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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the ride!
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...
Published on May 27, 2011 by SS Engelman

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Howard Writes Like A Pompous British Jerk
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...
Published 18 months ago by R. Knowlton


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the ride!, May 27, 2011
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This review is from: Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide (Paperback)
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Howard Writes Like A Pompous British Jerk, March 3, 2013
This review is from: Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide (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. He mocks nearly every overweight person he comes across, he ridicules the little towns that he passes though, and he takes every opportunity to present all Americans as stupid, fat rednecks who drive big trucks and destroy the environment in pursuit of consumerism. To wit: While conversing with a group of men who are celebrating the 4th of July, Howard says, "...and a whole series of uncles demonstrated more enthusiasm for cycling than their pick-ups, trailers and quad bikes could ever have implied was possible." In another section he describes South Pass, Wyoming by saying "In fact, it was not until 1832 that the first rag-tag caravan of settlers and missionaries, opportunists and proponents of the sordid doctrine of Manifest Destiny passed this way." This hypocritical judgment coming from a man who hails from the British Empire. At another point, he refers to a couple of passers-by this way: "...I waved heartily at two gun-toting quad bikers. They didn't flinch, continuing instead to chew the cud in a bovine stupor." The negative descriptions were consistent and pervasive throughout the book, and Howard acted like his biggest challenge was finding anything good to say about the United States or its people. Notably, I saw Howard make no equal comparisons to or similar critiques of his home country, so his thinly veiled distaste for the United States is in itself a theme throughout the book. I thought it a rather childish and ungrateful way to write about a country that granted him the privilege of the Tour Divide.

In closing, the book is a pretty good description of the Tour Divide. Howard's writing is complex and descriptive...if you can get past his egotistic British demeanor. I, personally, won't be reading it again. I can find other books about the Tour Divide that don't belittle the U.S.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Its ok, May 22, 2013
This review is from: Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide (Paperback)
Previous reviews are on spot. Don't like how he feels the need to make fun of Americans. The book would be much better had he just stuck to the storyline.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the Spirt of the Tour Divide, February 16, 2012
This review is from: Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, April 15, 2011
By 
Arnaldo (Quito, Ecuador) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide (Paperback)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pompous, August 26, 2013
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The writing is pompous, pretentious and he writes about his stuff instead of the prep and ride itself. He needs to be reminded it is the Divide not the man which is the hero of the stories we want to read about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and humorous account of the Tour Divide, February 4, 2014
By 
Raoul Duke "R. Duke" (San Antonio, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riding Adventure Cycling's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, March 31, 2013
What is it like to ride Adventure Cyling's Great Divide Mt Bike route? This book brings the adventure to life. The only irritant is Britishisms that make some quoted dialogue ring false and make the book harder to understand for non-UK readers. Example: a mentalled road is apparently a paved road. Enjoyable otherwise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eat Sleep Ride, September 5, 2012
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This review is from: Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide (Paperback)
Great read to get you excited for your next adventure. It was fun to read how someone with little experience with bicycles or camping completes this epic ride. He made me feel like I was with him on the ride. Fun quick read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Colorful Account of the Tour Divide Race, January 24, 2012
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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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