Posted by Gregory Maassen on December 16, 2020 - Latest revision March 1, 2021  Reading time: minutes remaining

Book Review – Outpedaling “The Big C” My Healing Cycle Across America

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Elizabeth McGowan

-author-

Maybe I couldn't ride 4,250 miles in one day. But breaking it down into doable pieces would eventually add up to something significant

Elizabeth McGowan is an explanatory writer and reporter who has won numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the Dilbit oil disaster that released more than one million gallons of diluted bitumen into nature.

Outpedaling the Big C - My Healing Across America - Elizabeth McGowan E-bike Lovers

In 2000, Elizabeth embarked on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail after an oncologist declared her to be five years cancer-free.

While pedaling across the United States from the west coast to the east, she reflects on her life-long struggle with melanoma, a disease that would be fatal to her father and one that would keep her searching for her own destiny.

The TransAmerica Bicycle Trail


The book is full of hope, reflection, emotion and perseverance of a young reporter who never got to know her father well.

It is "an anything-but-typical memoir revealing, among other things, how immersion in the natural world is a balm for the wounded. It inspires us all to be truly, fully alive."

Elizabeth is a freelance energy and environment reporter in Washington DC.

"Outpedaling the Big C: My Healing Cycle Across America With a Bicycle" was E-bike Lovers' book club selection for January 2021.

The audio version of the book disappointed readers as the narrator's emphasis on words was frequently wrong and "the pronunciation belied her Canadian origins." One commentator said that audio book "was the worst she ever listened too." 

Another commentator suggested that the book should have focused more on the author's experience biking the Trans America bicycle trail, with fewer references to her challenging upbringing and troubled relationship with her father. 

What do you think? Get your hard copy of Outpedaling the Big C: My Healing Cycle Across America With a Bicycle on Amazon and let us know in the comments below.

What a journey - a transcontinental chronicle from a writer who is truly, fully alive!

bill mckibben

The Pulitzer winner interweaves a cross-country cycling travelogue with an account of growing up with her late father.

kirkus reviews

Outstanding! Well written, insightful, funny, heart-warming. 

Rebecca Manning

Janet Kat

Janet is a senior lawyer who has represented the US Government in large cases. She enjoys a good book and traveling to lesser-known destinations while exploring new cultures and cuisines.

Favorite e-bike: Tern HSD S8i Class 1 with belt drive and Bosch motor.

Janet Katz

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