Posted by Gregory Maassen on October 30, 2020 - Latest revision January 22, 2021  Reading time: minutes remaining

Book Review – Full Tilt, From Ireland to India with a Bicycle

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dervla

murphy


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The preparations had been simple; one of the advantages of cycling is that it automatically prevents a journey from becoming an Expedition.

Dervla Murphy is an accomplished writer and explorer, who has traveled the world on a bicycle. She has written over 25 travel adventure books in 40 years. She is best known for her 1965 book Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle.

Full Tilt is an account of Murphy's overland cycling trip through Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. She kept a detailed diary when she started her journey in 1963 from Ireland at the age of 31. 

Her travel kit included most notably a .25 automatic pistol and four rounds of ammunition that she managed to carry across borders. She traveled light, with just one change of clothing, few incidentals and bicycle spare parts. 

She encountered wolves, robberies, floods, extreme weather, broken ribs, and beautiful people. Her journey is about a young woman's intimate relationships with nature, hardship, religion, politics, and her Armstrong Cadet bicycle named "Roz."

A reconstruction of Dervla Murphy's Journey

Her shortest run was nineteen miles, with the longest 118 miles. A "normal" biking day would be between seventy and eighty miles!

Her account of Afghanistan reminded me of my own time in the country. She fell in love with its nature and the people, leaving politics behind while she immersed herself in small villages, tribal areas, and desolate towns.

It is a recommended read as the journey takes you to places where money does not exist, and where heaven and earth meet.

Get your copy of Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle on Amazon.

I am filled with admiration for her courage, resource, good nature and unselfconsciousness ...the charm of spontaneity and the ring of absolute truth

irish times

Warmly described, and with a lack of self-regard that immediately endears her to the reader

Sunday times

This vivid journal . . . would have delighted Cervantes with its almost incredible surprises: a valley full of birds the size of butterflies and butterflies as big as robins; a village where the cattle eat apricots and the villagers eat clover . . .

The new yorker

Dr. Gregory F. Maassen

Gregory discovered e-biking after 20 years of overseas work as project manager for the World Bank and USAID. He writes about e-biking in the DMV area, loves the outdoors (white water kayaking, hiking and biking). He lives with his wife, and Sisi the house cat in Washington DC.

Favorite e-bike: Riese & Muller Super Charger with dual battery system, and 140 miles range in normal e-mode.

Gregory Maassen, FOUNDER E-BIKE LOVERS

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