguy-style books, I enjoyed "Long Ride for a Pie" by Tim Mulliner. A New Zealander cycles home from Europe.

    I also enjoyed an older one where 3 Brits cycled up South America. I'll have to look up the title of that one.

    "The Amber Trail" by Natasha Scott-Stokes is often quoted. She rode down through Europe during the Bosnian war. It's good, but not great.

    My favourite Crazyguy journal so far has been "East into the Badlands" by Marcus McShane. I don't know if it's because he's another NZer, but I really enjoyed his TransAm ride. I'm currently enjoying Tzou's World Tour.

  5. #5
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    The Masked Rider. Cycling in West Africa.
    By Rush drummer Neil Peart.

    I just finished it and loved every page.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  6. #6
    Senior Member xilios's Avatar
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    A bike ride by Anne Mustoe Inspired me to take the plunge and go on my first tour.

  7. #7
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Over the Hills, by David Lamb. A reporter rides cross-country more or less on a whim. (More here.)
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  8. #8
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopid03 View Post
    hey guys, I've been reading a lot of the journals on Crazyguyonabike, but I was wondering if you have any books that you know of that give the same kinds of perspectives about touring. Or any books that are informational would be great as well. Thanks.
    The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head [humorous, amorous, honest, fun]

    The Road of Dreams [a young couple from South Dakota touring around the world] [there is a good set of video clips on video.google.com, that includes Bruce Junek (the author of The Road of Dreams) sharing his thoughts on touring -- I'll find it and post the link later]

    [There are also some other good informational videos online; "alff, bike touring" entered in the youtube.com search box will get you to some; the "slow coast" series is also there, and there are some excellent tips from writer Willie Weir also on youtube.]
    Last edited by Niles H.; 02-05-08 at 04:53 PM.

  9. #9
    eternalvoyage
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    Here is the author of The Road of Dreams,

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...arch&plindex=3

    [It is a multi-part series.]

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    The Masked Rider. Cycling in West Africa.
    By Rush drummer Neil Peart.

    I just finished it and loved every page.
    It's my favourite bicycle touring book.

  11. #11
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    My pick for good touring book would be:

    Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America?: Five Kids Meet Their Country by John S. Boettner (Paperback - Oct 1990)

  12. #12
    40 yrs bike touring
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    Some older titles still worth reading:

    Full Tilt by Dervla Murphy and ten more books including The Ukimwi Road-Riding the AIDS Road in Southern Africa

    Ride the Mountains Down by Bettina Selby. Riding in Pakistan

    Miles From Nowhere by Barbara Savage.

    Travels with Rosinante by Bernard Magnouloux 5 years riding around the world

    The Long Ride by Lloyd Sumner around the world

  13. #13
    Headlights are diamonds. diwhy?'s Avatar
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    Notes to Myself: My Struggle To Become A Person by Hugh Prather has nothing to do with cycling but inspired me to travel by bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arctos View Post
    Miles From Nowhere by Barbara Savage.
    This one inspired me.
    ...

  15. #15
    Senior Member TnBama's Avatar
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    Pert is a real traveler- he also wrote a travel memoir about his motorcycle adventure tour, I can't remember the name of it, however.

  16. #16
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    "off the map" by mark jenkins. he cycled ALL the way from siberia to st petersburg.
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

  17. #17
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    I like Around The World On a Penny Farthing, by Thomas Stevens. Nothing really changes including the attitudes in the various places visited. He may have been the first, and you can get the book in bound form, or online at Gutenberg for free.

    In fact not to be political, there is a scene where Stevens (I would call him open minded considering the times) sees an individual in Iran being tortured by means of the Fallange, and assumes he is just putting on a fuss to please the king. How many As in T-O-R-T-U-R-E.

  18. #18
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopid03 View Post
    hey guys, I've been reading a lot of the journals on Crazyguyonabike, but I was wondering if you have any books that you know of that give the same kinds of perspectives about touring. Or any books that are informational would be great as well. Thanks.
    If you are a person who enjoys humour, Josie Dew's books might be worth a look.

    She is an Englishwoman who caught the touring bug early in life, and has written some good books about her tours in various countries around the world.

    There are also sections on equipment in some of her books.

    Most people's favorite among her books is The Wind in My Wheels. It makes for very enjoyable reading.

    There is more information at her website,

    http://www.josiedew.co.uk/book1.htm

    'THE WIND IN MY WHEELS is informative, illuminating, and ceaselessly amusing.'
    'It is her well-developed sense of the ridiculous which makes her adventures so entertaining' Today
    'A wonderfully entertaining and endlessly amusing read' Daily Telegraph
    'Gripping... a witty, often sardonic travelogue full of wry observations' Today
    Last edited by Niles H.; 02-06-08 at 07:25 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head [humorous, amorous, honest, fun]
    On the other hand, this is easily the worst bicycle touring book I've read. The guy is a complete jerk, who creates a bogus charity to fund his bike tour.

  20. #20
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    http://www.amazon.com/America-10-Mil...2404737&sr=1-1

    America at 10 Miles an Hour
    by John W Triggs.

    This guy rode through all 48 contiguous states, and took more than a year.
    a fascinating read

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  21. #21
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
    On the other hand, this is easily the worst bicycle touring book I've read. The guy is a complete jerk, who creates a bogus charity to fund his bike tour.
    Shame on you! He's a fellow Canadian.

    Why so negative, judgmental and harsh about him?

