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Before I ordered the book I was quite sure that a story about pedaling 50’000 km back from Siberia to England will not be boring at all, but the thing that amazed me mostly was the way how this book (and its truly heroic adventures) was written. Let’s face it – writer is just an ordinary guy who teaches geography, not literature…
My gen2 obsession with bycicles (gen1 was when I was 13 or so) started this winter when I read about a guy that was trying to maka its way via North of Norway and Finland. And that made me wonder and research more about bycicle tourism. A little part of me has become passionate about bicycle – I want to advertize this kind of travelling in my home city (it’s sooo unpopular right now) and I want to go to North Cape this summer (although I’m not sure about how much money I will have for this). Anyway… The book.
As I found out, there are many people that are so mad and are travelling around the world with bikes but only few have courage and inspiration to write a book about their adventures. Rob Lilwall is one of them. It’s unbelievable how saturated „Cycling home from Siberia” book is and how many things have happened in this one trip. But then – I read it in thee nights, the guy was cycling for more than three years…
Although he started his journey together with his friend, most of it – via Japan, China, Papua New Guinea, Australia, India, Tibet, Middle East and Europe he made alone and that in my opinion is the most respectable thing about this – to have strength for pedaling more than half a globe for almost three years alone, with only alter ego to talk and discuss with.
The adventures Rob had are nothing but epic. This book was really enjoyable because author tells not only about how many tire repairs or sleep-in-tent nights he had but also describes places where he has been. I have always believed that I have a good imagination, but this book just reminded me that one more time – while reading I was able to imagine that joy, suffer, loneliness..
It was interesting to read about how people are living in different places were most probably none of us will ever go (and if you go to for ex. India, you won’t go away from typical tourist destinations that don’t show the real situation). And describing places isn’t just factual – it’s about emotions and feelings too. And that author did great. Although I am non-Christian I kinda enjoyed the parts where he talks about religion and faith, because it is one of those great things that make people all over the world so different and yet fascinating. OK, at one point in Afghanistan I was a bit bored while reading several pages just about faith..
This story once again reminded me how actually „closed-minded” people in Europe are – it’s hard to imagine that somebody here would give home and dinner to a complete stranger. Despite globalization, European people haven’t imported kindness and open-mind ideas from vast majority of population. And that is somehow sad.
When I started to read I had doubts about buying DVD with videos that Rob made during his journey but now I’m sure that I will order them and watch with great interest.
I’m still not sure why Rob actually started this crazy idea (partly because of charity, partly to prove something to himself), but I can promise that „Cycling home from Siberia” is spiritual race, a book full with energy and it can encourage to do something you had never thought about. It doesn’t matter if it is cycling around the world, running a marathon or just beginning to do some exercises in morning – it can make you think different about your life, free time and things you want, it can make you think how many great things can we do with our lifes just if we want to!