The Masked Rider By Neil Peart
“Cycling is a good way to travel anywhere, but especially in Africa. You are independent and mobile, and yet travel at people speed–fast enough to travel on to another town in the cooler morning hours, but slow enough to meet people: the old farmer at the roadside who raises his hand and says, ‘You are welcome,’ the tireless women who offer a smile to a passing cyclist, the children whose laughter transcends the humblest home.”
So begins the text of Neil Peart’s extraordinary journal about riding a bicycle on the roads and off the beaten track in West Africa. The Masked Rideris about the bike trek and the people who travel along with the author, including literary sidekicks Aristotle and Vincent Van Gogh. Sometimes it’s a story of a tour of hell–Dante on a bicycle–as he suffered the pains of dysentery and stares down the muzzle of a drunk soldier’s machine gun. Other times it’s a journey of exalted discovery and African adventure of the highest calibre.
For those that know Neil Peart this is a must have book. For the rest of us adventure types it is also a must have book. Neil Peart, is the drummer and lyricist of the legendary Canadian rock band RUSH. That probably was what originally led me to pick up the book. By the end of chapter one I was chuckling and saying to myself; “Yep, I think I visited that town on the way to Timbuktu as well.” For those of you like I who have traveled to West Africa (or any other third world country for that matter) you will find his accounts of people, places and happenings right on and down right funny. Great quick read sitting under a palm tree or in camp while you are on an adventure!
The book can be picked up at Amazon.Com by clicking the following link.