Pedaling to Hawaii: A Human-Powered Odyssey

Overview

An amazing and deeply insightful account of how two guys decided to embark upon the unthinkable: an attempt to circumnavigate the globe using just human-powered means.

On a rainy, miserable morning in Paris, a twenty-something bureaucrat decides there must be more to life than dull office work. Stevie Smith tries to figure out what he could do of great significance and hit upon the notion of a trip around the world using only human power—no motors, no sails, no balloons—maybe ...

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Overview

An amazing and deeply insightful account of how two guys decided to embark upon the unthinkable: an attempt to circumnavigate the globe using just human-powered means.

On a rainy, miserable morning in Paris, a twenty-something bureaucrat decides there must be more to life than dull office work. Stevie Smith tries to figure out what he could do of great significance and hit upon the notion of a trip around the world using only human power—no motors, no sails, no balloons—maybe the last great first. With no experience, no particular expedition skills, and no money, the adventure begins. A pedal-powered boat, a bike, in-line skates, and a lot of non-heroics take Stevie and his buddy, Jason, where no one has gone before.

No travel writing has more accurately captured the old adage, "it's the journey that matters, not the destination." Therein lies the simple beauty of this entertaining travel tale—a search for simplicity, integrity, and freedom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1994, two English adventurers in their late 20s embarked on Expedition 360, an underfunded attempt, initially sans sponsorship, to circumnavigate the world using only human power. Instead of relying on sails, balloons and motors, Smith and his traveling companion, Jason Lewis, used bicycles, skates, kayaks and their 26-foot pedal boat, "a ruthlessly Spartan composite of varnished plywood, plastic, and steel as cosy as a cheap coffin." Crossing the English Channel that summer, they biked through France, Spain and Portugal, then set forth on a "seemingly endless expanse: 4,250 nautical miles of ocean to pedal across at walking speed." Pedaling through the Atlantic in two-hour day shifts and four-hour night shifts, the duo arrived in Miami 111 days later, and then cycled and skated across America, eventually pedaling the Pacific. Smith is an accomplished writer, contrasting evocative descriptions of dolphins, seascapes and beckoning vistas with stories of days of fatigue, boredom and his own wild fantasies. He interweaves environmental observations and his inner spiritual quest with powerful passages on the more harrowing moments. Neither man had previously spent a night at sea, and mentions of their oversights and inexperience add to the suspense in this entertaining yarn. Nine maps, 10 b&w photos. (May 1) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In the early 1990s, Englishman Smith was in his mid-twenties, working in Paris, and questioning his life and daily routine. Adventure seemed like just the answer. Along with his friend Jason Lewis, Smith planned a round-the-world trip fueled only by human power. This is Smith's story, as over the next few years he worked desperately to acquire funding, build a boat, and prepare for a pedal-powered trip across the Atlantic. The crossing was a test of endurance as the men withstood cramped, smelly quarters and aged military rations and suffered from seasickness, exhaustion, and monotony. Amazingly, they made it, but their arrival in America brought more challenges, most notably, fund-raising. The two friends split up, with Smith and another friend cycling through the South to San Francisco and Lewis in-line skating via Colorado, where he suffered a terrible accident. Smith explores their desire to achieve the seemingly impossible and documents the ambition, courage, and physical and mental endurance the journey required. Of interest to public libraries.-Melissa Stearns, Franklin Pierce Coll. Lib., Rindge, NH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881507096
  • Publisher: Countryman Press, The
  • Publication date: 5/1/2006
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

London poet Stevie Smith (1902–1971) — “I was much too far out all my life / And not waving but drowning” — wrote three novels (including Novel on Yellow Paper) and nine volumes of poetry. “Stevie Smith often uses the word ‘peculiar’ and it is the best word to describe her effects” (Hermione Lee).

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