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Travels with Willie: Adventure Cyclist Paperback – May 18, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Pineleaf Productions (May 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965679284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965679282
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Most books about cycling end up being about nothing other than cycling--sort of like what The Great Gatsby might have been like if it were a how-to about making money off moonshine and gambling. Willie Weir's Travels With Willie is one of the rare bike books that gets it right. The 256-page paperback distills the best of Weir's columns for Adventure Cyclist magazine (the house organ of the touring and travel group Adventure Cycling Association). The fact that Weir has ridden around the globe is what will draw the interest of cyclists; what makes it satisfying is that some of the most engaging parts occur off the bike--scenes that capture the universal conditions we all face when we're traveling the world, or simply when we're trying to figure out who are we. Weir writes about the humbling experience of wrongly complaining about being overcharged for a local delicacy, about trying to lure strangers into conversations just so he can brag about his travels (then getting one-upped), but also about finally understanding his father, proposing to his wife (and subsequently getting robbed of the coin that was a stand-in for an engagement ring), and traveling the world in the age of terrorism. ... Weir's unadorned, honest storytelling and eagerness to see beyond his handlebar make this a must-buy for anyone with a decent cycling library. -- --Bicycling Magazine

Weir's writing describes the experience of riding a bicycle rather than the logistics. His new book is a collection of his columns, and nowhere in the paperback s pages does this seasoned bicycle traveler even mention mileage, equipment, routes or the type of bike he rides. Instead, Weir describes facing fear and finding adventure; guardian angels and going the wrong way; the kindness of strangers; communicating without a word; and the privilege of travel. --Momentum Magazine (Sept-Oct 2009)

Willie Weir may be the most effective and inspiring advocate in the USA for international bicycle travel, but his message is about much more than bicycling. --Edward Hasbrouck, author of The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World

Weir's writing describes the experience of riding a bicycle rather than the logistics. His new book is a collection of his columns, and nowhere in the paperback s pages does this seasoned bicycle traveler even mention mileage, equipment, routes or the type of bike he rides. Instead, Weir describes facing fear and finding adventure; guardian angels and going the wrong way; the kindness of strangers; communicating without a word; and the privilege of travel. --Momentum Magazine (Sept-Oct 2009)

Willie Weir may be the most effective and inspiring advocate in the USA for international bicycle travel, but his message is about much more than bicycling. --Edward Hasbrouck, author of The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World

About the Author

WILLIE WEIR is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine and a traveling commentator for public radio station KUOW in Seattle. His articles on adventure travel have earned him gold and bronze Lowell Thomas Awards from the American Society of Travel Writers. He speaks at schools, universities and events around the country, advocating the bicycle as the world s best travel vehicle, as well as a vehicle for social and environmental change.

More About the Author

After being bitten repeatedly by the travel bug, Willie Weir left a career as a stage actor, hopped on a bike and pedaled into a life of travel, adventure and discovery.

His two-wheeled adventures have taken him all over the globe -- from the horse tracks of the highlands of Lesotho, to the war-torn roads of Bosnia, to the back roads of Colombia.

He is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine, a bicycle correspondent for public radio station KUOW in Seattle and the author of Travels with Willie and Spokesongs. He is the recipient of gold and bronze Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers.

He lives on Beacon Hill in Seattle with his dream travel partner, Kat Marriner.

Customer Reviews

Willie Weir's world traveling adventures make for terrific reading.
Stuart Levin
It is well written, has moments of humor, irony and most of all, the true sense of adventure travel.
D. Peterson
I want to get into longer adventures on my bike and this book is more than inspiring for that.
Bob

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By orejoncito on March 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've always been into cycling, but this book really opened my eyes to some possibilities that I had not previously considered. In fact, this book isn't really a book about cycling per se. Rather, it's about the richness and beauty that the world offers us when we're courageous enough to abandon our preconceived notions, irrational fears, and dubious stereotypes.

Many times, I think we fall into the trap of thinking that traveling the world is expensive and something that should only be done after we've learned the appropriate language, saved the right amount of money, and taken care of every possible loose end back at home. However, the reality of the situation is that traveling doesn't have to cost a fortune, and if we wait to travel until "the time is right," it's likely that we'll be stuck at home for a long time. Willie helped open my eyes to this fact, and I think his book is very much a wake up call to those of us who know that what he's saying is true but, for one reason or another, have allowed life's little stumbling blocks to stand in our way.

