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Across America by Bicycle: Alice and Bobbi's Summer on Wheels

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Biking from Oregon to Maine is no small feat, especially for two newly retired women who carry everything they need for three months, powered only by the strength of their legs and a desire for adventure. Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery invite readers to follow their ride by bicycle across the United States, as they face scorching sun, driving rain, buffeting winds, e ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by University of Wisconsin Press
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Mikey B.
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Indeed something pleasant to read! Two fifty-something women, after retirement, take a bicycle journey across the northern U.S.A. – from Oregon to Maine. They meet loads of people and traverse town after town over mountains, plains, hills... Everyone wants to talk and befriend them due to their mode of traveling. Having done some long distance cycling when I was much younger I can attest to how friendly “most” people are to the long distance bicyclist. There is an innate curiosity and trust.

The
...more
Caren
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
What a great summer read! Back in 2003, two newly retired, 50-something friends took a cross-country bicycle trip together---just the two of them, carrying all of their gear on their bikes, no support van. They had apparently met on a previous week-long bicycle tour in the 1980s and had remained friends, taking trips together off and on over the years. When they both decided to retire (one from being an editor, the other a high school English teacher) in the same year, they began to plan their d ...more
Liralen
This is another in the across-America-by-bicycle genre. (If I keep going with these bicycle-touring books, I'll have to give them their own shelf...) The authors, friends and sometimes cycling partners, decided that when they retired they'd fulfill a dream of, well, cycling across America.

It was a pleasure to read, not least because both authors are upbeat throughout. Oh, there are stressors, both expected (flat tyres, broken spokes, etc.) and unexpected (a husband's sudden illness and surgery;
...more
Greg Golz
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
These sound like a couple a tough ladies. I hope that I can one day do some long distance bike travel. However, the story, like pedaling everyday for 3 months became a bit repetitive and difficult to keep up the interest. I get it though. I would keep a road journal too if I did such a bold adventure.
Jan C
Aug 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, travel, adventure
I loved this book. I found it while looking for a picture for a GR game.

I think these two met some years earlier while distance riding. And, now, they are riding from Oregon to Maine. Lots of adventure, interesting people are met. I just thought it was great. Of course, I did at one time want to do the same thing. I didn't do it, though. So now I have done it vicariously.

Only downfall here was the afterword and appendixes. I just didn't care about any of that. I just wanted the trip and that's
...more
Cherie
Jun 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
Very amusing and light. Two women of retirement age decide to spend a summer biking from Oregon to Maine. They have many adventures, nice stories, but I also liked it because they tell you a lot of the how-tos and a lot of the practical questions you’d have. Some interesting stories and yes, they make it sound very appealing, even as they encounter heat, bugs, fast trucks, rain, and other unpleasantries.
Sharon
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bicycles
Interesting to read about bike travel and how two bicyclist tackled it ten years ago. Technology I’m sure has made finding detours and booking lodging easier. Adventure cycling is still a great resource for route suggestions and detailed maps. Loved reading about the people they met and it was uplifting to hear the stories of offers of help. I would have liked a few more photographs since the landscape would be more of a reason for me to pursue a cross country trip. The reflections at the end we ...more
SooYoung
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved it. I have a goal to bike from coast to coast and this book made me realize that I don't have to rush it (nor be scared of it.) Alice and Bobbi went cross-country, unsupported--meaning they carried everything with themselves, in their 50s. So exciting! It's a great story and definitely recommend it to anyone who's looking for some inspiration for adventure.
Sarah Burke
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fun read about their adventures.
Lora Offord
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing adventure!! I would love to do this myself someday, but probably when the rails to trails is done across America. Loved the descriptions of everything!!
Jeff
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Inspiring. Great job ladies!
Sandra Heinzman
I loved this book. I read it for the Facebook group, Women's Adventure Travel. This is probably my favorite type of book - adventure travel. It is about two "older" women, Bobbi and Alice, who retire and then take off 3 months to travel by bicycle across the northern part of the U.S., from Oregon, to Maine. They chose this route because they wanted to pass through Wisconsin and Ohio, where each was from. They planned this trip for over two years, and prepared themselves physically by extensive b ...more
Eric
Dec 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Two retired mid-western women ride their bikes across the country. One was an editor and the other an English teacher. It reads like the characters, as the diary of two pleasant mid-western women. We hear about the people they meet, about their families, where they stayed and what they ate. It's a bit like having a conversation with your aunt over coffee and cake. The book is well written in a proper grammar, sentence structure, etc. kind of way, and, therefor, flows along pleasantly without the ...more
Gwen
Nov 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
As I read this book, I mentally compared my trip --mostly on the Northern route but pre-dating the Lewis & Clark piece -- with Alice & Bobbi's. I also pulled out my trip journal(s) as well, as part of our routes overlapped. I never thought of the people we encountered who were helpful as "road angels," so that was nice. On the other hand, we also didn't stay in motels or eat in restaurants, so that made a big difference in our trip as well. Too, I was surprised that the most common questions --w ...more
Elizabeth
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting to compare this with a cycling book I just read by another female cyclist, in her case cycling around the world. This book is far more upbeat and positive towards everyone that is met on the road. Perhaps it has something to do with two women traveling together, a familiar culture (their own) and being able to speak the language. The other book displayed a lot of fear, often overcome, especially towards strangers met on the road.

