Tag Archives: Bicycle

The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa

 

The Masked RiderThe Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa

by Neil Peart

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By November 1988, when Neil Peart arrived in Cameroon, he’d been expanding his own life and art through almost twenty years of travel and adventure. Concert tours of North America and Europe with his Rush bandmates, and the shared creative odyssey of lyric-writing and drumming, had only fed his insatiable curiosity and creative ambition. Through solo travels in Europe and North America, then to China and East Africa, he continued challenging himself to do more, learn more, achieve more. Adventure travels moved from inspiration to perspiration and back again, as that irresistible quest for new horizons and new adventures inspired the wish to shape those horizons and share those adventures in words. Like a story, each journey took on a shape and structure from beginning to end, through daily challenges of problem-solving and adaptation, and resonated in his life forever after. Experiences, hardships, and exultant survival enriched his worldview twice over — once in the living, and again in the challenge of capturing them in words. Now 36, Peart was ready to attempt two of the greatest challenges of his life. The month-long bicycle tour through Cameroon would be his first trip through West Africa. Covering more than a thousand miles of primitive roads, trails, and goat paths, it was considered “the most difficult bike tour on the market.”

He had chosen to travel by bicycle, at “people speed,” because his other great challenge was creative. With notebook, tape recorder, camera, and an author’s transformative perspective and awareness, Peart’s goal was to inspire, “inhale,” his experiences of the sub-Saharan country, its cultures and art, religions, languages, multiple ethnic and colonial histories, and especially, its people — chiefs and villagers, soldiers and schoolchildren, missionaries and prostitutes — so comprehensively and imaginatively, that in “exhaling,” he could write with sufficient insight, accuracy of understanding, and vividness of memory, that his story would reveal and illuminate for the Western world something of the “face” behind the mask of Africa. Peart’s creative achievement as author became his first published book, and in the eight years since its original publication in 1996, The Masked Rider has become appreciated by readers worldwide as a rare, special, and unforgettable travel memoir and portrait of West Africa, as seen through the mask of the visiting “white man,” and through the equalyl complex masks of the Africans themselves.

Neil Peart is the drummer and lyricist for the rock band Rush and the author of “Ghost Rider.” He lives in Santa Monica, California.

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A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist’s Bicycle Journey Across the United States

A Hole In the WorldA Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist’s Bicycle Journey Across the United States

by David Goodrich

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An epic bicycle journey across the American hinterland that explores the challenges of climate change alongside a diverse array of American voices.
After a distinguished career in climate science as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, David Goodrich returned home to the United States to find a nation and a people in denial. Concerned that the American people are willfully deluded by the misinformation about climate that dominates media and politics, David thought a little straight talk could set things right. As they say in Animal House, he decided that “this calls for a stupid and futile gesture on someone’s part, and I’m just the guy to do it.”
Starting on the beach in Delaware, David rode his bike 4,200 miles to Oregon, talking with the people he met on the ultimate road trip. Along the way he learned a great deal about why climate is a complicated issue for many Americans and even more about the country we all share.Climate change is the central environmental issue of our time. But A Hole in the Windis also about the people Dave met and the experiences he had along the way, like the toddler’s beauty pageant in Delaware, the tornado in Missouri, rust-belt towns and their relationship with fracking, and the mined-out uranium ghost town in Wyoming. As he rides, David will discuss the climate with audiences varying from laboratories to diners to elementary schools.Beautifully simple, direct, and honest, A Hole in the Windis a fresh, refreshing ride through a difficult and controversial topic, and a rich read that makes you glad to be alive.

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