A Bike Ride- 12000 miles round the world by Anne Mustoe
In her fifties, headmistress Ann decides to retire and travel round the world by bicycle, even though she's not a cyclist, and can't even mend a tyre. Whilst this sounds like a novel, this is actually a true account.
I've read a later book by Anne Mustoe (Cleopatra's Needle - review is in a previous post) and I enjoyed it thoroughly, so I thought I'd read her first book. This was inspired by great journeys of the past- through Europe it's the voyage of Alexander the Great, through Asia it's the Silk Road, and through America it's a backwards version of the Pioneer trail (West-East, as opposed to East-West). The book is a good mixture of history, geography and diary. There is a real passion in this book, though by the end of it, in the American section you can tell she wants the journey to be over, as it takes over a year, which I feel lets the book down, but only a tiny bit. I think it's compounded by the fact that she has seen immense poverty yet extreme kindness in Asia, and in America she sees waste and feels as a cyclist she is treated as second class. This book comes highly recommended.