The 1914 Giro d'Italia was the most difficult bike race in history; 81 riders started and only eight finished. NowTim Moore is going to attempt it himself, and he's committed to total authenticity.
Twelve years after Tim Moore toiled around the route of the Tour de France, he senses his achievement being undermined by the truth about "Horrid Lance". His rash response is to take on a fearsome challenge from an age of untarnished heroes: the notorious 1914 Giro d'Italia. History's most appalling bike race was an ordeal of 400-kilometer stages filled with cataclysmic storms, roads strewn with nails, and even the loss of an eye by one competitor - and it was all on a diet of raw eggs and red wine.
Of the 81 riders who rolled out of Milan, only eight made it back. To truly capture the essence of what these riders endured a century ago, Tim acquires the ruined husk of a gearless, wooden-wheeled 1914 road bike, some maps, and an alarming period outfit topped off with a pair of blue-lensed welding goggles. As Moore rides up and over the Alps and then down to the Adriatic (with only wine corks for brakes), Gironimo! is an adventure that is by turns bold, beautiful, and madly inspiring.
©2015 Tim Moore (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Expecting more of a straight, historical account of the 1914 race, I was disappointed with this book. It is, in fact, the story of the author's ride through Italy, retracing the route of that year's tour on an ancient bicycle of the same period ... interspersed with brief accounts of the historic race.
Whether describing his own travails, or that of the riders from 1914, Moore's book is one of endless and unrelenting witticisms ... or, in imitation of the author, "a drudgery of drollery, if you will."
That the book wasn't what I had expected, or wanted, is not a fair way of judging it. Those interested in a comedic travelogue or---again, as the author might say---a farcical frolic of middle-aged frustration and futility, might find the book well worth their time. The historical bits, like everything else, are there, it seems, for the jokes that can be wrung from them.
I suppose I should have taken the title more seriously ...
interested in history, science, and pulp fiction
Tim Moore's re-creation of the 1914 Giro is hilariously horrible, and this audiobook is an absolute inspiration. I re-listened recently while completing a seemingly endless photography project, and I was laughing out loud alone in the darkroom. Moore clearly acknowledges the preposterous nature of his project - riding the route of the 1914 Giro D'Italia in period costume and equipment - and he embraces it as he makes his entrance into small towns throughout modern Italy. Moore perfectly captures the combination of loneliness and adventure that typify this sort of travel, and also very astutely illustrates the courage required to do something rather ridiculous. Moore's complaints are more than balanced out by his obvious love of cycling and cycling history. His research is thorough and fascinating. My favorite part (among many) is where a well meaning concierge volunteers to launder his wool cycling kit. The narrator absolutely nails it. Gildart Jackson moves perfectly between pride and doom along with Moore, and his pronunciations of Italian are entirely in keeping with Moore's level and experiences. I highly recommend this book for fans of cycling and history.
Persnickety, curmudgeonly, locked into a long daily commute which is mitigated somewhat by listening to great books.
Yes, but to select friends, namely cycling enthusiasts
Mr. Moore tries to bring the 1914 riders into his contemporary experience using every trick he can think of, but he doesn't quite pull it off. Additional energy might have been put into that aspect.
There is really only one character - the author
Tim Moore's writing is very funny. Humor pervades the entire book. His humor is very English, so some of it is lost on American readers, but not too much.
one long ride
Maybe - I still want to know why on earth he decided to go on that ride.
The very last one - he's finally back, badly decayed bike and all. I hope he burned those clothes. Finally someone who understood what on earth he was doing was there to appreciate it.
Heavens no - what a beating that would have been.
Where was his family all during this ride? Really - only his parents came to see him along the way? Something tells me his wife was back home wondering why on earth he was doing this ride too.
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