It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best.
Following several attempts to work on all those projects that he planned- learn guitar, trace the family tree, tidying the attic or even save the world- soon after stepping off from his regular 8-5 job, Guise decides to embark on an adventurous physical challenge to discover and understand one of his favorites places, the Scottish highlands. Though defined as a ‘gentle ride’, the journey is actually a 600 miles ride from the south-west corner at the Mull of Kintyre to the north-west corner at Cape Wrath in Sutherland.
While freewheeling along isolated roads, encountering fluffy and friendly sheep and meeting interesting and unique people, Guise takes his time to contemplate the spectacular sights and ponder on historical facts and Scottish traditions. The geographical information and the historical facts that he includes in his narration are good enough for winning a trivia game on Scotland at the pub! His narration is a good mixture of humor and serious thoughts providing an entertaining narrative.
I’ve read some reviews on Goodreads and on some forums about this book and I was surprised by the several negative comments that Guise’s work received. There have been many who were puzzled by his choice of splitting his journey into three stages taking breaks in between of six months back home, others questioned his more than amateurish approach to the whole ride. While I could agree with some of these reviewers I’ve read a fair number of books about cycling around a certain country and some of them were very inspiring I also think that Guise’s book is perfect for those who like a bit of an adventure and an easy evening read. If you are looking for an ‘endurance adventure’ type of book then this is probably not for you, however, if what grabs your attention the most is not the grueling experience but the idea that, no matter how old or inexperienced you are, you can always embark in an adventure and challenge yourself then this is your book.