Over­lan­der

Ru­pert Guin­ness Si­mon & Schus­ter $35

Mercury (Hobart) - Magazine - - BETWEEN THE LINES - IAN OR­CHARD

If you thought epic tales of hu­man en­deav­our, laced with tragedy and tri­umph, were the stuff of yes­ter­year, read on. When Aus­tralian jour­nal­ist Ru­pert Guin­ness hears about a pro­posed bi­cy­cle race from Fre­man­tle to Syd­ney via Ade­laide and Mel­bourne, a dis­tance of 5470km, he de­cides to en­ter, in­spired by the Over­lan­ders, the name given to cy­clists who rode across the con­ti­nent in the 1890s.

His day-by-day jour­nal of his epic ride is emo­tional, frank and some­times hu­mor­ous. Fel­low cy­clists will em­pathise as he bat­tles heat, head­winds and hunger while rid­ing up to 300km a day.

The race ends trag­i­cally when a com­peti­tor is killed near Can­berra, but Guin­ness’s story is in­spi­ra­tional and his ac­com­plish­ment de­mands re­spect.

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