I’ve been a bit slack recently with my book reviews, and with my blog in general. I’ve not stopped reading, I’ve just stopped writing about the books that I’ve been reading. It’s got to the point where the stack of books that I need to review is bigger than the stack of books that I’ve not read yet.
First off then is another cycling adventure book; The Beardless Adventurer by Donna Ashton. A couple in their 40’s decide to cycle across Europe, all the way to the Black Sea. Between them they have very little cycling experience. and Donna has a bike which is too large.
They both had a romantic view of cycling quiet French country lanes, with the sun shinning and being able to stop in quaint villages to buy fresh bread and cakes. The reality was closed campsites, hilly back roads, rain compounded with various aches and pains.
They persevered and it does end up being a great adventure, and I especially like their ineptness at the beginning because it gives me hope that I can manage the same one day.
Eleven Minute Late by Matthew Engel isn’t a cycling adventure book. Instead, as the title cryptically alludes to, it’s about trains in the UK. I was hoping that it would be a kind of Bill Bryson on trains, and it was, to start with. Matthew buys a two week unlimited travel card and sets off on various journeys, including the longest in the UK which runs from Penzance to Dundee and takes almost 12 hours.
I like reading about obscure routes where trains only run once a week. He also stopped off in Rogart, and small station in the Highlands where me and my wife spent an enjoyable night sleeping in a converted train. Unfortunately the book veered off into the history of the railways, who ran them and ultimately discussed privatisation. Interesting, but not really what I was looking for.