Even if you're not a cyclist, this book will speak to your soul. For above all, this book deals with universal themes that go beyond two wheeled adventures. It is a reminder to all of us that, as human beings, our similarities are greater than our differences. In addition, the theme of "carpe diem" runs strong through the book. If you're on the fence about your next adventure, the book will push you out the door and inspire you to visit new places and try new things.

My favorite part of this book, however, is the part where Willie talks about the conversations he has had with people who are less fortunate than those of us who are lucky enough to live in the US.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gwyn Ganjeau on June 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read the first 3/4 of this book in the first sitting and only stopped myself because I didn't want the experience to end. Let me say that I am *not* a cycler. In fact, I'm embarrassed to say when the last time I rode a bike was. But I love to read books about travel--but this isn't just a travel book. And it's more than great storytelling, too. The chapters are like little meditations on acceptance and curiosity and engagement and fate and circumstance--and dozens of other things. And although the backdrop is the globe and will affect how I experience my future travels, it also made me think about my daily life and how I travel through it. What a trip.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew S. Gardner on June 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Willie's latest book really does surpass all expectation. The extraordinary tales that only someone with such a quirky name could relay in the confines of paperback leave the reader wanting to load up a bicycle and head out into the night in search of adventure. If you've ever wanted to be inspired or inspire a loved one, "Travels with Willie" is an honest and powerful means of doing just that. There's no other motivational reading out there quite like it. Trust me - after reading Mr. Weir's first book "Spokesongs" while attending the University of Oregon several years ago - I took the summer off to bicycle across the United States. I trust that you'll want to do the same!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book offers great insight into the mind and life of someone who approaches the world with consistent optimism and good will. But better yet, it's a really great read. Uplifting and light. A chapter or two on the deck transport me to a place that always has a happy ending. As Spring slips into Summer, I am inspired to dust off my bike, pump up the tires, and finally take that dang bike rack out of its box... As I reach the final chapters of Travels with Willie, I am relieved to see that he wrote an earlier book, so I don't have to be done with the trip just yet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Same Old Song on February 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the first time in years and years I discovered myself laughing out loud. Willie is a tireless adventurer. More importantly, he's a master storyteller!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John P. Ittner on June 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I started reading the book the week after a very disappointing ride on our tandem. I was ready to scrap any notion of touring with that heavy, long, unwieldy rig. Willie got me inspired to not give up our dream, when my stoker finally retires, of touring North America by bicycle. Willie has gone through several bikes, including the tandem he and Kat now share, so I have no excuse but to find a tandem that works for us.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Willie and Kat and watching him regale a crowd with his stories. Again, "Inspiration" is the word, variations of which pop up in post-performance conversations. It's the same with this book and with Spokesongs: Bicycle Adventures on Three Continents, his previous book. It's not only entertaining and well-written, but it leaves the reader with so much to dream about, plan, and re-consider. As in: reconsider staying in hotels and eating in popular restaurants, where you miss the real people; reconsider planning every aspect of every day on the road, where every change of plan becomes a disappointment instead of an adventure; reconsider touring alone, knowing that you are sure to be somewhere where it hurts not to have someone with you to share the views and the experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Hoyt on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Though I don't have the quads to make it up the gentle slope from my house into town on a bike, I have always enjoyed both domestic and international travel. And though I revel in scenic beauty, art museums and crumbling ruins, my most vivid memories are always of people met and obstacles overcome. "Travels with Willie" is about the road less traveled, yes, but has something to teach all of us about making any road we take more of an adventure--even if your idea of "adventure" is asking directions of someone who doesn't speak your language.

This is a book about mindset. It's about knowing that things can go terribly wrong AND terribly right. This is true in all aspects our lives, of course, but is exponentially vivid on a trip.

I also greatly appreciated his chapters on how much more difficult getting away for a trip becomes with the addition of the invisible "baggage" of mature responsibilities, and what he and his wife have given up in terms of domestic convenience in order to support the travel habit. Life is a series of trade-offs; anyone who reads this book will conclude that any bargain that results in a trip was a deal well made.
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