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The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold: Adventures Riding the Iron Curtain

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Tim Moore and a rickety metal steed are back together—riding the entirety of the Iron Curtain, where history, mechanical failures, physical endurance, and humor come together for "the Bill Bryson on two wheels."
Not content with tackling the Italian Alps or the route of the Tour de France, Tim Moore sets out to scale a new peak of rash over-ambition: 6,000 mile route of the old Iron Curtain on a tiny-wheeled, two-geared East German shopping bike.
Asking for trouble and getting it, Moore sets off from the northernmost Norwegian-Russian border at the Arctic winter’s brutal height, bullying his plucky MIFA 900 through the endless sub-zero desolation of snowbound Finland. Sleeping in bank vaults, imperial palaces and unreconstructed Soviet youth hostels, battling vodka-breathed Russian hostility, Romanian landslides and a diet of dumplings, Moore and his ‘so-small bicycle’ are sustained by the kindness of reindeer farmers and Serbian rock gods, plus a shameful addiction to Magic Man energy drink. 

Haunted throughout by the border detritus of watchtowers and rusted razor wire, Moore reflects on the curdling of the Communist dream, and the memories of a Cold War generation reared on the fear of apocalypse—at a time of renewed East-West tension. After three months, twenty countries and a fifty-eight degree jaunt up the thermostat, man and bike finally wobble up to a Black Sea beach in Bulgaria, older and wiser, but mainly older.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 21, 2016 – Moore (Gironimo!) uses the Iron Curtain Trail (Euro Velo 13) to riff and muse on the state of the Eastern Bloc region a quarter century after the Bloc's demise. The British travel writer and everyman cyclist undertakes a quixotic 20-country adventure on a two-wheeled Rocinante an East German era shopper bike that proves a capable and symbolic partner for personal and political discovery. His honest takes generally include respect for all (except Russians) amid the "cheek-by-jowl diversity" he encounters. In central Europe, Moore provides a potent mix of western nostalgia and apologia with disdain for the cynical Communist experiment. The deepest insights come between entering Russia's doorstep after an eternal trip through frozen Finland and unexpectedly seeing the first trickle of Syrian refugees at the Serbo-Hungarian border. Moore also gives readers inviting glimpses of pivotal Cold War sites such as Gdansk, Poland; Berlin; and Sopron, Hungary. After Serbia, man and bike limp to the Black Sea finish line in this bittersweet memoir.
The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold: Adventures Riding the Iron Curtain
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Sports & Outdoors
  • Published: Jan 10, 2017
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books
  • Seller: W. W. Norton
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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