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The Buddha and the Bee: Biking through America's Forgotten Roadways on a Journey of Discovery

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  92 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Life-Changing Journey... but this is NOT a typical blah-blah-blah memoir

Planning is for sissies. A solo bike ride across the country will be filled with sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, and 80 degree temps every day, right? Not so much. The Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, an alkaline desert, and the Sierra Nevadas lay miles and days ahead. Disappointment with unrealized poten
...more
Paperback, 354 pages
Published August 11th 2020 by White Condor, LLC
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Krista
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
As for the day, Vernal, Utah was my goal, just seventy-one more miles. None of it really mattered. I didn’t care. I wanted to throw my rear wheel as far into the desert as possible, followed by the whole damn bike. Then I would just lay there on the side of the road waiting for somebody — no idea who — to pick me up and drive me directly to Truckee.

In August of 2001, Cory Mortensen decided to take a two month leave of absence from work and ride his bike across the United States from Chaska,
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Rosemary Reeve
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ng-2020
Oh, this was so much more than I expected!

This book was the perfect escape from pandemic isolation and a billion Zoom meetings. Cory Mortensen's account of his spur-of-the-moment bike ride from Minnesota to California in 2001 made me feel like I was outside in the sunshine, heading for the next little town. Whether you bike, run, walk, or drive, this book captures the lure of movement - to crest the next hill, to press on until dark, to chase that vanishing point on the horizon.

There's a lot a
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Richard Propes
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's difficult to describe the experience of reading Cory Mortensen's "The Buddha and the Bee: Biking Through America's Forgotten Roadways on a Journey of Discovery," a never less than engaging collection of roadside musings and nostalgic factoids that meanders nearly as much as did Mortensen himself during his 2001 solo bicycle trip from Chaska, Minnesota to Truckee, California.

The truth is that "The Buddha and the Bee" is more an entertaining read than an inspiring one, Mortensen's charismati
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K.R. Flanders
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Pretentious spelling of tire aside. Excellent story highlighting the virtues of learning by doing.

Some adventures need not be planned like the invasion of Normandy. Humorous tale of journey vs destination.
Lois Keller
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A laugh out loud memoir about how to just jump head first into things and make it through with a smile
Niel (lonelectorem)
This book gave me the refreshment I needed; to put it more precisely, it was a short vacation from everything that I was reading and living. While reading this memoir, I went through the myriads of experiences with the author and lived the lives and places I have no connections with. It triggered some suppressed desires that I'd buried deep down in my mind and compelled those emotions that were just too surreal.

This memoir is about the author Cory Mortensen's liberating adventure on his bicycle
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Eileen
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I was in just the right mood to read a book like this. Different from my usual fiction, mysteries, etc, The Buddha and the Bee is the story of Cory Mortensen, who decides to make his way by bicycle from Minnesota to California with almost no supplies, no helmet, and practically no plan. Along the way, he meets his share of characters, eats a ton of Subway Italian sandwiches and Chinese food, stays in some of the country's sleaziest motels and takes in the sights in every town he visits - like th ...more
Book Snuggery
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What can go wrong or right in a short bike ride? A lot. What can go wrong or right on a 2,000 mile cross country trek? Also a lot.

As a cyclist myself and lover of random trivia bits, I enjoyed watching Mortensen’s quick evolution from novice to sunburnt chaffed road veteran. I’ve read quite a few journals of similar journeys and this one is easily one of the most humorous; plus Mortensen is a bit of a maths nerd, computing for fun when times are rough.

The journey did change our “hero” but the se
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John Heckenlaible
Cory takes the reader on a journey into the vast landscapes of the American West and into his deepest thoughts. Told from an honest, emotional, funny, self-depreciating perspective, it gives the reader pause to reflect on their own life and perhaps light a fire or at least stir some dormant embers of a quest for adventure. If you are a fan of Blue Highways, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, On the Road, Into the Wild, A Walk In the Woods or other similar tome, then you should put The Buddha and th ...more
Angie
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
I really enjoyed this book! Cory Mortensen writes about his journey biking from Minnesota to California. I "oh, no'ed" everytime a car pulled up. And, I had a mini-anxiety response everytime he blew out a tyre! What really caught my attention were the historical aspects of the towns he went through. Interesting, engaging, entertaining! Well written and witty. Thank you, Netgalley, for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review. 4 Stars ...more
Mike
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfect book for an escape. Mortensen’s story of his trip from Minnesota to California is engaging. It’s fun to see how he progressed from enthusiastic to almost quitting to not wanting it to end. Makes me want to do a similar ride, but also also glad that I haven’t!
Odette Lattimer
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this over a couple of evenings this week.
Well written, some humour and let's you go to place we'll away from Covid.

