Maps of Gold Rush route

Rated No.7 in John Spark’s all-time Top Ten Cycling Books

Press Reviews:

‘Clark’s journey also takes him through the wildest, the most beautiful and remotest parts of America. Part travelogue, part political and social history, all incredibly well written.’     *****  Ian Gordon, The Scotsman

‘Lightweight travelogue froth this isn’t. It is one of the best cycle-travel books I have read, and one of the few that takes you on a real journey.’     ***** Dan Joyce, Cycle Magazine

‘A compelling and well crafted book put together by a traveller with a zest for human encounters and a love of the country he travels through.’    *****  Tom Riley, VeloVision

‘The book interweaves three main strands: History, People and Landscape, all mediated through the pain of travel at a speed often no faster than that of his 19th century pioneer precursors. But the great gain of this chosen mode of transport is that his route takes him along half-forgotten tracks across the plains, mountains and deserts… through ghost towns and small communities the highways have marginalised. Clark experiences an America that nobody in an automobile ever gets to see. Never having been tempted to read a work of the modern travel genre before, I would not have picked up this book had I not wished to wallow vicariously in the misery of its pedaller. I would have missed a treat!’     ***** Michael Eaton, Literature Newsletter

‘This book is a wonderful find. The writing is intense, detailed and insightful and portrays the American landscape and people in an honest, often funny, sometimes depressing, always refreshing way. Clark portrays and quotes people he meets along the trail with great sensitivity and humanity, particularly those others might call white trash or losers. Considering the hell the author is putting himself through, it is remarkable he can find it in him.’     ***** TransAtlantiska Tankar

Reader Reviews:

‘This book is one of those gems that small publishers can sometimes come up with, which is not to say this is a small book in any sense; there are three hundred and ninety five pages packed with excitement and interest, and I would not have missed a word of them… I was moved and impressed by the sheer physical determination of the ride, the amazingly skilful construction of the book and the simple clarity of the writing. Buy it, read it and savour the memory for a long time after.’     ***** Amazon.co.uk

‘This is a great book and I am surprised it has not received more attention. Clark not only describes his adventures (and misadventures) bicycling across the United States in the footsteps of the 49ers, but he also reveals and comments on America today. As a document of contemporary America without too much politics, this is a great commentary on the status of our society and landscape. I loved this book. You can really feel his despair in the Utah desert, and his happiness over a cold beer or a day without wind in his face. Just read it.’     ***** Amazon.com

‘His route… takes him through some of the poorest parts of the rural and urban USA, where he meets a fascinating cross-section of locals. The description of his epic journey, with the constant battle against the rising headwind (nicknamed The Panther) and his encounters along the way, is raw and vivid, painting a fascinating picture of modern-day America. A very good read.’     ***** Amazon.co.uk

‘Although the author travels by bike, unlike many bicycle travelogues, the bike is a means to an end rather than the end in itself. Clark writes with a blunt, honest approach and does not skimp on how difficult and soul-destroying the journey was, not only in terms of the immediate environment he faced, but in the wider spheres of his existence – and so develops a grater intimacy with the real struggles the Forty-Niners faced. He also describes an America that is largely ignored by the representations in the media we see here in the UK. Highly recommended.’     ***** Amazon.co.uk

Detailed Maps of Entire Route – arranged in order of chapters, travelling from east to west, read from right to left.

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