First published in the UK in 1992 by Little, Brown. Published in paperback by Warner Books. ISBN 0 7515 0249 9
(Shortlisted for the 1992 British Books Travel Writer of the Year Award).
Four continents, thirty-six countries and eighty thousand miles of cycling adventures, eccentric characters, varied cultures and ever-enduring optimism are the result of Josie’s travels.
Sometimes in company, mostly alone, she has seen everything from Saharan locust invasions to tree-climbing goats, from Iceland’s dive-bombing birds to countless European ‘flashers’ and a customs official who wouldn’t let her leave India because ‘You are making me very fine wife’. She recounts her travels across the conical mountains and craggy fells of Iceland, amidst the breathtaking scenery of Katmandu, from Land’s End to the other end on a wheelchair bicycle and across Nova Scotia, where the road-signs read ‘Caution – lobsters crossing’. Strange incidents and bizarre encounters punctuate her journeys: in Nepal she met a team of Frenchmen running from Paris to China, and a cyclist on his way from one Olympic Games to another navigating his route by a globe attached to his handlebars. Venturing into Eastern Europe, her view of post-Ceaucescu Romania, a nation suffering and starving affected her both physically and mentally.
‘It is her well-developed sense of the ridiculous which makes her adventures so entertaining’ Today
‘A wonderfully entertaining and endlessly amusing read’ Daily Telegraph
‘Gripping… a witty, often sardonic travelogue full of wry observations’ Today
A taster of places visited in THE WIND IN MY WHEELS:
Strasbourg – sore bum
Rome – kidney infection
Sahara – thirsty work
Avignon – near toilette arrest
Fontainebleau – severed finger
(nothing) Toulouse – but more toilet trouble
Malaga – big brain-crunching crash and a hospitalized Ward
Trondheim – shorts catch on fire
Iceland – pink-footed geese and red-headed Canadian
Picos de Europa – invention of cycle-cape-portaloo
Essaouira – Moroccan town with more than its fair share of vowels and where toilet paper rations almost got away
India – where things aren’t as you expect but if they are then they’re probably not!?!
Sheffield – where I was nearly combine-harvested
John O’Groats – disappointing famous place
Blow Me Down / Come By Chance / Hearts Desire / Dildo – real places on Newfoundland
Waterford – Goretex perv
Bourgas, Bulgaria – close-shave city