Taking the Long Way Home

| November 15, 2015 9:45 pm

Timeless travel books encouraged us to take a journey and to find our way.

“One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes”, wrote Antoine St-Exupéry in his children’s book “Le Petit Prince”.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”, wrote Mark Twain in “The Innocents Abroad”. Other of Twain’s classic American novels are Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and many more.

John Steinbeck, known for the Grapes of Wrath, authored books with local flavor in Tortilla Flat, East of Eden, and Cannery Row. Doc Ricketts’ Pacific Biological Laboratories still exists and can be visited on special occasion.

More recent authors penned excellent travel books as well: Tom Vernon’s “Fat Man in France”; Karin Muller’s “Hitchhiking Guide Vietnam”; Andrew Pham’s “Catfish and Mandala”; Peter Hessler’s “River town” and “Oracle Bones”, and Barbara Savage’s “Miles from Nowhere”. Although many travel books are not cycling books, however, the theme is just as relevant, encouraging us to follow our heart, to search our soul, to seek the unknowns, and to discover new exciting things.

On our recent Big Sur Tour led by Brian Chun, nearly half our group took a wrong turn and went on Sweetwater to the Pinnacles instead of Carmel Valley. Guy Neenan apologized profusely to the entire group but no one was upset because ACTC members are what these travel books described — we enjoy taking the long way home.

Tony Le, ACTC President

One Response to “Taking the Long Way Home”

Paul Steckler wrote a comment on November 15, 2015

I would also recommend “The Impossible Ride”, by Louise Sutherland. It’s an account of her bicycle ride across the TransAmazon Highway — she was the first person to do it.

I bought a used copy of the book online a few years ago. The copy I got was, quite surprisingly, autographed by the author.

I don’t think this book is so well-known among American cyclists, but it deserves to be.

Care to comment?