Sunday, December 23, 2012

Oh yea. That's why I didn't like it

I mentioned earlier that I finished this book that took me a god-awful long time to get through. It finally struck me (an idea, not the book) why I couldn't get into it and why in the end, I really didn't enjoy it.

It's a novice British riders account of his Tour Divide ride, a Canada to Mexico haul across the Rockies.   (again, poor wording. He's a self-described novice rider, NOT novice Brit). He attempts pithy travel humor, a la Bill Bryson, but it often falls flat. The characters are one dimensional and the terrain is minimally described.

That's what I realized.

He speeds through describing all the "in between" riding and wastes much of his paragraphs on the towns. "There's nothing for 100 miles" he would write, blowing off the nuances of a long distance adventure like this. Most nights he spent in cheap motels, not outside, not on the trail, not in the terrain he was experiencing mile after mile.

Mind you, as a long time rider and AT thru-hiker, I'm a tough critic. But on both fronts, the long distance travel and the mountain biking, there isn't anything really revealing or entertaining. It sort of drags on.

A line floating around when I was on the AT was "you gotta hike your own hike". And the same goes here: you gotta ride your own ride. You just don't need to read about this one.

....and yes, I used an NYC parking ticket as a bookmark. Beats paying it.

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