Fifty Miles Wide - Julian Sayarar - June 2020
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June’s Ink is the 5th title from award winning author Julian Sayarer. ‘Fifty Miles Wide’ documents his cycle through the contested lands of Israel and Palestine. The bicycle becomes more than a simple means of transportation, as he exploits it's obvious vulnerabilities to slip between borders and battle lines, and into people's hearts and confidence.
A seasoned cycle traveller, Sayarer broke the world record for circumnavigating the globe by bike. Yet it was the manner of his endeavour that impressed us most, as he demonstrated his proudly independent spirit setting out alone and unsponsored to beat a record set by a lavishly sponsored and supported expedition.
Every cyclist who has ever enjoyed the breathless thrill of leaning in a little too far, and still getting away with it, will relish the spirit of this book. His obvious love of the open road, and ability to evoke the beauty of travelling by bike are a potent combination which make you itch to saddle up and set out on your own.
Sayarer’s engagement with people is as wildly abandoned as his cycling, resulting in a series of revealing encounters. He speaks with Palestinian hip-hop artists wondering whether music can change their world, Israeli’s hoping that kibbutz life can, and Palestinian cycle clubs determined to keep on riding despite the army checkpoints and armed settlers that bar their way.
The shining message at the heart of this book is how people retain their spirit in dark times, and go on believing that a better world is possible.
“In search of truth, hope and change… Sayarer’s thoughtful, meditative travelogue actually feels very important. This is less a personal adventure than an exploration of how people persevere.” The Observer