    I've run into a number of people who enjoyed that book quite a bit. Darren Alff really enjoyed it [his website, bicycletouringpro.com, talks about the book].

    And how can you possibly know it's a bogus charity? I'm not sure many people saw it that way, or that it is so in reality.

    He seemed like a reasonably nice person to me. He was full of good will, humor and affection for others and for life. Other people who knew him also liked him quite a bit.

    One very attractive woman even left her career just to marry and be with him, and another was ready to do so.

    (Leaving the one for the other was difficult for him, and he didn't do it lightly or carelessly....)

    He also seemed to be concerned about and doing work for some good causes.

  22. #22
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    Shame on you! He's a fellow Canadian.

    Why so negative, judgmental and harsh about him?

    I've run into a number of people who enjoyed that book quite a bit. Darren Alff really enjoyed it [his website, bicycletouringpro.com, talks about the book].

    And how can you possibly know it's a bogus charity? I'm not sure many people saw it that way, or that it is so in reality.

    He seemed like a reasonably nice person to me. He was full of good will, humor and affection for others and for life. Other people who knew him also liked him quite a bit.

    One very attractive woman even left her career just to marry him, and another was ready to do so.

    (Leaving the one for the other was difficult for him, and he didn't do it lightly or carelessly....)

    He also seemed to be concerned about and doing work for some good causes.
    I haven't read the book, but sorry, Niles, he sounds like a tool.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  23. #23
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    ...he sounds like...
    Without meeting him or even reading the book? Based on rumors? Give the poor sot a chance at least.

    [If his leaving the first woman for the second woman is part of it, there is a long story involved there. And it was very difficult for him.

    If (supposed) bogus charities are it, how can we know? Based on a rumor? Is that really fair to him?]

    I've never met him, and don't really know him, but I don't have those sorts of judgments about him, and it does seem that he is being treated a little harshly and perhaps unfairly.

    *******
    On the other hand, I have to admit that I did have some judgments (at first at least) about Jenkins. I reacted to that guy's book at first, but then realized that he was just pushing some of my (judgment) buttons, and my judgments were much more about me than about him. (That often seems to be the case with these sorts of things.) Now I'm fine with his book.

    *******
    Neil Pert's book was a disappointment. It wasn't bad, but I was set up to expect something great.

    A lot of these things seem to be based on individual differences, and individual reactions.

    *******
    I thought (at first) that Dervla Murphy came across as something of a 'nasty #####' (she used that term for herself in one of her books, so it is her term, not mine). At first I had that judgment, then let it go. Now she seems quite like a human being to me -- complex, multi-faceted, not just one thing or one image or one judgment....

    There seem to be little elements to these books and people that just set off reactions [it may even be happening here in these forums, and it probably is], but one can let them go and be clear of these reactions. It's worth letting go of ill will, it seems to me; charity, tolerance for diversities, and good will or friendship toward others seem more worthwhile, and a better way to live.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 02-07-08 at 05:12 PM.

  24. #24
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopid03 View Post
    ...I was wondering if you have any books that you know of that give the same kinds of perspectives about touring. Or any books that are informational would be great as well. Thanks.
    There is a book called Following the Sun.

    The writing is good, and there is a theme or orientation that is interesting. There is a fascinating set of quotes at the beginning of the book, sharing the orientation of his tour.

    *******
    If you are open to other sorts of tours -- similar to bike tours but not identical (some of them use other human-powered transportation, but they deal with very similar travels and issues and experiences and adventures, and much of the equipment used and places camped in are the same) -- these books might be very enjoyable to you:

    Paddle to the Amazon

    -- a radical adventure, traveling by human power from Canada down through the United States to the Gulf of Mexico, and then following the coast around the Yucatan, Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela, and on to the mouth of the Orinoco River, up the Orinoco and over to the Amazon, and then a long trip down to the ocean.

    *******
    Amazon.com is a great resource for getting a sense of which books you might enjoy the most.

    Often you can find useful reviews at Amazon.com. Not everyone sees books or writers in at all the same way [as you can see in these posts]; but if you find a book that has been reviewed by twenty different people, and every single one of them raves and gives it a high rating, you can be pretty sure it will be a decent read.

    There often seem to be a few people who give a book a bad rating, while most people find it good or excellent.

    *******
    Another writer you might enjoy is Paul Theroux. He may be by far the most accomplished of all the writers that have been mentioned here. His book about his travels through the islands of the Pacific by human power (kayak and wild camping) is excellent -- one of the best travel books I have ever read.

    Theroux is an excellent professional writer.

    *******
    Another of his books, about a walking tour around Britain, might also be of interest. You could check the reviews at Amazon to see if it sounds like something you might enjoy reading.

    *******
    Another book I think you would enjoy is Kodoku -- a young Japanese guy took a daring journey, sailing a small boat alone from Japan to San Francisco, keeping it a secret until the last minute, without letting on or telling anyone, and just taking off on a great adventure.

    I haven't read the reviews at Amazon, but I'm pretty sure most people would think very well of the book, and are glad to have read it.

    I recently loaned this book to a friend, and he couldn't put it down. He finished it a couple of days, while another book that I loaned -- one of Josie Dew's books (A Ride in the Neon Sun) -- took him months.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 02-07-08 at 04:20 PM.

  25. #25
    eternalvoyage
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    Here is that book,

    http://www.amazon.com/Kodoku-Sailing.../dp/B00005XL2G

    "Nothing if not daring" says it very well.

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