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Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide Paperback – April 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A mixture of international adventure and comic twist on the familiar personal-growth-through-physical-accomplishment theme, the book is lively and very difficult to put down."—Booklist

About the Author

Paul Howard's first book, Riding High, was shortlisted for the National Sporting Club’s Best New Sports Writer prize, while his account of Jacques Anquetil's life, Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape, was shortlisted in the Biography of the Year category at the British Sports Book Awards.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Greystone Books (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553658175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553658177
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By SSE on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I do not maintain a "bucket list", whenever the question arises my instantaneous response is "Ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route!" For those who do not know, the route is a 2,745 mile cycling ride (yes bicycle, not motorcycle) that follows the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, NM where there is a border crossing into Mexico. Vertical climb over the route approaches 200,000 feet which is equivalent to scaling Mt. Everest, from sea level to summit, seven times.

Just to ride the route is truly dream of mine. Others, such as author Paul Howard participate in the annual self-supported race known as the Tour Divide. The book is a daily diary of his four weeks in the saddle and includes vivid depictions of scenery, terrain, sparseness, weather, towns, restaurants, lodging...or lack thereof..., and physical and mental challenges.

Written in his pure Englishman style, terms used may not be common to many readers yet they add character to the story. It's not often I find myself reading non-business books, but this was an exception I just had to make in order to ride this trail vicariously through the author. Thanks for allowing me to ride along on your journey Paul. Well done! "
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Knowlton on March 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
There are several good things going for this story. Each chapter is a day in the race, which lends a sense of time to the story and helps to evoke some empathetic emotion in the reader. Howard's vocabulary is also appreciable: Either he naturally has an extensive vocabulary or he wrote the book with a thesaurus sitting on his desk. He has some favorite words like demur, incongruous, and atavistic that he seems to use over an over again. I appreciated the wide vocabulary because it not only made the story more descriptive but also forced me to learn some new things. There's quite a bit of British dialect, such as "metalled road" for paved road and "till" for cash register. Some of Howard's humor was lost on me because I didn't understand his (apparent) British references or style.

Howard's writing style is very descriptive as well. I can tell he took some time trying to craft sentences, metaphors, and similes in order to explain what he detected with this senses. I appreciated it, but those who are used to breezing through a book might be a little disappointed because the more complex, flowery language might require some to slow down a little bit in order to digest the material.

The book is rather family friendly, with only a couple of mild profanities and a comical reference to the translation of "The Tetons" as "breasts".

The biggest problem with Eat, Sleep, Ride is Howard's pompous, arrogant British attitude. From beginning to end, Howard places the thinnest veil over his disgust for American culture.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher R. Bennett on February 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
As someone who has 'toured' the Tour Divide, and also tried racing it (bailed in 2011 due to an asthma attack) I found this to be a great read. Paul captures the spirit of the TD, and most importantly, doesn't take himself or the race too seriously. Highly recommended both to the arm chair racer, and those who are crazy enough to try the race.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Arnaldo on April 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written and with a good British sense of humor. Paul Howard is very good in introducing the reader to the subculture of ultra-endurance mountain biking and the grueling, superhuman Tour Divide Race
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Raoul Duke on February 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Howard's tale about his adventures on the Tour Divide is very entertaining and very well written. He has a great sense of self-deprecating humor that makes the story funny as well as interesting. Anybody who has seen "Ride the Divide" or is interested in Tour Divide will thoroughly enjoy this book. Each chapter is a different day during the race, and Howard keeps the story interesting while at the same time immersing the reader in the difficulties and travails these riders endure.

I disagree with previous comments about the author being pompous. He is simply telling the story through the eyes of a foreigner and making observations about American life. It's no different than American authors writing about their observations of customs and life in foreign countries. Indeed, most of the things he pokes fun at--Wal Mart and the prolific 4-wheelers encountered in the wilds, for example--are the very things at which many American writers also poke fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Pineda on January 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It takes quite a bit of talent to describe a 2800 kilometer mountain bicycle race, when so much of the activity consists of endless pedaling, with nothing more to look at than trees, desert or snow. Paul takes the reader along for an adventure of a lifetime, sharing the kinds of trials that most of us will never endure. Where do I sleep? Where do I find more water? How should I ration my food for the next 100 kilometers? Will I get eaten by wild animals?

The Tour Divide Race is not a "race" in the usual sense. Cyclists challenge themselves to finish a perilous route along the Continental Divide, starting from Banff and south to Antelope Wells. Each athlete is self-supported, meaning no outside help is given.
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