Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book reviews of Steven Herrick's Eurovelo Series books one and two


I am reviewing two books by the same author for BookWorm Wednesday today: baguettes and bicycles: a cycling adventure across France (Eurovelo Series: Book 1) and bordeaux and bicycles (Eurovelo Series: Book Two) by Steven Herrick.
french village diaries book review baguettes and bicycles steven herrick france cycling travel
baguettes and bicycles

Steven lives in Australia where he spends his days writing children’s books and cycling to keep fit, but for pleasure he packs his bike (called Craig) into his suitcase, well almost, and hops on a plane to La Belle France. In his first book, baguettes and bicycles: a cycling adventure across France (Eurovelo Series: Book 1), his solo journey starts in St Nazaire in the west and follows the Loire Valley and Saone River to the east. He then spends a few days indulging his passion for gently climbing some of the French mountains climbs that have been made famous in The Tour de France, including Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez.

Being a closest adventure cyclist this book really appealed to me especially as Steven spends almost as much time describing the food and patisseries he fuels himself with on his journey as he does the wonderful scenery he sees. His delight and excitement at a good three course formula lunch or dinner was contagious. I think I would get on well with Steven.

I found his writing style gave an easy, entertaining read that made me feel I could do something like this too. I especially loved his little finalé to each chapter - ‘What I should have said’ – there were some great little laugh-out-loud funnies to end each day on his bike.

french village diaries book review bordeaux and bicycles steven herrick france cycling travel
bordeaux and bicycles
The second book, bordeaux and bicycles (Eurovelo Series: Book Two) sees Steven and his bike Craig back in France but this time with his wife Cathie and her bike named Jenny. Their journey starts in Arcachon on the Atlantic coast and they cycle to the Mediterranean following the canals and waterways, eating and staying in out of the way villages. You can tell from his writing that having Cathie with him made a great trip even better and he certainly got lost far fewer times with her in charge of the directions to the B&B’s. Talking of B&B’s, of all of the B&B’s in Carcassonne to choose I was delighted to read they stayed at the same one we have stayed in twice on our road trips in the Mini Cooper – great minds obviously do think alike! Once they completed their journey they took a car to the Pyrenees where Cathie sensibly let Steven do a spot of col climbing on a hired bike. He is keen to reinforce his belief that cycling up mountains isn’t about testosterone and thigh muscles it’s about taking the time to see the scenery, a very sensible attitude. There is plenty of good food chatter, humour (did I mention he talks to his bike?) and practical information included too. I spent a few happy days in these reasonably priced books and I hope Steven and Cathie come back to cycle in France again soon.

I am delighted to say that Steven will be joining me on Friday for a chat in my France et Moi feature and what can I say but that there is lots of food talk.

Both of Steven’s cycling books are available in ebook and paperback format. You can find links to Amazon below.