Atlas Biker by Nick Crane
After reading Journey to the centre of the earth by Richard and Nicholas Crane, I was finally prompted to extract a book from my bookshelves that had been beckoning me for several years (you know the story…..you see an enticing book in a bookshop one day, can’t resist buying it, then it goes on the shelf never to reappear). Well, Atlas Biker by Nick Crane is an expensively bound quality hardback, so I’m hoping I didn’t pay full price for it when I bought it!
Crane is a knowledgeable geographer, experienced adventurer and fanatical journeyman, whose mastery of the English language embellishes his descriptions of the natural world, and whose keen eye for the detail of logistics, coupled with his determination to complete the ‘job in hand’, make him both a demanding but supportive expedition partner, and one who is unlikely to take his eye off the ultimate goal.
This book is all about an attempt to traverse the length of the high Atlas mountains in Morocco, to climb and descend (on mountainbikes) the highest mountain in north Africa, Toubkal (4,167 metres), and to take a film crew to capture the experience in all its graphic detail. There were accidents and other upsets, misunderstandings and unintentional diversions from the route, and the demands of the film crew were always in danger of scuppering the entire expedition, which was strictly limited to a 20 day duration. Why? The sponsor who was financing the expedition had made it a non-negotiable condition.
I won’t spoil the story……but it is certainly worth reading.