Recommended and not just for cyclists.
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Christine R. Boule
Loved your adventure. Hope you have found the happiness you were looking for.
Christine Nickols
Punta Gorda Fl
Tom Bilcze
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cyclists and bicycle tourists
Shelves: bicycletouring
The fact that the author got on his bike in Minnesota and cycled to California to attend a wedding speaks to his spirit of adventure. He did this with minimal planning and making decisions on the fly as he pedaled from town to town. Along the way, he met an interesting assortment of characters. Cory had an amusing way of describing his adventure, places, and people. He often wove in some local and personal history. He set off into the unknown and found himself on the bike. It’s a story of changi ...more
Chetna Yaduvendu
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is life without experiencing the dimensions of the globe? Reading a book that encourages you to know more, learn more, explore more and be better, that is the goal.

The Buddha and The Bees is a book of pure enlighten according to my perspective. It is about getting a bike ready and travelling across your country, not in search of answers of life, but just to add another momentous page in your life’s memoir. The lessons, the answers all follow as an outcome of that little plan.
I was really wo
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Jayesh Toshniwal
What a capture of the journey by Cory Mortensen. Loved the way the journey begun and moved from Minnesota to California.
The story starts with the father son duo relation and the way they understand and care for each other. Really liked the part where author's dad takes him to the police for small mischief and the way police gives him a guidance in a notorious ways.
It takes that one moment to take the decision and lots of efforts to keep up to that decision until it fulfils, is what we can lear
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Kia
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book: The Buddha and the Bee

Review:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,”

I love reading memoirs but till now I have read memoirs based on the relationships of authors. This is the first time that I have read a memoir based on a biking journey of the author. The journey that started from Minnesota and ended in California is full of different experiences. It must be exciting to go on an adventure where everything is unplanned. No hotel bookings, no planned routes. Seems exciting,
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Bhumi
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Buddha and the Bee is the author's first memoir in which he shares how a two month leave of absence redefined his life's trajectory of sitting behind a desk and his decision to break society's chains so he could live life on his terms.
In this book the author narrates his solo bike ride from Minnesota to California 🚵
I am impressed by the details the author covers in his each and every chapter ( the number of miles he covers in a day, his goal for the day, the places that he visits, the people
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Abhijeet
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review📚

"The Buddha and the Bee"

➡️ The author has written a beautiful disclaimer about the title - Biking through America's forgotten roadways on an accidental journey of discovery.

➡️ As the disclaimer suggest, what will the journey bring in the story? what adventures they will face?

➡️ All this beautifully written in this book. I will not give spoilers about the journey as then there will be no interest in reading.

➡️ The author has explained beautifully on how to just jump into things and make
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Monika Singla
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
🔷 BOOK: The Buddha and The Bee
🔷 AUTHOR: Cory Mortensen

Recently I read the memoir "The Buddha and the Bee" based on my friend's recommendation. This book is about the life changing journey of Cory Mortensen. It is about the bike ride journey of Cory wearing his backpack. It began from Chaska, Minnesota, to Truckee, California. His bike tyre bursting and his hitchhiking was one experience from the book. The book is a collection of many such experiences. Read it yourself and find out more.

Review:
1
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Om Kini
The Buddha and the bee by Cory mortensen is the memoir of the author.

In the book author takes us to a bicycle journey of his. He travels from Minnesota to California thats 1500+ miles!!

I must appreciate how each and every chapter is written. Author has delicated each chapter to one day of his journey . author has mentioned how many miles he has traveled in that day. This helps us to image his journey.

