‘Every once in a lifetime, a book comes along that is so outrageously witty that you have to wear a corset to avoid splitting your sides with laughter. Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo is just such a book,’ said my dad – who, I should point out, does not enjoy wearing corsets.
I know what you’re thinking: he’s my father, so he would say that, wouldn’t he. This may be true, but he said this (or something like it) in spite of the joke I made at his expense towards the end of the book.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter who said it and why, the important thing is that my second full-length travel book Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo, is finally out in paperback. It would make the ideal gift to put inside a lady’s stocking (or a gentleman’s) and hang beneath the mistletoe on Christmas morning. You could even just buy it and read it yourself.
Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo is the story of two jolly people who one day decided to quit their jobs and embark on an epic cycle ride. They pedalled from dawn till dusk (well, breakfast till duskish), starting from sea level and finishing at the highest point from the centre of earth (though they walked the last, really steep bit).
The book is my eulogy to Ecuador, a land of characterful volcanoes stretching to the far horizons. It is also my nod to Scotland, a land of midge-infested peat bogs stretching to the next bend in the road. Before embarking on our Chimborazo sea-to-summit adventure, we hired a couple of pushbikes and pedalled around the North Coast 500 in north-west Scotland. This caper forms section 2 of the book and I didn’t find it easy.
True to the style of my first book, Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest, this one has a liberal sprinkling of history as I follow the Victorian mountaineer Edward Whymper’s footsteps across Ecuador. The book is also a humorous study in ineptitude. In Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest my climbing ability came under the microscope. Here it’s my cycling prowess that provides an endless source of entertainment.
I know it can be difficult thinking of ideas for Christmas presents. I should know: I usually bugger off to South America for Christmas so I don’t have to bother with any. But if you don’t do that, I’m sure your Uncle Bert, Aunt Marjorie, niece Olivia and nephew Oliver will all love reading this book.
It will appeal to anyone who likes reading a good adventure yarn, a travelogue about cycling, or just a few jokes to lighten the mood and recover from any general elections that may have happened in your country during the run up to the holiday period (as long as they don’t mind the occasional rude word).
The book is available now from Amazon, and from other online book stores soon. The book will also soon be available wholesale via Ingram, which means your local book store will be able to look it up in their catalogue and order it for you.
So don’t delay, buy it now, don your corset and prepare yourself to laugh until you can laugh no more.