Cycling

Crossing Europe On A Bike Called Reggie: Review Round-Up

I’m fairly open about reviews; I don’t expect everyone to enjoy reading Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie and where justified criticism is offered, I take it on board as helpful advice. I am in the fortunate position of having many more positive reviews for the book than negative reviews but one of the latter came a couple of weeks ago from a blog called Podium Cafe in an article written by ‘fmk‘. You can read it here.

Meanwhile at Amazon, three more positive reviews. Let’s kick off with Monty Carlow (great name – I hope it’s not a pseudonym!), a man who loves his ellipses even more than me…

“I wasn’t expecting to enjoy a book written by an ex-accountant and a… how do I say it… a… teacher! But hey live and let live and all that… but I did give him the benefit of the doubt, as being a fellow Ridgeback Panorama pedaller I was keen to see how the ever patient and certainly over looked Reggie fared.

Of course he takes second place throughout to Andrew’s (I feel I can call him that now, after all we’ve travelled so far together) wonderful descriptions of the places en route, the architecture, people, food and wine and of course campsites. Poor Reggie, I can only assume Andrew was feeling guilty at the end and decided to give him a passing mention in the title of the book… perhaps Reggie has accepted this as I understand that they are off again together on the Eurovelo for another short jaunt… Together Andrew… together… And If I read in the next book that Reggie was left tied to a radiator in a bus station office again… I will be disappointed in you – but I will read it, oh yes, this was a gripping read and my first on the iPad Kindle which I’ve ever managed to get to the end of, so now I’m motivated both to hit Europe with my own nameless Panorama and to read another kindle book.”

A nameless bike Monty? Shame on you… Monty’s review was number 100 which is completely meaningless of course (it is no more significant than review number 47 or 83), but it seems worthy of a little mention as it marks a little step along the road to literary greatness. Kind of…

Next up is Mr. John A. Hilson, a man who loves his middle initial as much as me!

“This is an excellent read and which works well on a couple of levels. Firstly the descriptions of the people & places Andrew and Reggie encounter are both well-written and interesting. In addition to that, the fact that Andrew decided to do this trip on his own (notwithstanding Reggie’s rather necessary presence) is pretty inspirational and has made me re-assess what might actually be feasible if you put your mind to it.

For those that don’t know, Andrew & Reggie are about to set-off on another Trans-European jaunt in the next few weeks and I, for one, am looking forward to stories that will inevitably result.”

Stories that will inevitably result‘. Mmm… I too wonder what those stories will be and in the middle of the night when I wake up and start to ponder the question as to what I’m doing cycling 5,000km across Europe (again) with only a modicum of planning, they tend not to be the nice ones. We shall see.

The third and final review from Amazon comes from the Amazon.com site and more specifically from Justin Sher in Plymouth, Michigan, USA. It’s great to think that my little story of cycling from the south of England to the south of Italy is being read by someone who lives within spitting distance of the Great Lakes. Here’s what Justin has to say;

“This is a great travelogue of an average guy traversing from his home in the UK to the south of Italy by bicycle. A good read with some great stories along the way. Makes me want to start my cycle touring sooner!”

That’s me, just an average guy! Thanks to all who have reviewed the book whether you liked it or not. Your feedback is very much appreciated.

4 replies »

  1. Nothing specific planned at present (although I have aspirations to do Coast To Coast and/or LEJOG at some point in the future). My comments in the review were related more to my admiration that you did things solo, rather than as part of a group. That type of self-reliance appeals to me, but it takes guts to actually do it.

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    • Again, thanks for saying that. I think the advantages of solo travel outweigh the disadvantages. There is a tremendous sense of liberty when you don’t have to justify your decisions to anyone; if you make an inappropriate one you just live with it and move on. You probably also take ‘risks’ (not in a life-threatening way) that lead to more interesting experiences. Other than that, travelling alone puts you into the position of having to make an effort to interact with others which again can only lead to interesting encounters and in my case, something to write about. Good and bad… Try it sometime! 🙂

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  2. As Northerners, both you and I are obviously aware of the importance of keeping up standards at all times – and that includes the use of our formal names!

    John A Hilson

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    • Well said John! Thanks for the review by the way. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the book. Do you have a similar trip planned yourself? (Your review implies that you do.)

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