Both books were fun to read. I appreciate women with th
...more
Jeff
Aug 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: touring
Very, very similar to David Lamb's "Over the Hills". We rode from here to here, had to repair a flat, got a ride over a bridge, ate great pancakes here, talked with the locals about the best route to someplace, stayed overnight at this place, etc. Love the spirit embodied by these retired ladies! I found it interesting that they included rather complete lists of how they equipped themselves and their bikes for the ride. Would love to do it myself someday!
Sharry
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Across America by Bicycle is the fun telling of Alice's and Bobbi's bicycle ride from Astoria, Oregon, to Bar Harbor, Maine, the summer after they each retired. Their love of cycling and of the people they met comes through clearly as they share info about hotels and restaurants (good and bad), hills and highways (steep and long), and the changing countryside. An inspirational tale for any cycling tourer.
Robin
Sep 18, 2010 rated it liked it
This was a light, big hearted book about a couple of middle-aged women about my age who decide to bicycle across the U.S. Nothing too exciting happened to them (they stay in motels, eat in restaurants, and have massages along with the way) and I got just a wee bit bored near the end but I admired their perserverance and good nature.
Abby
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I found this book extremely entertaining and a little funny at times. I am a long distance cyclist myself and knew exactly what these women went through on their trip across the U.S.. I thought it was an amazing feet, two retired women touring across the U.S. it was great, I loved this book and plan to purchase a copy.
Kendra
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! I'm planning a cross country cycling trip of my own for this coming summer so it was really fun to hear all about the different things I can expect to experience. I just adored both of them and they are wonderful story tellers. I loved to hear the final verdict: that most people were generally kind and generous.
Jeremy
Mar 10, 2013 rated it liked it
All of the trips to get massages and the hotel stays just aren't my idea of roughing it on a cross country ride. Granted I do give them great respect for making most of the journey on bike though, especially at their age. I have read other stories about cross country riding that made me feel as if I were there. This one did not.
Kelvin
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cycling-books

A delightful story of two older women and their adventures cycling across the USA. The book was very nicely written and quite informative,
though more technical and geographical detail would have been nice.

The Kindle eBook was shockingly made and really let the side down.

This was a good book and well worth a read for any tour cyclist.
Marilee Steffen
I'll give it 2.5 stars. It was an interesting adventure for two retired women biking from Oregon to Maine. I had hoped for more about the people and things they encountered. Instead it was more about weather, routes taken, hills or flat land, and where they slept and ate. Still, it was a worthwhile read.
Thomas Puckett
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun and easy to read

Enjoyed reading about the daily challenges and unexpected encounters and how they both overcame and persevered and continued onward. Very inspiring, I hope to someday retire and do the same journey. I read a lot if these bike touring books and this one is one of my favorites.
Lisa
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this because I am fascinated by the idea of doing something like this and find myself reading others' travelogues about their adventures every once in a while. This one confirmed what I've thought that would be difficult about doing a cross country ride and what would be wonderful about it too (especially the "eating to your hearts desire" part!)
Amber
Mar 23, 2011 rated it liked it
A fun one, especially for someone who bikes. They wrote it journal style so I just read one or two entries a day, which made me feel like I was going across the country with them. I have to do this someday.
Marilea
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful story of two 50-something women fulfilling their dream to ride their bikes across the USA. I loved their story and was happy to see that their experiences were positive. It was very enjoyable to read.
Russel Strawn
Jan 02, 2015 rated it liked it
As Lara and I get ready to do a bit of bicycle touring this summer, I thought I would read about some that have done some touring. It is written in a diary form. They are newly retired and traveled from Astoria, Oregon to Bar Harbor, Maine. It was helpful in getting ready for our ride.
Julie
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
So inspiring! And at the same time, makes me feel a little like a slouch. lol! These ladies, after they retired, rode their bikes across the country. I loved reading about their adventures and the people they met. It was easy to live vicariously and enjoy the trip right along with them.
Grace
Dec 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I like the snippets on the people and restaurants they come across. The writing is just right - not too detailed - just right enough flavor of their experiences.
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