Once Upon a Time on a Bicycle: A self-propelled two-wheeled journey of necessity

Once Upon a Time on a Bicycle: A self-propelled two-wheeled journey of necessity

by Michael Russell


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780999873021
Publisher: Nonesmanneslond
Publication date: 05/03/2018
Pages: 316
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Michael Russell had never heard of bicycle touring when, at the start of his eighth-grade summer vacation, he lashed a canvas pup tent and flannel-lined sleeping bag to his three-speed Raleigh and rode from his home in southern New Hampshire to his grandmother's farm on the Blackwater River. He was unaware at the time that others similarly journeyed and that such journeys could change, or even save, one's life. His passion for self-propelled physical endeavors led to his winning three World Cups in ballet skiing and the creation of Snowdance – a first-of-its-kind theatrical dance company on skis – and inspirited a life-long dedication to achieving excellence in every quest. He has been a business manager, logger, photographer, waiter, U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Captain, theater actor, musician, teacher, bartender, mechanic, and builder.

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Once Upon a Time on a Bicycle: A self-propelled two-wheeled journey of necessity 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Two thumbs up to this wonderful book! This Man peddles to a different beat: I was expecting a trail book on how to navigate Pan America. It was way more than that--like a handbook on life, reflections and stories and a struggle to stay sane and alive. Having lost everything most dear to heart, he cashes- out and peddles south. You're along for the ride, and in his mind. You're held captive by his unique writing style. And he puts himself out there--thus challenging you. Furthermore, his Journey is beautifully written with fine detail, along with complimentary photos and a gear section at the very end. Indeed, it's an eccentric book-- that's resourceful, provocative, and inspirational!
frenchcoffeechic More than 1 year ago
This book was a wonderful surprise! I bought this book not knowing what to expect. I liked the title and stormy cover image, but I did not anticipate a story that reads like a novel while also being a non-fiction adventure, illustrated travelogue, bicycle expedition journal, and inspiring personal drama. The concept is truly original. The story is compelling and well-written. The second time I read it I found all sorts of nuances I missed the first time. I really liked the ending, but I didn't want it to end!
Novus-Ordo More than 1 year ago
For anyone who likes the OUTDOORS, SELF-MOTIVATION, BICYCLING, or REFLECTION OF LIFE'S JOURNEY - this is YOUR BOOK! Absolute page turner! Couldn't put it down and when it ended I wanted MORE! Did Renati find "Home" yet? Did he continue south? What other adventures were along the way? Who else entered his life and left an impression? Written to be extremely readable, this book has something for almost EVERYONE. If you've ever lost some thing or someone you cared dearly about and didn't know how to "get over it" - this may be the answer. If you are the adventurous type (by today's standards) and want a good read about a "stranger in a strange land" - this is the answer. If you like the outdoors, ever subscribed to Bicycling, Outdoors, Men's Health or anything like that - this is the book for you. Lastly, if you are a Do-It-Yourselfer, tinkerer, admire mechanics, or are a bicycle gear head - yes, there's even the end of the book just for those who are. Russell does a fantastic job of linking ALL of the above categories into an excellent story of one man's "journey of necessity". The scenes are so well crafted in the writing style that you then see the pictures at the end of the section and go - "I thought that's what it looked like!" You're not just reading the story - you are experiencing it along the way. I'll be looking forward to those novels mentioned in the "Forthcoming" at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a journey! AMAZING where he went! I felt like I was along for the ride at times and looked forward to each new day. Really enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the people and scenery along the way. It was nice to have photographs included also. Was a bit disappointed actually to have the journey come to an end. A good lesson in preparedness, determination, and believing in yourself. This is a must read for anyone on the merry-go-round of life who has ever considered dropping it all and just going away....
CamRob More than 1 year ago
Outstanding! It is rare to find a book that defies classification and creates its own genre.
spokespinner More than 1 year ago
This story makes me want to take that really long bicycle ride I have been postponing until "the time is right". The author doesn't tell how it's done, he shows how it's done. It's sad he went through something that made him have to start his life over again, but he totally committed to it and wouldn't quit. For anyone who wants a real example of die hard motivation, this is it. (I don't think I'd ride through some of the places he did, though, even I wasn't alone.) I usually buy eBooks but the layout of this book is so different I'm glad I bought the paperback.
Krakski More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, soulfully written about an inspired journey "of necessity". There are two sides to this book; a) the story side of the author and journey, b) and then the equipment and technical information side. A must read if you are considering a journey on a bicycle. Very detailed information that is valuable in making your decisions about equipment and outfitting. I read it for the story side which I found inspirational in how the cyclist reflects on his experiences and decisions that brought him to making his journey. Looking forward to his next book.
Kenny_Allen More than 1 year ago
Once Upon a Time on a Bicycle struck the most positive and resonant of chords with me. It's relatable and timeless, frankly. I recently went through a stressful divorce and happen to have a 16-yr-old Ragnar (the author's dog) of my own named Fuddle, who is a patient and forgiving big sister to my human, 3-yr-old daughter, After the divorce and a period of my own long-distance nomadness, I landed and on the first day in our new neighborhood, Fuddle and I got out for a walk in our new home and neighborhood, we met a generous and genuine neighbor who, after a few dog-walk-conversations said “I want to give you a book to read” and quickly produced a copy of Once Upon a Time on a Bicycle, saying “I really think you’ll like and understand it”. What he said could be the understatement of the year. I’m fuller for having read this book and am appreciative for having had the opportunity to live through them, good and bad, vicariously. For the sake of us all, I hope Michael Russell is actively writing as I type this review.
henbernard More than 1 year ago
As an aspiring writer, I enjoyed reading this book. The passion present in the language and the adventure inspired me. I like the way the author crafted the book in third-person. This was brave and more interesting in form than most first-person memoirs. The relationships the narrator forms along the way are meaningful. Especially the one he forms with the woman who he ends up sharing a room with a few different times. The poetic remembrance of the suffering dog is great. It is clear to any reader that the narrator has a big heart. He cares. This is all you can really ask from a character, an artist. He would rather suffer, wander, question, and ultimately be uncertain, confused, unanswered, than be indifferent, apathetic. I respect a human willing to voice his or her values on the page, willing to search, seek, and stand up for whatever he or she believes in, with integrity. The most moving part of the book to me is the narrator's relationship with his past. Specifically with his ex-wife. I wish he had gone even deeper into this broken attachment. His attempts to discover meaning in the loss and heartbreak, this is what the reader can relate to. This is the heart of the story. A human finding his life, his love not going as planned, and this human going on, riding on... Trying to voice his feelings to people who may never listen. Realizing it is he who hears himself, he who chooses to keep moving, despite the overwhelming doubt.
DesertDave More than 1 year ago
Chance meetings off the beaten path are often the most memorable. Such was my case 5 years ago in the remote West Texas town of Langtry, population 12. While pausing in Langtry on a regular family trip to our off the grid getaway, we stumbled upon a cyclist, panniers crammed, stuff packed on every nook possible, loaded to the max, pedaling a "portion" of the southern tier route across this country. After inquiring how far he intended to go and learning that his ultimate destination was Central America, my 5 minute hello turned into 30 minutes and 30 questions. Michael filled me in briefly on his mission and what had brought him to be in Langtry, His story captured my imagination, and I thought about him often after our encounter. Fast forward to present day and I have a copy of Once Upon a Time on a Bicycle: A Self-Propelled Two-Wheeled Journey of Necessity in hand and in of all places, Langtry, Texas. We all face challenges on the road of life and we all handle them in different ways. The author faced his head on in the splendid solitude that only two wheels can provide. All readers can relate and enjoy this ride of healing.