Author Topic: Favorite book  (Read 12321 times)

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Offline mdxix

Favorite book
« on: August 15, 2008, 08:40:34 pm »
What is your favorite book to take on a bike tour?

I am preparing for a tour of New England states over two weeks, and looking for a book to keep me company in the evenings. Preferably related to nature adventures, non-fiction, and inspiring. But anything goes.

What do you recommend?

Offline brad

Favorite book
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2008, 10:34:41 pm »
the holy qur'an

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline John Nettles

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Favorite book
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2008, 11:57:30 am »
While I think the Bible is far superior to the other book, you might like Miles From Nowhere by Barbara Savage.  Her account of an around the world bike trip.  

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


Offline mlt22193

Favorite book
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2008, 05:38:40 pm »
I second the "Miles From Nowhere" book.  I've read that book dozens of times, sometimes just opening it to a random page and reading.  Even though it was written over 20 years ago its still one of the best travel books written.  It makes me sick to think she died shortly after they returned home.  Hit by a car while riding her bike near home.

Offline brad

Favorite book
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2008, 08:41:42 pm »
actually i tend to think like escapist fiction or travel narrative from the cultural/historical point of view when touring. that being said once around on a bicycle is a great book as well. the savage book is good too as noted.

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline driftlessregion

Favorite book
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008, 09:50:55 pm »
I have agonized some years over what book to take. It has to be a good one. This year it was Pulitzer Prize winning Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (it is 900 pages so I sliced out the 300 or so pages I thought I would need for 800 miles). One year it was Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. The book has to have good writing and not merely be entertaining.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Favorite book
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2008, 09:33:19 pm »
I would second The Bible. I have a small, traveling New King James that I take everywhere, only now I have to also take glasses to read it! I often take the "Journals of Lewis and Clark" (DeVoto edition) when I am touring. Two biking books I would recommend are Tim and Cindy Travis' "The Road That Has No End" and John Seigel-Boettner's "Hey Mom; Can I Ride My Bicycle Across America?" which is my favoite tour book ever.

Ride safe,

St. Brendan's Travelers Bicycle Missions Team

This message was edited by Trailpatrol on 8-22-08 @ 6:37 PM
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
"St. Louis to the Western Sea if nothing prevents."--John Ordway, Corps of Discovery

Offline WesternFlyer

Favorite book
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2008, 04:54:00 pm »
I like to take poetry.  Poetry is very compressed but can speak volumes. The reading out loud of a single poem can help shape the evenings conversation around the campfire.  

The Zen poet Basho who spent a large part of his life traveling in Japan from village to village wrote:  

  With the scent of plums
  On the mountain roadsuddenly,
  Sunrise comes!

Discovering found poems on the road is great fun.  I keep a small spiral notebook and pencil next to my camera in my handle bar bag to jot down signs and bits of conversation that speak to the road and me.  Writer and world traveler Annie Dillard found this poem:

  What were the signs in the landscape,
  In the air, in the motion, in our companionship,

  That so excited our imagination
  And made us so happy?

Western Flyer

 The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
      Saint Augustine
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline bogiesan

Favorite book
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2008, 12:42:45 am »
Anything by John McPhee. The collections are pleasantly

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Offline MrBent

Favorite book
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2008, 10:55:09 am »
A hearty second for John McPhee--great stuff.

My favorite book this summer has been God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre by Richard Grant.  This is mind-bending, unbelievable tale of this guy's travels into one of the most dangerous, dysfunctional places imaginable.  You won't want to put it down!

Also, I've been really enjoying the Flashman novels by Fraser.


Offline FredB

Favorite book
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2008, 12:14:52 pm »
I always bring the bible (small version) on my bike trips and love other cycling (Miles from Nowhere is a favorite too)books.

I also enjoy reading Tim and Cindie Travis's books (they have 2) on their travels through Central/South America.

Bill Bryson's books are great for a laugh.

Offline erniegrillo

Favorite book
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2008, 12:58:33 pm »
"No Shortcuts to the Top" by Ed Viesturs.
His account of climbing all the worlds 8000 meter peaks.

Offline rlovisa

Favorite book
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2008, 04:16:32 pm »
I would like to offer up for consideration 'West with the Night' by Beryl Markham.  

I really enjoyed it for her adventurous spirit, love of flying and respect for maps and navigation (See quote below).  If you read the quote below and read it from the perspective a bike rider following a map across the US, you will gain a lot of respect for those who went before us to create the resources we use so casually...

Here is a short description of Ms. Markam (extracted from a Google search)  Aviator, Born: 26 October 1902, Died: 3 August 1986, Birthplace: Leicester, England.

Beryl Markham was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from east to west, making the trip on September 4-5, 1936. (Charles Lindbergh made the very first cross-Atlantic solo flight in 1927.) Markham grew up in Kenya; she was the first woman there to receive a commercial pilot's license and became a well-known bush pilot. Markham's memoirs of her life and the Atlantic flight, West With the Night, were published in 1942. The book was republished in 1983.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is:

From CHAPTER XX - Kwaheri Means Farewell - Pg. 218

A map in the hands of a pilot is a testimony of a mans faith in other men; it is a symbol of confidence and trust.  It is not like a printed page that bears mere words, ambiguous and artful, and whose most believing reader ... must allow in his mind a recess for doubt.

A map says to you, Read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not.  It says, I am the earth in the palm of your hand.  Without me, you are alone and lost. And indeed you are.  Were all the maps in this world destroyed and vanished under the direction of some malevolent hand, each man would be blind again, each city be made a stranger to the next, each landmark become a meaningless signpost pointing to nothing.

Yet looking at it, feeling it, running a finger along its lines, it as a cold thing, a map, humorless and dull, born of calipers and a draughtsmans board.  That coastline there, the ragged scrawl of scarlet ink, shows neither sand nor sea nor rock; it speaks of no mariner, blundering full sail in wakeless seas, to bequeath, on sheepskin or a slab of wood, a priceless scribble to prosperity.  This brown blot that marks a mountain has, for the casual eye, no other significance, though twenty men, or ten, or only one, may have squandered life to climb it.  Here is a valley, there a swamp, and there a desert; and here is a river that some curious and courageous soul, like a pencil in the hand of God, first traced with bleeding feet.

Here is your map.  Unfold it, follow it, then throw it away, if you will.  It is only paper.  It is only paper and ink, but if you think a little, if you pause a moment, you will see that these two things have seldom joined to make a document so modest and yet so full with histories of hope or sagas of conquest.

No map I have ever flown by has ever been lost or thrown away; I have a trunk containing continents.  I have the maps I always used en route to England and back...



Offline gtmtnbikr2001

Favorite book
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2008, 11:23:43 pm »
Miles from nowhere is excellant, also "You cant ride a bike to Alaska, its a island" is also great, a nice read.  But I would have to recommend "A walk in the woods" by Bill Bryson, very entertaining.  Ive read it several times, and laugh every time.

Offline Westinghouse

Favorite book
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2008, 01:13:38 pm »
Miles from Nowhere by Barbara Savage. I have read it cover to cover six times. As a matter of fact, in a few steps I could reach over a grab it right now.