Recently I was going through my piles of books, many of which i hadn’t read for a little while, and decided to put aside the books that i wanted to read again. I’ve put together a few quick posts featuring my favourite books starting with my five favourite cycling expedition books.
Janapar: Love, on a Bike by Tom Allen
Janapar: Love, on a bike has kind of reinvented the wheel of books about cycling expeditions. In fact, it’s not a book about a cycling expedition or adventure but instead, a book about Love (on a bike). The book chronicles Tom’s journey through Europe, Africa and the Middle East and he talks about the world he travels beautifully but these places are more of a backdrop to the larger story of Tom finding love on the road and his inner battle between the girl or the road. Truly compelling! For the ultimate Janapar experience don’t forget to buy the documentary film – although the same journey, it’s not simply a visual version of the book
Moods of Future Joys by Alastair Humphreys
Perhaps one of my favourite journey’s. Al spent 4 years cycling around the world spending only £7,000 during the entire time. If you want a real and non-sugar coated tale of one man and his bike this is the book for you. Moods of Future Joys is part 1 of two; the second book being Thunder and Sunshine which is equally enjoyable.
Off The Rails by Tim Cope & Chris Hatherley
I must have read this book numerous times. Tim and Chris pedal 10,000km through Russia, Siberia and Mongolia to China. Suffering frostbite, homesickness and very friendly locals offering too much food (like that’s ever a problem!) their story makes you want to travel through the endless Taiga forests, through the sub zero temperatures and the monster mosquitoes yourself. A fascinating aspect of the Off The Rails is the relationship between the two cyclists…oh and the fact they did it on recumbent bikes…
‘Why Don’t You Fly?’ by Christopher J.A. Smith
‘Why Don’t You Fly?’ Back Door to Beijing – by Bicycle is the book that started it all for me. Back in 2008 i was walking past a charity shop and saw this book sat in the window. It piqued my interest simply from the title and i thought at the very least it would be good fodder to read on the tube. Little did i know the book would open my eyes to the world of traveling by bicycle across entire continents.
Take A Seat by Dominic Gill
I met Dom some time ago a cycling show where i was talking about my cycling expedition. He had just returned from his trip and it sounded amazing, so as soon as the book came out i bought it. Dominic Gill cycled from Alaska to Ushuaia on a tandom bike…by himself. He would invite people as he pedaled to ‘take a seat‘ and join him on his journey. Although his temporary bicycle co-pilots stories are great, it’s when Gill is pedaling on his own that things really get interesting.