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Gironimo!: Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,030 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Twelve years after Tim Moore toiled around the route of the Tour de France, he senses his achievement being undermined by the truth about 'Horrid Lance'. His rash response is to take on a fearsome challenge from an age of untarnished heroes: the notorious 1914 Giro d'Italia. History's most appalling bike race was an ordeal of 400-kilometer stages, filled with cataclysmic s ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Pegasus Books (first published May 1st 2014)
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Mick Marty, there are numerous monochrome illustrations.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through Italy. I listened to the audio book narrated by Gildart Jackson and he was excellent. This was a bit of a farcical journey attempting to recreate (arguably) the most grueling, bike race in history. Moore has to search far and wide to find a 100 year old bicycle that was capable of making the journey. His bike ends up being not quite authentic due to the passage of time (impossible to find authentic tires capable of making the trip for example), but old enou ...more
Bob Schnell
Advanced reading copy review Due to be published May 15, 2015

British travel writer and humorist Tim Moore takes on a bicycle trip through Italy challenge in "Gironimo!". I've never read Mr. Moore's work before and I haven't been on a bicycle since the 1970's but, once again, my last minute grab at the ARC pile at work has led me to a wonderful discovery. The book is equal parts travelogue, adventure, history and all chuckle-to-guffaw funny. It helps if you have a working knowledge of British pop
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2014
The Giro. It is Italy's own grand tour and takes place at the end of May and has been held since 1909.

The 1914 Giro was one of the toughest that ever took place with only eight, yes eight, finishers at the end of the Tour from a start number of 81. Some of the stages were in excess of 400km long, and the competitors would start at midnight, and ride for around 24 hours.

And it is was this infamous tour that Moore decides to replicate. He has also chosen to ride it on a bike that is 100 years old
if you're a tim moore fan then you;re already sold and know this is funny, a bit poignant, has pretty good geographical and historical nuggets, and is quirky and irreverent.
moore builds his own bike out of a old old frame, wooden rims, old seat and handlebars, even makes a drinks carrier for the front, 'like they used to do", then rides the deadly 1914 giro de italia, unsupported. he sort of already has expericne doing long distance unsupported rides, doing the tour de france solo French Revolut
May 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
Tim Moore retraces the route and tells the story of the 1914 Giro d'Italia bicycle race.
Not as enjoyable as French Revolutions, still quite fun to listen to.
Ron S
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Moore retraces the route of the 1914 Giro d'Italia in true mad dogs and Englishman form, astride a wooden rimmed gearless vintage bike in period gear. You needn't be a cyclist to enjoy this book, although if you are, the enormity and folly of Moore's undertaking will be more properly understood. A great read for fans of A.J. Jacobs, cyclists, and those that enjoy comedic traveler's tales or with an interest in Italy.
Janette Mcmahon
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crazy Italians and even crazier 1914 cyclists on what is said to be the hardest bike race ever the 1914 Giro Tour of Italy where 81 started and only 8 finished. Moore decides to do the route on a vintage cycle of the era and tells us of his adventure while also telling us of the harrowing 1914 race. Recommend to adventure readers, not only those interested in cycling. Moore is funny and is a test of endurance many can appreciate.
Nathan Albright
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge2017
The ending of the first paragraph gives the reader a good idea of what to expect for this volume as a whole, and presumably the author's entire body of work, which I am about to become a lot more aware of since I requested several books of his from the library:  "Their geriatric struggle demands sombre respect, but doesn't get it, because the man is wearing a giant Rubettes cap and blue-glassed leather goggles, and when he comes to a squeaky halt in the lay-by his woollen-pouched nuts slam stout ...more
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-and-food
The Giro is the name of a bike race in Italy similar to the Tour de France, which begins and ends in Milan by way of Puglia. I know almost nothing about this sport -- except for Lance Armstrong whom the author despises with good reason -- and even less about a race that occurred in 1914 (which is to say nothing). However, after finishing this book, I think I can safely say on the author's behalf that comparing Lance Armstrong to the 1914 crop of riders would be like comparing Maroon 5 to The Who ...more
Anthony Stancomb
The story of an enthralling, albeit gruelling, ride through Italy. The undertaking was indeed a mammoth task for anyone in middle age, but one admires even more the manner in which the writer describes what he sees – even his own sufferings. Reading the account, no one could not but feel the agonies. However, one is also hugely entertained by the stories he relates along the way, and what really enchants is the humour – and most of all, the author's self-depreciating remarks and the slightly sar ...more
Simon Cross
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He has a great talent for writing funny travel books. I wish he would lay off the silly evocations of himself yelling schoolyard swearwords, but that's a relatively minor drawback.

