Rupert Guinness Simon & Schuster $35
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.