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Hell on Two Wheels: An Astonishing Story of Suffering, Triumph, and the Most Extreme Endurance Race in the World Hardcover – June 1, 2011
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-- Michael J. Ybarra, Wall Street Journal
Accomplishes a great challenge by discovering something of real consequence that none of us have ever heard of before. --James M. Tabor, author of the New York Times best seller Blind Descent
A compelling story that reveals deep wounds, yearnings, and the cyclists' unrelenting determination to win. --Lynne Cox, renowned open-water swimmer and author of Swimming to Antarctica
Snyder..shows that the desire of these racers..has less to do with the physical challenge than with their need to discover that part of their spiritual being that remains otherwise hidden.
-- Dr. Timothy Noakes, author of the seminal Lore of Running
If you're a cyclist, you'll love every page. And if you're not, prepare to become one. This is a must read! --Bob Babbitt, co-founder of Competitor Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
When I read through the book, I kept thinking: this is what's been missing! Often I've wondered about other riders, other teams, how did they handle the deserts, did they have problems with the mountains in West Virginia, what was the mood of the riders and crews when they could "smell the barn" as they entered Maryland. This book answers many of those questions in the 2009 running of RAAM. Many of the names will be familiar, and this book will flesh out our knowledge with information that is both fascinating and disturbing. The name of the book describes the race, the ordeal that RAAM is, in a way that would make most of us put any Walter Mitty aspirations out of our heads.
Amy Snyder is an accomplished racer in her own right. She knows what it's like to give everything you've got, and more. After reading her book, you'll have gained some insight into just what these men and women go through in their 3000+ miles race across the US. Buy this book - you will enjoy it.
This race itself is unbelievable, but Snyder makes it seem both fascinating and inspiring as she delves into the personal triumphs and struggles of some of the men's individual race leaders: Jure Robic, Dani Wyss, Marko Baloh, Jim Rees, Franz Priehs, and Christop Strausser, and the four women competitors: Janet Christiansen, Daniela Genovesi, Michelle Santihano, and Ann Wooldridge. Many of these riders don't finish the race, but all of their stories are remarkable. Snyder was with the riders the whole way, driving back and forth along the course for first-hand information from the cyclists and their crews. She provides exciting race details, where competitors battle it out through baking desert heat, soaring mountainous climbs, and bone-chilling Midwestern rain, and intersperses the race story with relevant background history about the racers and their crews.Read more ›
trepidation would be a good word describing my initial approach to the book, for on the outside looking in, how interesting or intriguing could it possibly be? a bunch of folks set off from the west coast to ride as fast as possible to the finish line on the east coast, often separated by several hours and hundreds of miles of tarmac. it's hardly the components from which excitement is hewn.
yet i read obsessively from start to finish, desperate to find out if the butler did it. it would spoil the story if i named the butler at this juncture, and in order not to inadvertantly do so, i have deliberately kept myself from reading the last few pages. once this review is done and dusted, i'm off to the leather armchair to finish the story. though i will undoubtedly get there before you, i'd heartily recommend you follow in my tyre tracks.
Although I've been an active cyclist for most of my life, I had never heard of the Race Across America. I'm not an "ultra-cyclist" but have done a few century ride. Now, thanks to this insightful and gripping account as written by Amy, I've gained an appreciation for the participants in this particular race and for ultra-cyclists in general.
This book is written in such a way that even though you know that the author knows the outcome already, the book teases you with questions that won't be answered until the very end. It propels you to finish the book to find out what the final outcome will be. The author profiles many of the top riders as well as a few of the rookies, and gives a great amount of backstory for each of them. You will understand exactly where the competitors come from, what their motivations are and what type of people they are when they are not on their bikes. Amy does a great job humanizing these people.
As I was reading the account of this race and contemplating the toll it takes on the racers bodies and soul, I honestly started to question whether a race like this is really necessary. I mean just because it is "there" doesn't necessarily mean that it should be pursued. It places such a demand on the body of the participants, being in good shape doesn't even mean that you can finish a race such as this. At least in the Tour de France you get a good night rest, food, medical care, etc. In the Race Across America, there are no stages... the race is more or less continuous. Riding on average 350+ miles a day for 8 days straight is insane. 3000 miles? Seriously? In an average biking season, I'm lucky to ride 1500-1800 miles.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hallucinations. Just expect them. And saddle sores. And perhaps your neck muscles losing all function. That's just a taste of what it's like to race RAAM. Read morePublished 4 months ago by rolson6432
As an endurance cyclist that has ridden the RAAM route, I fully appreciate the effort needed to cover 3,000 miles across this God blessed nation. Read morePublished 8 months ago by mark yeaton
I really enjoyed this account of the RAAM. One of the best I've read.Published 9 months ago by Steve Korth
Well-written insight into one of the most insane sporting events on the planet. If you want to know what goes on in the mind of an ultra extreme athlete, this is a good window into... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Tom Epperson
Really liked this book. It taught me a ton about endurance cycling. I think that this book made me want to ride my bike across America, but not in the race. Read morePublished 15 months ago by F. K. Stucki
Amy Snyder captures the motivations of ultra endurance athletes in this page-turning account of the 2009 Race Across America. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Book Junkie
Great in-depth look at the effect of RAAM on the competitors. I feel like I personally know some of the riders.Published 22 months ago by Keith Evans