As one who rode around the world on a motorcycle, reading John Devoy’s overwhelmingly rich story of his bicycle ride through Africa is like repeatedly pushing the plus sign on a Google map and watching blank areas spring to life in ever denser detail.
The book is crowded with events both painful and exhilarating, with intimate observations, interactions, conversations and wide-ranging reflections, all strung like beads on a thread of relentless physical effort. Even though the journey was made more than thirty years ago I don’t for a moment doubt the authenticity of the account. I know how the details of such a culminating experience are stamped in the mind forever, and he conveys this sense of heightened awareness very well.
This is a traveller’s banquet of passion, youthful enthusiasm, and hard-earned wisdom, flavoured with a dash of erudition. I am proud to have played some small part in its genesis. I once wrote that all I could hope to do on my bike was to make a narrow track around the globe and extrapolate. John Devoy is The Extrapolator.
Ted Simon is the author of the internationally best-selling books Jupiter’s Travels and Dreaming of Jupiter, which recount his circumnavigation of the world by motorbike on two separate occasions.