A book its publisher describes as, “Part travelogue, part memoir, part romance, part paean to the bicycle as a simple mode of both mobility and self-expression” will be featured at Powell’s Books in downtown Portland tonight. The author is Bruce Weber, a man who has written words for a living as a writer and reporter for the New York Times since 1986.
There are dozens of books about trans-continental bike rides; and many of them are, how should we say, forgettable. But when a writer with Weber’s skill and C.V. makes the journey and devotes 336 pages to his experience, it’s definitely worth paying attention. Weber’s just-released, Life is a Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America has already earned critical acclaim and it’s likely to become a favorite of bicycle book lovers.
Here’s more the publisher:
Riding a bicycle across the United States is one of those bucket-list goals that many dream about but few fulfill. During the summer and fall of 2011, at the age of fifty-seven, Bruce Weber, an obituary writer for The New York Times, made the trip, alone, and wrote about it as it unfolded mile by mile, a vivid and immediate report of the self-powered life on the road.
Now, expanding upon the articles and blog posts that quickly became a must-read adventure story, Weber gives us Life Is a Wheel, a witty, inspiring, and reflective diary of his journey, in which the challenges and rewards of self-reliance and strenuous physical effort yield wry and incisive observations about cycling and America, not to mention the pleasures of a three-thousand-calorie breakfast.
The story begins on the Oregon coast, with Weber wondering what he’s gotten himself into, and ends in triumph on New York City’s George Washington Bridge. From Going-to-the-Sun Road in the northern Rockies to the headwaters of the Mississippi and through the cityscapes of Chicago and Pittsburgh, his encounters with people and places provide us with an intimate, two-wheeled perspective of America. And with thousands of miles to travel, Weber considers— when he’s not dealing with tractor-trailers, lightning storms, dehydration, headwinds, and loneliness—his past, his family, and the echo that a well-lived life leaves behind.
You can learn more about Weber and his book via this Q & A published last week by The Oregonian’s book editor Jeff Baker.
Weber will discuss his book at Powell’s City of Books (1005 W. Burnside) tonight at 7:30 pm. (Full event details here.)
I’d go if’n I didn’t have to work.
I went, but had to leave about 2 minutes into it, because my 2.5 year old wouldn’t stop yelling for juice, haha. How was it?