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Book Review: Miles from Nowhere

Posted on March 26, 2007

Miles from NowhereAs you may remember from the last book review I did (i.e. Riding Outside the Lines by Joe Kurmaskie) I decided to read Miles from Nowhere by Barbara Savage and keep the cycling book binge going (she was nominated for cycling sainthood by Joe after all which is one heck of a recommendation).

Miles from Nowhere is a chronicle of the around the world bicycling adventure Barbara, and her husband Larry, undertook in the late seventies. I have to say it was hard to put this one down. Barbara does an outstanding job of bringing the reader along with her. A few pages in and you’ll feel like you are the third rider in the group grinding up climbs with them in Alps, avoiding flying rocks and sticks in Egypt and spinning for mile after mile on the lonely roads of the Dakotas.

It took Barbara and Larry about two years to circle the globe and there were a lot of highs and a number of lows. One of the most amusing stories, and the one that Barbara starts the book out with, is one in which Barbara is using the bathroom (a bucket on the roof) at their “hotel” in an Indian town (if my memory serves me) and all of a sudden a gorilla is bounding at her across the other rooftops. She has no choice but to stop what she was doing and run inside. Stories like that fill this book and as a reader you’re never at a loss for a laugh and some true drama.

Barbara and Larry also run across some great people throughout their journey many of which helped them with food, housing and transportation. It’s always refreshing to see that there are still good people out there in the world and that, in fact, most people are good and decent folks. One of my favorite people is Geoff, a New Zealander who shares part of the journey with Barbara and Larry. He’s quite a character and a simply a great human being.

Make no mistake, this book is a great read but Barbara is by no means a fantastic writer. She gets a ton of points though since she really brings you there. I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in bicycle touring and world travel. I think it will open your eyes to a lot of things even though the trip took place almost 30 years ago.

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