Embark on a cross-country cycling adventure in this exciting sequel that finds author Larry Walsh on yet another solo trek across America. Here, Walsh brings readers along for the ride of a lifetime: 4,200 miles, cutting across ten states, from Oregon to Virginia. The Trans Am Bike Race is so grueling that less than 300 solo riders in the last decade have crossed the finish line. But Walsh did just that. Reaching the Yorktown Victory Monument, however, is just a small part of this tale.
In this inspiring follow-up to Suit to Saddle, we find Walsh a year removed from his fortuitous layoff that spurred his first cross-country voyage of self-discovery. This time we join the Army veteran on another exhilarating pilgrimage that’s sure to reawaken that long-dormant sense of adventure, broaden horizons, and challenge the default notions of the American people. All the while, Walsh inspires readers to reconnect with their own goals and ambitions, proving that even the most daunting journey is possible with determination and faith.
Meet colorful folks from across the country as Walsh cycles through over 300 towns, and experience the ever-changing countryside, from scaling mountains to pedaling through sacred Native lands. This love letter to the American road is sure to light a fire and set readers on the course for their own unforgettable journey. For anyone feeling obsolete or past their prime, Walsh proves it’s never too late to start the race of a lifetime.
Walsh includes a handful of pictures from his trip, particularly compelling are the selfies which he is required to submit to the race organizer daily to show his continued health. They track the ups and downs of his energy as the book proceeds and the miles continue (as well as the growth of his beard). Walsh’s interactions with people on the race also wax and wane depending on his location and energy level—starting off with plenty of conversations in Oregon and trailing off in the Midwest before picking up again in the East with” trail angels” who aid his journey.
The Trans-America Bike Race is a test of endurance. Walsh finishes after 38 days averaging 109 miles per day. This is reflected a little in the text: There are only so many ways he can recount twelve hours in the bike saddle and still hold the reader’s interest. As with so many grand undertakings, monotony itself becomes a theme—with Walsh recounting his marking off each ten miles and attempting to divert his boredom and maintain focus. This is a journey of accomplishment and discovery, and the reader is privileged to be brought along on it as Walsh meets his goal: forty days to finish and cross the country.
Takeaway: Lovers of sports stories and tales of endurance will appreciate this memoir of cycling across the United States.
Great for fans of: Cory Mortensen’s The Buddha and the Bee, Paul Stutzman’s Biking Across America.
Design and typography: B+
Marketing copy: A