Yet another book about long distance cycle touring. Good Vibrations, Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie by Andrew Sykes. This one is slightly different from the others that I’ve read recently, as Andrew has a bigger budget. This means that he doesn’t wild camp and isn’t averse to staying in the occasional hotel, but mostly he stays in pleasant campsites with showers and other amenities. Interestingly, one of the first campsites he stays in is almost in the centre of London.
The route that he takes is based on the pilgrimage by Archbishop Sigeric over a thousand years ago, who walked from Canterbury to Roma. Luckily this route can be cycled along Eurovelo route 5, if you can find it. Andrew spends a great deal of time online before setting off trying to find the actual route. I also liked the fact that he doesn’t really know how to repair or even look after his bike, which is good to know. He’s written a follow up book, cycling from Spain to Scandinavia, which I intend to look out for.
In my last book review I wrote about a pair of cyclists who rode across Siberia, in the winter (read it here). This is the other guy, Alastair Humphreys. In Moods of Future Joys he describes the first half of his round the world cycle ride, over a year before his ride from Magadan, although Rob Lilwall does ride with Alastair for a couple of weeks in Ethiopia. Al has a very different writing style, and unlike the other book in this review, he is doing it on the cheap, very cheap. He also doesn’t hide the fact that there were many times that he felt like quitting.
Halfway through Europe and the 9/11 terror attacks occured, meaning that Afganistan and Pakistan were no go areas. I was impressed that Al decided to head south through Africa instead.
A measure of a good book is would you buy another by the same author and for both of these authors the answer is yes.
You can find all of my book reviews from this year here.