It isn't as good as French Revolutions, but then to make it as good he would have had to make it very different, and he hasn't really. It's also a bit repetitive.

But good travel writing is pretty rare nowadays (latest rubbish read includes Ian Moore, Edward Enfield) and he does it better than anyone, now that Bill Brys
The author goes to impressive lengths to fully recreate the 1914 Giro experience, including sourcing and restoring full period bike, clothing and accessories, right down to the bidons. As with any journey that involves period equipment and clothing, interactions the locals are a key part of the entertainment; these, plus the no-holds-barred descriptions of the full depths of misery plumbed by the author in his period Giro quest make the story compelling. He is very self-deprecating throughout th ...more
Robert Dodds
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very funny book, like his earlier 'French Revolutions'. Tim Moore combines a masochistic desire to drive himself and his ancient disintegrating bicycle along the most rigorous routes to be found in Italy with a sharp eye for observation of the people and places he encounters. Along with impressive energy, he has an even more impressive stock of original and amusing language with which to describe his experiences. The book is a little long (like the bike ride), but thoroughly entertaining.
Julian Walker
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A middle aged guy, taking on history's toughest cycle ride - in period costume and on an antique bike he rebuilt himself - with limited preparation. The perfect ingredients for an entertaining travelogue for us to enjoy in the comfort of a far more relaxed seat.
He is clearly a spoke short of a wheel but funny with it.
This is my first encounter with his writing and I will be reading more.
Joe O'Donnell
Anybody familiar with Tim Moore’s series of humorous travelogues will know he is not a man for half measures or doing anything the easy way. “Gironimo!” is no exception to that stance, chronicling as it does Moore’s mission to cycle the entire route of the 1914 Giro d’Italia – long considered the hardest-ever grand tour in cycling history. And Moore isn’t content merely to navigate this cruellest, most brutal course that only 8 of the original 81 starters in 1914 were able to complete; he aims t ...more
Zachary Littrell
The Dadliest of Dad-interest books. A British Dad reads an Italian book and gets the patently silly, midlife-crisis-level idea to restore an antique bike and ride hundreds of kilometers around Italy on the junker. It's full of Dad jokes, tongue-in-cheek Dad wisdom, and all sorts of other Dad-related accoutrement. It's aggravatingly charming, and it's for your Dad.

Moore is a good storyteller and ambassador for bicycling. He loves bikes, and he's also 100% aware of the foolishness of his enterpris
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I read Moore's Model T adventure I anticipated I'd rush to read his other books, finding him naturally funny and drawn to his seemingly arbitrary challenges. This was still enjoyable but (metaphor alert) I had to split it into small chunks, as there wasn't enough variety for me to read it for too long and I wouldn't choose it as my read for a long journey.

Moore was still funny, and that made a fairly repetitive 30 day trip of cycling and pizzas for dinner worth reading. Unlike many other co
Nigel Kotani
Fifteen or so years ago I read Tim Moore's 'French Revolutions' about him cycling the route of the 2000 Tour de France. Gironimo similarly follows him cycling the route of the 1914 Giro d'Italia on a period bike (with wooden wheels) in period (woolen) clothes.

