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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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Engrossing ... a clear, gripping account.
-- 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
About the Author
Amy Snyder grew up in New York City, attended university on the East coast and graduate school out West. She settled in the Boston suburbs and spent almost two decades as a management consultant. She retired young and moved to La Jolla, fulfilling a life-long dream to live on the coast. That's when she began competing in Ironman triathlons to regain her fitness after the rigors of a career in business. She eventually discovered ultra-distance cycling, but knew she didn't have it in her to race such long distances. She decided to find out how others can and why they choose to do so. To accomplish this, she followed the Race Across America for two weeks in June 2009, driving 3,000 miles across the U.S. on back roads from west to east as she watched the best ultra distance cyclists in the world compete in the toughest race of all. She spent time with many of the racers before and after, and ended up with a tale that needed to be told. The story of this race forever changed her own limiting thoughts and feelings, and it will yours, too.
Top customer reviews
Driving up and down the RAAM route to stay in contact with just a handful of riders must have been very difficult. I just finished supporting a 600k brevet and I was exhausted. I really wish she had been able to include more of the riders including the teams. They have their own set of problems to deal with which would have made interesting, though perhaps less dramatic, reading. I could have read twice as much, easy - but I doubt Amy had the time or resources to do anything more that she did.
If I ever meet Amy, and she doesn't live far from me, maybe she'll sign the back of my kindle. I already have Mike Shermer's and Steve Born's signatures on their books :-)
Remember to follow the 2011 RAAM - it starts soon.
"Hell on Wheels" starts out with us thinking- this race and the people in it are truly out of their minds to even entertain such a feat of sheer torture and madness by racing non- stop across American is preposterous
but Snyder has so much more in mind for us then just dazzling us with this fast paced tale. Like "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" she weaves this docudrama around our misconceptions of what we, as masters of the planet, are truly capable of and how we have lost this belief in our physical selves. We no longer remember that as early migratory nomads we were able to endure unbearable conditions, walk tremendous distances and survive impossible situations. In contemporary society,we have forfeited physical superiority to mental acuity and thus rendered ourselves lazy competitors. At the beginning of the book you are saying, "No Way, not in a million years" and by the end you begin to think," Hum,why not?"
Amy also gives some much needed background into some of the research behind the various mindset strategies that the riders use to manage their state and manage their pain and suffering as the race progresses. There is controversy in there too with allegations of cheating which is hard to read as a competitor and I believe that the riders who surrounded me as we competed together were all authentic and pedalled every mile of the race. The book captures it all and hopefully will help people understand not just the race but also the BIG question of WHY these riders step up to the starting line in Oceanside.
I live in Oceanside, CA and was fortunate enough to attend the orientation meeting on 6/13/11. Because of all the wonderful pictures in this book, and the details of the racers experiences, I was able to recognize several of the racers and I felt as if I knew them personally. When I chatted with a few of them, they were impressed I knew so much about them and it is all due to "Hell on Two Wheels."
My only complaint is that Amy Snyder does not write a "Hell on Two Wheels" for every year of RAAM. If she did, I would read every one. Thank you so much for bringing the world's toughest bicycle race into my living room. AAAAA+++++