Book Review – Saddle Sore, Steve Briggs

saddle sore

This book is available as an ebook from Amazon . Part Travelogue, part wry look at America and American people, part historical and social comment, it is well worth picking up.

Steve Briggs left the Navy aged 39 and decided to spend a “Gap Year” cycling around the USA.  This documents his journey, starting from Florida, passing through 30 states on his way up the east coast and down the the Midwest, ending exhausted and damn near broken in New Orleans.  A picture of America as a land of contrasts socially is built up – from the affluent Floridians to Inner city Balitmore, from the thriving metropolis of Chicago to the industrial wasteland of Gary, Indiana. Bear in mind this was 1998, when the Clinton/Lewinski scandal broke, and the political background is never far from the book.

Also tackled is the problem with cycling in the country – from lack of tolerance of drivers, to astonishment that someone would actually undertake such a task, to the unreliable maps and meaningless road signs – and you wonder just how he completed this! What made his journey sufferable, and makes the book though is the people who he meets, who put him up for a day here and there, Characters all, from Bikers, to vegans to just Mr and Mrs Ordinary.

This is a book that will have you belly laughing one minute,  arguing politics the next, and might just increase your knowledge of American History and geography too. A brilliantly written book, that could only be improved with maps on each chapter to make charting where he is easier. That aside, buy it, read it and enjoy it.  Rating – 5 Beers

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