I found French Revolutions so side-splittingly funny that I read it twice. Gironimo was mildly diverting at best and it barely grabbed my attention to the end. I'm not quite sure why my reaction to the two books was so different, particular
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is quite well written, and there were parts that were quite funny. Tim Moore is a very talented writer, and it is for Moore's capabilities that I have rated the book as highly as I have. That being said, this book is targeted at a very specific audience - cyclists. I had the feeling that there were parts where the author was trying to share inside jokes with his ilk. If you liked bicycling around the neighborhood as a kid, you'll probably find some enjoyment in this book. If you're not ...more
K Wilson
Like most Amateur twits who do not understand the history of Pro cycling, this author wastes too much time bashing Lance Armstrong instead of getting on with his story.
He ignores the fact that amateur and Pro cyclists had been cheating for generations, long before Lance and other North American riders tried to break into Euro cycling....only to find that rampant drug cheating by the Belgians, French, Italians and Spanish made it impossible to compete.
So Lance gave them a little of their own me
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing journey and cracking read

Tim Moore does the seemingly impossible: riding 3200 km around Italy on an antique bicycle, following the course of the brutal 1914 Giro d'Italia. He's a very good narrator and kept me laughing as he scrounged his ancient bicycle, spent weeks assembling it, and, most importantly, completed his madcap solo journey around Italy on a single speed bike with wooden wheels and cork brakes. Some may not like his use of Italian stereotypes, but he never take himself that
Edward Warner
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What to do when you're stuck inside and would rather be on a bike, touring sunny Italy? Read this, by one of the funniest writers in English. In Geronimo!, Moore, who earlier rode the route of the Tour de France, another great and funny book, rides the Giro d'Italia, that nation's grand tour, on a period-correct 1914 one-speed bike similar to those in the 1914 Giro, which was likely the awfullest Gran Tour race ever -- only eight finished out of something like 40. He perseveres -- he's English - ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess Tim Moore has been doing this for years, but this is my first encounter with his writing. Certainly, the comparisons to Bill Bryson are apt; I find them fraternal twins in the humorous travel genre. However, this book might not appeal to someone who isn’t interested in the (relatively ancient) history of the Giro d’Italia, bicycle technology, or the Italian countryside. Fun, humorous, a bit heavy on the self-deprecation, but entertaining enough that I’ll go back and read his earlier acco ...more
Darryl Updegrove
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bicycling, humor
Like in his earlier book, French Revolutions, Tim Moore takes an a seemingly impossible feat for us average humans. In his enjoyably droll humorous writing, he describes his epic journey, with both the good and bad told in such a way as to make the reader wonder, "What next", "What else could go wrong". Very enjoyable read, and also informative. Enjoyed the photos accompanying his journey. Or maybe I should call it his odyssey.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book encompasses many of my favorite things: major bicycle tinkering, bike riding, a boneheaded quest and an occasionally profane, oddly-dressed Brit self-deprecating his way around Italy. It's like The Trip to Italy with more bicycles and fewer Michael Caine impersonations. Five Rickey Hendersons.
Don Paske
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed tis book but, as an American, I found reading British english somewhat difficult. The book has humor and tells good tales. Cycling the Tour of Italy in 1914 attire and on a period bicycle (only one gear) boggles my mind. He explains the 1914 tour throughout the book. Only 8 of the 81 rides completed the tour. That was when men were men!
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining. Anyone who loves cycle race lore will love this tale as Moore sets out to re-trace on of the most gruelling road races ever - the 1914 Giro d'Italia - on a almost 100-year old bike complete with wooden rims and cork brakes and decked out in era-authentic woollen jersey and shorts.
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Tim Moore is a British travel writer and humorist. He was educated at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith. In addition to his seven published travelogues to date, his writings have appeared in various publications including Esquire, The Sunday Times, The Independent, The Observer and the Evening Standard. He was also briefly a journalist for the Teletext computer games magazine Digitiser, under th ...more

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