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Changing Gears: A Pedal-Powered Detour from the Rat Race

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368 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2013

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Greg Foyster

6 books1 follower

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5 stars
43 (39%)
4 stars
39 (36%)
3 stars
21 (19%)
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5 (4%)
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Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Katie.
27 reviews
October 22, 2013
A young couple start to think about what really matters to them, and after years of idle discussions after work in their Melbourne share house, decide to look into ways of changing how they live to be happy. They embark on a cycling trip that spans from Melbourne all the way up to Cairns (via Tassie), encountering a number of interesting characters and different levels of self sustaining lifestyle along the way.
This book was an interesting one for me right now, and early on I was interested in what sort of balance Greg and Sophie might end up exploring - the trendy cafe lifestyle Melbourne is famous for doesn't really match up with true self sustaining principles, no matter how many hipsters you meet there!
Overall I really enjoyed this one, and am planning to research some of the things that Foyster mentioned as his source material. I also enjoyed seeing a side of Australia that I only glimpse occasionally; living in a city can give you blinkers you don't always remember are there.
One criticism though, is that there is more than a touch of the 'self righteous', 'I'm better than you because I live in a way that is better than you' sort of vibe to several sections of the book. Generally, I thought Foyster managed to walk a good line, presenting his developing views in a non judgemental way that was inspirational, so when he deviated into the judgemental tone it really got difficult to read.
Definitely walked away thinking about my impact on the world a little more carefully!
Profile Image for Anna Brones.
Author 8 books55 followers
January 12, 2015
This book is such a smart look at how we live, and what we individually can do to change our course in life. Greg is a humorous yet insightful writer. I hope we hear more from him in the future!
Profile Image for Aderyn Wood.
Author 11 books165 followers
May 29, 2014
This book makes you shift perspective about the way we live - a truly life-changing read!
Profile Image for Siena.
10 reviews
May 2, 2020
Don’t be scared of dying, be scared of not living - loved this book of simple living and adventures in nature - thanks Greg & Sophie for sharing your journey.
Profile Image for Tc.
121 reviews
April 17, 2015
I have done an unusual thing (for me) and read two books at the same time. Changing Gears by Greg Foyster and Running Away from home by Jane de Teliga. They were both able to be read and put down and returned to easily. I feel compelled to review them together as there were uncanny similarities, and yet worlds apart.

So Jane escaped life to Europe, a life she knew from her work travels. Greg escaped the rat race with his girlfriend to cycle up the east coast of Australia (with a detour via Tasmania). In there own ways they realised living simply, relative to their outlooks. They both had sea change experiences of a large magnitude.

They both had interesting sections, they both had some dryer sections. Jane was more introvert in her reflections, Shane reflected more deeply on community living, living simply broadly. They both applied what they were experiencing and learning to their respective realities.

If you want to still have modern comforts but get some guidance on how to make a big move, read Jane's book. If you want to understand what you mean by the words "living simply", assuming any one or combination of greeny, conservationalist, saving mother earth, or living off the land as being a catalyst for your approach, then Changing Gears may well help.

One question remained unanswered in Shane's book. His brother gave him a challenge to make a new friend on the journey.
27 reviews
July 4, 2014
I love simple living and learning all I can about it so this book was a quick, informative and enjoyable read for me. The book has also inspired me to use my own bike more, although I'm not ready yet to do a tour of eastern Australia but who knows what the future holds. This is a huge improvement as I've hardly ever touched a bike since high school, but today I rode 10km between towns plus more while running errands all day. I love how I get from place to place much quicker than walking or waiting for a bus, and riding on a bike trail today in the country going downhill being blasted by the chilly winter air against a contrasting backdrop of fields of rolling hills, trees and wetlands was both thrilling and awe-inspiring. I also love how much more energy I feel I have after going for a ride and the fact that I'm going to get so fit through doing something I'd do for fun and convenience anyway. The frequent movement has an added bonus of keeping me warm when I'd usually be complaining about the cold along with everyone else.
Profile Image for David.
815 reviews4 followers
November 22, 2014
I liked it. Very easy to read and a bit nerdish but I guess that is what the author is claiming to be. I realise that there is far more to many of the characters to what is presented in the book and a brief visit to each place will reveal the positives rather than the negatives so was happy with what I read. I have actually interviewed subjects in the book and there can be a darker side to some, but that is life. Over all I agree with what Foyster is trying to convey especially the idea that we use far more than we need, and sometimes we are "taught" to do so.
Profile Image for Gervy.
737 reviews3 followers
August 27, 2016
This book was gifted to me by the author... the first time that's ever happened!

I have ZERO interest in cycling but fortunately this is not heavy on the bikey details of the cycling trip. What I liked most about this book was the self-deprecating humour and vulnerability, and the fact that Greg and Sophie actually made real changes to their lifestyle as a result of their journey - there was more inspiration for me in their own lifestyle adjustments then in the stories of the people they interviewed along the way.
11 reviews
May 6, 2014
Wonderful read full of adventures and laughs. However funny it was you'd be mistaken if you thought Changing Gears has no substance. Laced with insights, face the facts stats and motivation on what to do about it. Greg is however no theorist he did the hard miles and the hard changes but you'll have to read the book to see what they are.

I loved it.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
165 reviews1 follower
January 15, 2015
The author and his girlfriend cycle from Melbourne to Cairns exploring ideas of living more simply along the way. I read it, mostly, for the cycle touring aspect. I liked most of it and I already lead a fairly simple life, albeit nothing compared with some who they meet along the way. It was enjoyable to read and thought provoking as well.
Profile Image for Deb.
305 reviews
September 16, 2015
Fabulous read. Full of information about people views of how we can each play a part in protecting our planet from things such as climate change, pollution and over consumption by just living simply. Narrated with humor and in simple form, felt like I was riding along side of them all the way.
1 review
August 10, 2016
Just finished. Loved the clear, honest, reflective and accessible story telling that helped the reader to join in your challenging message. Thank you
12 reviews1 follower
April 14, 2014
I loved this. I little investigation into some mainstream sustainable ideas.
Profile Image for Mugunth Subramanian.
18 reviews2 followers
March 27, 2017
Informative and Inspiring book. It made me to think seriously about leading a simple life with less damage to our environment through our lifestyle.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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