Category Archives: Reviews

Books, films, gadgets-anything I buy and thing others should know about.

Book Review-Dividing the Great

A page turner by John Metcalfe.  This is the story of the authors trip down the Great Divide from Roosville in Canada to Antelope Wells in New Mexico a 2500mile mountain bike route which he completed with his long suffering friend JK.

Witty and well written the book has the right balance of stats and descriptive narrative.  The writer manages to give a daily account of social, economic, historical and geographic facts.

Describes potential problems you might encounter if you fancy tackling the route.

A great read.


Shoe review-Brooks Neuro

I wont bore you with the technical details you can get all that from Brooks lets look at the important things!

Looks:  A bright pair of shoes.  Not in the fluorescent all over way but a pink diamond pattern almost resembling snake skin! Black laces with web straps rather than lace holes.

Fit: I went for the woman’s eight,  oops that might have something to do with the pink colour then!!, Brooks have been wide on me in the past and a mens nine is too big so I decided to try a woman’s eight and although the fit is too tight with thick socks they fit really well with a thin pair on.  The uppers almost wrap themselves around my feet.

The run: Light and agile with the sole pods providing plenty of power transfer.  The sole is similar to the old Reebok soles.  Not a shoe to take off road or even on tony paths as stones get picked up in the sole unit.

Verdict: Good shoes doing the rounds on sale at he mo grab a bargain!

A-Z race review K for Kielder

Kielder a local race compared to China and Berlin and with a plea for car sharing by the organisers I decided that it could be done in a day.  I managed to get a lift thru FB and rose at 4am Sunday and headed for Rosyth and my ride south.

Numbers were sent out by mail along with a 4 page guide which included a route map but no route profile.  WE arrive at the village of Falstone and after some food and drink and the almost inevitable pit stop we headed for the buses. 

The buses took the full marathon runners to the start at Leaplish waterside park, there were marquees available for bags, massages and food and drink with a wandering MC doing a fine job.  The announcement came over the tannoy for runners to head to the start which was published as being at 10:15 but ended up starting at 10:30.

The course heads north out of the park and heads around the lake.  It was a dry warm day and the trails were in excellent condition.  The course undulated all the way round the lake with a couple of larger lumps and some sharp bends.  There were drinks stations approx every 5K with isotonic drinks being provided from 15K there was no food available.

At the end of the race you got a medal and a shirt then a goody bag with drinks and a muffin.  There was also bananas available.

After the race it was back on a bus to the village and the journey home.

Not a race I would like to do again. Time was 4:53:49 442nd overall.

Book review-The Hungry Cyclist Tom Kevill-Davies

A Transamerica journey with a twist, the author decided to cycle from New York to Rio De Janerio in search of the perfect meal.

A quest undertaken on his own and through some dangerous countries in common with books of this genre he describes notable encounters and events on his joiurney.  One reason why I never get fed up reading this type of book is each one truly is different.

As he progresses on his journey hee thoughtfully provides recipes of meals he has tried and enjoyed although I dont know how my local pet shop would take it if I asked for two guines pigs to go!

An enjoyable read I wont spoil it for you by revealing the perfect meal.

Book review-Life Cycles Julian Sayarer

The story of the authors attempt at the round the world record on £8.84 and 100 miles a day!

One of the speakers I was unable to see at EdFoc this year and it is easier to imagine this book as a talk rather than a book.  I first got the impression that I was reading a collection of bullet points from a powerpoint slide show.

As I got further into the book it got more interesting and was written with a bit more emotion not one for the I will reread this sometime shelf!

Book review-Wolfram

Written by Giles Milton this is a second world war book from the German perspective.  Not surprisingly it shows that the German populace went through much the same as the Brits, rationing, conscription and bombings a part of daily life.

The author is the son in law of the Wolfram in the title.  Wolfram was 9 when the Nazis came to power this is his story from his early years through to present day.  A touching story tracing his and others lives through this tumultuous time in 20th century history.

Well worth a read if you can get a copy.

Book review:On the road bike by Ned Boulting

Any cyclists among you will be familiar with Mr B.  This is his 3rd tome but the first I have read.

Mr B wanted to dig deep and find out how Britain became so obsessed with the bike.  I don’t think he fully accomplishes this but he certainly had some experiences trying.

I did find it a hard read at times and at others just flew through whole chapters.  What is amazing is the people he met and the facts he uncovered.  Not a book for the casual cyclist!