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The Man Who Cycled the World

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  715 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
The remarkable true story of one man's quest to break the record for cycling around the world
On the 15th of February 2008, Mark Beaumont had pedaled through the Arc de Triomphe in Paris—194 days and 17 hours after setting off in an attempt to circumnavigate the world. His journey had taken him, alone and unsupported, through 18,297 miles, 4 continents, and numerous countr
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Published June 28th 2011 by Broadway Books (first published May 22nd 2009)
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David Schulz
This collection of anecdotes that fills out the bare bones chronology of a circumnavigation of the world by bicycle leaves you with an unexpected insight into the shared generosity of humanity. The responses Mark receives to his world record attempt also highlights the different reactions to adventure, pushing the limits and bicycles in general within and between the varied cultures on our planet.

This isn't great literature, the best book you'll ever read or any of that usual hyperbole. It is a
Andrew Voysey
Jun 27, 2010 Andrew Voysey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great easy-reading book for anyone interested in monster solo challenges, bicycle touring, or seeing the world from the vantage point of a slow traveller. Really found myself living the journey with him. Left me inspired both on the rising to a personal challenge front and on the getting-out-and-seeing-the-world properly point of view: as slowly as possible, meeting the people, living their lives. None of these city-break weekend trips to tick a place off the list!!
Jim Thornton
Sep 02, 2012 Jim Thornton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gift..... not my usual thing as biographies / auto biographies don't usually float my boat, but let's give it a try.

Inspirational. I felt like I was slogging along beside him. Unlike the dreadful '127 hours' this a man who is not full of resentment, self importance or delusional about his social position. Mark Beaumont told the story as it was and in many senses was a fascinating travelogue rather than being about 'him'. Indeed so much so that I was sorry that it simply stopped at the finish l
Aug 10, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really interesting book about one man's attempt to cycle solo around the world. Some criticisms might be that there wasn't quite enough about the cycling, for cyclist readers, and not quite enough about the places, for travel readers - but I thought it was a pretty good blend of both with some fascinating insights - like Thailand seeming more like home than Eastern Europe due to how westernised it was, and the logistical nightmare of getting through the Middle East. I couldn't put it down and ...more
Chris Witt
As somebody who has only recently come back to his long-lost two-wheeled love, this book jumped out at me off of a bookshelf on my last visit to the library. Looked interesting enough and I honestly can't think of any interesting bike books, so this seemed worth a spin. (Ouch. Bike pun.)

I enjoyed this book but wouldn't necessarily recommend it. But if you're interested in travel or athletic pursuits, you might like it.

Beaumont's quest to break the world record for fastest time biking around the
Oct 12, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely inspired!
Paul Jones
Jan 05, 2012 Paul Jones marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Looking forward to reading my Christmas present. Just need to wait for the wife to finish with it!
Dec 20, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why did Mark Beaumont decide to try and break the world record for circumnavigating the world by bicycle? Well, it beat law school. In his early twenties, with his life's course unclear but full of energy and thirsty for adventure, Beaumont decided to tackle what few had before: cycling the world. His ambition was high, to break the record for doing it by at least two months, and the road ahead along. For nearly three hundred days, he pedaled -- starting in Paris, traveling to Istanbul, and then ...more
Apr 26, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, travel, 2013
I have to say that after the first 110 pages, which detailed the first leg of Mark's journey around the world, I was still not sure that I was going to enjoy the book. Apart from what you would expect from a 18000 mile cycle ride (tiredness, aches etc) I initially felt that I was getting very little out of reading this book. For me the joy of reading travelogues is to get a bit if an idea about the places that the writer is travelling through, but this was more about the mechanics of such a jour ...more
Sep 27, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
Another recommendation for my friends who like either cycling or travel. This is the autobiographical account of Mark Beaumont's successful attempt to cycle around the world faster than anyone else had done before him.

