“Adventure cyclists have been to places further flung and more exotic than Andrew Sykes’ crossing of Europe from Reading to Brindisi but “Good Vibrations” does exactly what it says on the tin. That’s exactly what I felt when I read it. It’ll entertain, amuse and inform a host of aspirant travelers and armchair explorers like myself. It’s also a fine guide to EuroVelo 5. Well worth adding to anyone’s Kindle. Read it now and then read it again on a dark, wet winter’s night and let Andrew’s travels inspire your own”
Tackling a journey of this size in only a few weeks would challenge even an experienced rider – yet somehow, the physical challenge takes a back seat to the main story; the people, the places, the adventure. The author writes with warmth and wit, and does an excellent job of capturing every emotion, every landscape (good and bad) on his journey. Thoroughly recommended!
(Mr J.M. Ward)
“We read Andrew’s blog avidly several times a day last year while he was en route and were delighted at his progress through Europe. This book is written with intelligent good humour and an eye for the unusual or the banal presented with an approving sense of irony. Not only is the book an excellent, entertaining read, it should also provide an inspiration to all of us to get up from our desks and head out into the great wide world. Read it then do it”
I often wandered what on earth those Beach Boys were on about with those cheerful lyrics, but with this new book Good Vibrations: Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie by Andrew P. Sykes, I finally understand! Packed full of useful information that Andrew manages to whisk out so casually, I found myself taking note of the names of organisations, various cycle friendly routes and even dotting locations of campsites on my walled map of Europe! It wasn’t just the informative nature of this read that compelled me to write this review; it’s the writer himself. After reading the first few pages, I found myself nodding at almost every word as if I was planning the very same adventure. He really manages to put you in his cycling shoes from the moment the idea popped in to his head, to the point of achievement. Good Vibrations’ message is clear; the destination is but 1% of the adventure, the journey is what will produce the anecdotes and overwhelming tales of accomplishment for years to come. Andrew, through his book and ever popular website www.apsykes.com, have inspired me to take on my very own challenge. And if it is inspiration that you are looking for, then look no further!
When I started cycling for fun and adventure rather than just to commute, I decided to tackle the 355 mile Pennine Cycleway as a challenge to myself. I looked around for info on the route and that is how I came across a blog by Andrew Sykes. Andrew had cycled the route partly in preparation for a longer cycle tour he was then planning. He was kind enough to give me some useful advice and also lent me his maps. Well, he has now done his big tour from Reading (UK) to Brindisi (Italy) along the Eurovelo 5. He blogged about the trip at the time and then went one step further and turned his adventure into a book. I have just purchased a copy and I must say it’s really rather good. If you are interested in the Eurovelo network or want to know how far Andrew cycled or find out why the bike is called Reggie or how he had the time to do it and keep down a full-time job or why the book is called Good Vibrations or lots of other things, well I’m not going to tell you. You’ll just have to buy the book too. Well worth it for any cycle tourists out there.
Came across this book as part of researching for my own adventure – Amsterdam to Rome. This book describes what it is really like to cycle tour – thrills, spills, mechanicals, wonderful days when the sun shines and there is a tailwind, uncertainty, food, drink, dirty washing and above all the people you meet along the way. Andrew manages to combine the spirit of adventure with excellent descriptions / background to the places he travels through……after all, he is a teacher!
A friend and myself are currently on a 4,000 mile charity cycle, and we are now in Belgrade, having followed the Eurovelo 6 from the Atlantic, and are going on to the Black Sea. We unfortunately miscalculated the length of the EV 6, after being given some wrong information, and so we will have covered a lot more miles by the time we reach the Black Sea than we first thought. Due to our planned daily budget, and needing to get home for a certain date, we cannot do more than 4,000 miles. We have been looking into the Eurovelo 5, and after the Black Sea, we would really love to do it, probably from around Sienna for our last 1K miles back home. So far, we have used some great ‘Huber Verlag’ German maps for the EV 6, but can’t seem to find any such material for the EV 5. We are aware you cycled this route in 2010, and from what i’ve read, it’s seems you know more about it than anyone else. We would really love it if we could maybe contact you by phone or email, as this is a bit of a last minute change for us, and so we are wondering mainly how easy it is to follow the route, given our little preparation? We also have a garmin, so could load some route files onto it if they exist.
Our website for our ride is: http://www.crossingcountriesforcancer.com
Many thanks, and look forward to hearing from you,
Matthias & Jonas