Cycling

“Get Inspired To Bicycle Across Europe: Read Good Vibrations”

From the other side of the Atlantic, Mary Reynolds has written a review of Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie for Examiner.com;

“With a dry British wit (and some very wet days), Andrew Sykes tells of his amazing bicycle journey from Reading, England to Brindisi, Italy. His book, Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie, makes for excellent summer reading and dreaming.

Sykes, a school teacher, spent a year planning the route that loosely follows the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. Think of Martin Sheen’s movie The Way, in which pilgrims walk 800 kilometers northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, only much longer and by bike! Sykes also used portions of the not-always-properly-signed route EuroVelo 5

The author shares strange twists of geographic fate. Amazingly, he finds a campground in the middle of London in the early days of his journey. At the top of on a beautiful Alps mountain pass, a low-budget carnival atmosphere prevails with St. Bernard dog souvenirs and bad food. Sykes spent 30 days on his journey south, biking 40-120 miles per day. “Reggie” is his Ridgeback Panorama bicycle loaded with panniers; panniers from which he soon jettisons his camp cooking utensils and neon green clothesline. So much easier to get take-out, or take-away, because he’s British…

Wonderful descriptions of Europe’s small towns and countryside that are off the beaten path for most American tourists enliven the book. Sykes humorously describes everything from surprise waltzing in France, to a cathedral with “too much of a muchness,” to towns with “buildings crumbling, some, more than others.” …

Sykes’ writing skills make the reader feel like he or she is along for the ride in Good Vibrations. Long distance bicyclists yearning for adventure would do well to follow his example: research and plan, be flexible, sometimes brave (when sharing a motorway with speeding Italian trucks), and above all, be ready to laugh at yourself.”

Well, in the words of Dame Edna Everage herself, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you might be missing the biggest joke of the century. Thanks for that Mary. Much appreciated. You can read the original review at Examiner.com.

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