I recognise that this won't be a book for everyone. The writing isn't necessarily the best. The details can get repetitive, there's only so many ways in which you can describe mechanical issues and saddle sores before it gets a little tedious, but as a keen cyclist and lover of dis
Tony Taylor
Sep 06, 2011 Tony Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I throughly enjoyed reading this book about a young Scotsman who in 2007 set off to ride his bicycle around the world in search of breaking a world record for such an event. He started from Paris and cycled alone through much of Europe and then onto Turkey. From Turkey he rode into Iran, Pakistan and India. He continued through Southeast Asia and from there across Australia and then the length of New Zealand before starting again in California. He crossed the U.S. in the dead of winter heading t ...more
S.A.A. Calvert
Apr 07, 2014 S.A.A. Calvert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will admit that when this book came out, the first chance I got I searched through it until...YES! He mentioned me! Egotism apart, I met the author partway through his ride, during one of my own tours, and he struck me as a charming, genuine and modest young man. The book sits between two stools, for it is neither a pedal-stroke by pedal-stroke account of a cycle journey nor a series of place descriptions. Mark travels, sees new places and meets PEOPLE, who are mostly generous and kind, right ...more
Stephanie Walden
Due to student loans, I've become - what's the term - a lazyboy traveler? I've taken to reading lots of travel writing lately, and this was my first read about traveling on 2 wheels.

Mark cycled in a way I'd never enjoy: racing for a record. He biked through incredible places without having the chance to see a whole lot or really getting to experience the cultures; he was more of a phenomenon himself. Still, I'd never thought about what it could be like to bike through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and
Oct 09, 2014 Unigami rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, gave-up
I should have loved this book. It's about cycling, which I love. I enjoyed the BBC documentary and I like Mark Beaumont. But the book just didn't capture my attention. It seems impossible that a book about cycling around the world could be boring, but this one is. I would have enjoyed it a lot more and would have finished it if Mark had plunged more deeply into his emotions and presented a more personal account of the journey, and why he was compelled to do this, instead of a fairly dry account ...more
Jun 24, 2015 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-writing
I'm slightly torn on this: I feel as if I could justify 2*, 3* or 4*. My initial reaction was that I did really enjoy it. But on reflection I think it does lack a certain something.

Overall it is, without doubt, a stunning achievement. But the book did start to become slightly repetitive. In part this no doubt reflects the nature of his experience. He doesn't have much time to appreciate the details of the places he passes through, and no one should read this expecting some kind of Michael Palin
Zoe Todd
Apr 16, 2014 Zoe Todd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book a year ago when I went to hear mark speak at a cycle festival. He was highly engaging talking about his various adventures but this book about his first trip around the world is a great read.
I've read quite a few journey/challenge books and this ranks up there as one of the best. Well written and hugely readable especially for anyone who travels or bikes or neither of those things.
I felt the highs and lows of the journey and take my hat off to the stoicism to finish an 18,00
Jul 05, 2013 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a good companion to the documentary of the same journey, filling in the reader on some of the details. We shouldn't underestimate the importance of Mark Beaumont's feat of cycling around the world in under 200 days, as it has launched many an attempt to break the world record since. The book is as one would expect if you were to try to cycle 100 miles a day; there isn't much time for interacting with the locals or taking diversions. To achieve what he did required a clear, uncomprom ...more
May 13, 2013 Beatrice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cycling, biography
Simply written, but very engrossing. Although the travel commentary was enlightening, I most enjoyed reading about what was going through his mind and spirit. As a cyclist myself, I felt as though I was flying down the road with Mark, reliving some of my own long-distance challenges, although they were nothing compared to his. What is missing here, unfortunately, is an epilogue. What happened in the three and six months after the race ended? What was the recovery like, both physically and emotio ...more
Sep 24, 2014 JDK1962 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I liked it, but much of it felt like a log book: how many km he did in a day, the search for food and hotels/campsites. The nature of the trip--a "race" around the world to set the Guinness World Record--meant that he wasn't spending any time in any one place. So while I'd definitely like to cycle in some of the spots he described (especially Europe, Thailand, and Malaysia), rushing through to make the distance sounds immensely unappealing.

Brian Benson's Going Somewhere is, to my mind
Alex Mcdouall
Jun 23, 2015 Alex Mcdouall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book for anyone interested in great adventures, and especially anyone interested in long-distance cycling and bike touring. I read this book while preparing for a cross-US tour, and learned many things that hadn't occurred to me prior.

