I’ve been very lucky, because over the last couple of years I’ve had my share of little adventures. In 2015 I rode from Lands End to John O’Groats, and in 2016 I cycled across France from Caen to Nice; and as much as I loved my cycling trips, I’m always happy to come home after my little adventures and know that two weeks is about as much as I like to do in one hit. So I leave the epic trips to the hardy adventurers, and love to read about their trips from the comfort of my sofa with a nice cup of tea.
I frequently have the bike channel (Sky 464) on while I’m pottering about. Last year a documentary came on called “Kapp to Cape” and it followed Reza Pakravan as he set about cycling 11,000 miles from Nordkapp to Cape Town at the other end of the planet. Reza was accompanied by his friend Steve and their trip became a world record attempt to complete the ride, self-supported in 100 days. I enjoyed the programme immensely and was happy to find that Reza had also written a book about the trip which was published last month.
Although I already knew the story as I’d seen the documentary, I found it an absolute page turner. Reza’a extraordinary way of telling his story was so beautifully honest, funny and thrilling. It took such guts to undertake such an epic adventure which was nearly over before it had begun and his revelation on London Bridge one morning brought a lump to my throat, as I had a very similar experience last year and walked away from my job in the NHS that was making me utterly miserable.
There were so many moments in this book when I wish I could have reached through the pages and given Reza a huge hug, as the story is about so much more than a bike ride and world record attempt; it’s about a personal journey which all of us, as cyclists and human beings, will be able to identify with. I’m trying not to give too much away, as I don’t want to ruin the story for you.
Although many people worry about the dangers of undertaking such a big adventure and all the what ifs, what will stay with me from this book is the kindness of strangers he met along the way, who had so little yet shared so much with Reza on his trip. Kindness is free, and I’m going to try and be a bit more generous…
“This book is the intensely personal story of one man’s mission to create a more positive, purposeful life, and the compelling journey he took to get there.”