What an amazing lady Josie Dew is. Not only has she been passionate about cycling since she was 11 years old, but she was determined not to let the birth of her children interrupt her travels. Josie’s first baby, Mollie, was born in 2006 and initially accompanied her strapped to the back of the bike and later in a Burley trailer. When Daisy was born in 2010, Josie bought a Nihola Gay trike and took both girls with her on her travels. Jack was born in 2013 and that hasn’t stopped Josie from taking her brood with her wherever she goes.
Josie Dew has written seven books about her cycling experiences. Most of them were written when she was recovering from a recurring knee injury which forced her to stop cycling for considerable periods of time. For anyone who loves to read and enjoys travelling and cycling, these books are exceptionally entertaining. Josie writes with humour and has the ability to uncover the essence of every new culture she encounters.
THE WIND IN MY WHEELS
This was Josie’s first book and it was nominated for the 1992 British Books Travel Writer of the Year Award. It is a story of an 8,000 mile (12,874 km) bike ride through four continents and thirty six countries. For most of the trip Josie rode solo, but she meets many colourful characters along the way and describes her adventures with humour, wit and an profound understanding of the cultures to which she is fleetingly introduced.
TRAVELS IN A STRANGE STATE: Cycling across the USA
In this book, written in 1994, Josie Dew describes her eight month cycling trip across the States. Her friends and family thought she was mad to travel on her own in a country renowned for murder and mayhem but Josie found a people who welcomed her into their homes and were generally pleasant and friendly. It is a tale full of humorous encounters and happenings and is also an insight into the American way of life.
A RIDE IN THE NEON SUN: A Gaijin in Japan
Cycling in a foreign land is always a challenge, but cycling in a country like Japan, which is so far removed from the British way of life, must have been the challenge of a lifetime. Josie Dew writes in her usual hilarious style about the cities, the mountains, the rich, the poor, the singing toilet rolls and oriental Elvis’s. She found a welcoming people who invited her into their homes and introduced her to their ancient culture.
THE SUN IN MY EYES: Two-Wheeling East
Josie Dew enjoyed Japan so much that she went back for a four month cycle around the country to see the people she has fallen in love with. The book starts with her awful journey by sea from Hong Kong to Japan where she was working on the ship in order to have a free passage. The book underlines the contrast between the rich and the poor, the city and countryside and emphasises the generosity and friendliness of the Japanese people. There are sombre moments, such as visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but there are also many hilarious situations that Josie finds herself in.
SLOW COAST HOME: A 5000 mile cycle journey around the shores of England and Wales
Josie Dew decided to cycle around the coast of the British Isles. She began her journey in Portsmouth and, after being warned that cycling in an anti-clockwise direction will result in a meeting with the devil, begins her clockwise journey around the British Isles. In Josie’s usual witty and insightful style, she introduces the readers to a host of eccentric, mad but delightful characters, while putting her own unique spin on life in the various coastal towns and villages she passes through.
SADDLED AT SEA: A 15,000 mile journey to New Zealand by Russian Freighter
Josie Dew decided she wanted to cycle around New Zealand but didn’t want the hassle of actually cycling there, so she hopped on a Russian freighter. The journey took a lot longer than expected and was fraught with problems, such as bad weather and engine problems. However, Josie takes it all in her stride and tries to see everything through her usual upbeat approach to life.
LONG CLOUD RIDE: A Cycling adventure across New Zealand
After two months aboard a Russian freighter, Josie Dew begins her nine month, 10,000 mile cycle around New Zealand. Unfortunately, she seems to have chosen one of the wettest years on record to do it. Josie introduces her readers to life in New Zealand, with its quirky wildlife and colourful people, all written with humour and the ability to draw the reader in, so you feel you are actually along for the ride. All these books make great reads when you are on a cycling holiday. Remember to pack your reflective cycling vest or reflective belt along with your books.