The account starts off a little forced and monotonous, which is understandable for a young writer's first work. As his cycle progressed, so did the writing. Mark seems to have quickly found his voice among other young adventure writers, fully able to convey
Charles Stephen
May 29, 2014 Charles Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whew! I enjoyed this book so much! Not that Beaumont is a great writer or that he documented his feat with all the detail I would like, but he captured the sense of striving with total focus that is the essence of adventure and athleticism. This is a book I want to keep on my night stand to remind me that the easiest path is not necessarily the preferred one or the one that will give most satisfaction. I'm inspired by Beaumont's feat and want to look into what he's done with his life--the furthe ...more
Marilyn Mudge
Interesting but I got annoyed with his dislike of the US. He had one bad experience (should never open a motel door to someone you don't know, especially when it sounds like a drug deal is going bad in the parking lot. Duh.) He was so intent on meeting his daily goal to beat a world record that he rarely took the time to enjoy any of the scenery or people around him. Oh, he beat the record by 2 MONTHS, so a few minutes each day wouldn't have affected the outcome! I'd really like to meet his mom ...more
Adam Mills
May 06, 2012 Adam Mills rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback
I just couldn't finish it - it was like an encyclopaedia in parts, and a diary entry in others. Whilst brilliantly written, and wonderfully descriptive, it's the cycling version of War and Peace - it's a brutally-hard read at times.

Having said all that, it is brilliant. It really is - I thoroughly enjoyed the description of the Americas leg, but in parts, it just felt like it had been picked straight out of Time Magazine, or plucked from Wikipedia. Bit felt soulless, other bits felt far too pers
Giles Knight
A brilliant antidotal diary of one mans amazing record breaking race against the clock, around the world on a bicycle.

Don't pick this book up expecting a book prize winner thnough. Although inspirational, the almost day by day account dragged in places and raced too quickly in others.

I enjoyed the book and would recommend it, giving it a 3.5 (although goodreads dows not allow half scores)
Glenn Liguori
Interesting to read his progress through the challenge but became repetitive in his descriptions of how sore he was, how tired or exhausted he was, what he eat, where he slept or made camp, and how many miles he completed. Stories other than these basics were too rare. His generalized views of the US were disappointing.
Michael Moseley
Nov 18, 2012 Michael Moseley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tail of one mans epic adventure around the world on a bycycle. He started in Paris and cycled 100 plus miles every day for just over six months. Vis europe tukey paskistasn, india, tiland, across Austrailia USA and back to Europe via libourn spain & Franch. The power to just keep goig every day was just amazing.
Jun 08, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is amazing to think that this guy was riding basically 100 miles a day every day for seven months. I've never ridden 100 miles in a week and if I even got close it would require some major time to recover. An inspiring story and an interesting perspective since he is Scottish and views the world he rides through very differently than an American would.
Jun 15, 2010 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reads a bit like one of my own travel diaries - observations about the world and the wierd and wonderful things in it tempered with frustrations about language barriers, culture clashes, being ripped off for being a foreigner and fears of not finding anywhere to stay in the remote place you've just arrived in at midnight. Oh, and he does a lot of cycling too. Loving it.
Jul 03, 2016 Neil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Still a bit ashamed of buying this. I was interested in the bikey bits but practically none of it is about that, he hardly ever mentions what sort of bike it is, what sort of gears, handlebars etc. Really the tone is more "how I launched my career as a media adventurer".

It's quite readable though. I find travelogues very addictive. Wolfed it down in a day or so.
Tim Magor
Jan 13, 2014 Tim Magor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a long journey, much sore legs and busted bike bits. Loads of interesting characters and real life cultural experience. Riding across the Nullarbor in Oz sounds like real fun! This crazy Scotsman actually embarked on a 15,000 mile ride the year after this 8,000 mile ride. I am exhausted!! Thinking about it...amazing
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Mark Beaumont is a broadcaster who has been adventuring since an early age. When not travelling on TV projects and expeditions he is often speaking at events, involved in various charity and educational work, book writing or in training.

Mark was first inspired to go on expedition at the age of 12 after reading in a local newspaper about a cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End. For the next decade
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