I didn't like the way how author describes the past of the places he visited. Its not necessary
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Nony
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Buddha and the Bee is the memoir by the author Cory Mortensen. This book take the readers on a bike ride journey of Cory from Chaska, Minnesota, to Truckee, California. The journey is of 2000 miles. He started his journey from Chaska and reached Redwood Falls on Day 1. It was interesting to read about the minor details of his journey including the things he carried in his backpack, the distance he covered daily, etc.

The beautiful pictures included in between the chapters tempted me to trave
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Priya
Book Review Tour 🦋
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✨Book title : the Buddha and the bee✨
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✨The Buddha and the bee
The author has written very beautifully
The story starts with the father don duo relation and the way they understand for each other ✨
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✨The character Mortensen has a high spirit and he lives for adventure . It all begins with a weird journey and learns from it in ways that impacts his life . It's a long journey and meeting with the people on the way✨
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✨Author has proved that life isn't about the destination but abou
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Smita Mohapatra
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Buddha and the Bee is a well structered and perfectly paced memoir and the author unctous narration makes it even more invigorating.He used humour in the most unususl situations and made the reading experience even more interesting.


The author has written a beautiful disclaimer about the title - Biking through America's forgotten roadways on an accidental journey of discovery.

I feel the story of his journey is very captive and keeps you bind to check what happens next and what he finds next.
...more
Sejuti Majumdar
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the midst of the pandemic with everyone stuck in their homes we miss travelling the most a fun travelogue style story is what we need.

In this book the author writes about his journey when he began his bike ride across the United States from Minnesota to California and the experience he gathered, his meetings with unusual people, dangerous animals, a journey that tested both his physical and mental ability.

The book is filled with sarcasm and humour. It talks about the journey which changed our
...more
Ann
I enjoyed reading this for its grueling cycling adventures and trip notes. Kudos for mentions about ghost bikes, blue highways, cowboy boot tributes, and a truly cool encounter with a coyote. But I have to say, this persona the author chose to represent him as narrator pissed me off throughout the book. I admit that I giggled at a lot of his references, but I groaned at just as many. Plus, he disrespects just about every local he meets, either not bothering to listen to their advice or flat out ...more
Joyce Edmeier
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of us long to leave our everyday life behind and travel and explore new areas. Usually this escape is in the form of a road trip with the family piled into the car. There are exceptions, and Cory Mortensen's, "our hero" love of biking allows him to take his Specialized Allez bike from Chaska, Minnesota to Truckee, California. Even though Mortensen is an experienced outdoors enthusiast and marathoner, he is ill-prepared for a cross country bike ride which provides many humorous moments in th ...more
Susan
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Changing life

Cory was going to a wedding in California from Minneapolis. No problem except he decided to ride a bicycle. Not being a biker he didn’t realize what he was getting into. After the first day he was ready to quit but surprisingly he didn’t. To me it was insane riding up mountains (I couldn’t do it). With no cell phone and only using pay phones and computers at the library to let his dad know he was oK he actually made it. A lot of mishap along the way. A lot of history of the differen
...more
Naturalbri (Bri Wignall)
Being a cyclist and someone who loves adventure, I was drawn to this book, mix that with my medical issues that always make me feel as though I am missing out on my life and this book was more than a read; it was a much needed opportunity to see the humour and adventure in all life.

This read is written exceptionally well, but Laos is more than just a memoir. It is filled with humour, finding yourself and seeing more in life than what you initially think you see, which is so important in the cur
...more
David
I received this book from a Good Reads giveaway. This is an enjoyable, quick read following"our hero" as he bikes from Minnesota to California with little to no preparation. I could see myself doing that very thing.
Each chapter is a day in the journey, filled with the good, bad, and often times, uninteresting aspects of cross country riding.
While I enjoyed must of the book, I think it would benefit from some editing - curious facts about cities he passes through sometimes feel more like filter
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169 followers
Cory Mortensen has ridden his collection of bicycles over a million miles of asphalt, dirt, mud, and backroads. In addition to the cross-country journey detailed in this book, he has traveled to over fifty-five countries, cycled from Minneapolis to Colorado solo to raise money for children born with congenital heart defects. He's completed sixteen marathons on five continents, and survived three d ...more

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