Spokesongs: Bicycle Adventures On Three Continents – A Book By Willie Weir

You’ve probably heard of Willie Weir. In fact, if you’ve ever read a copy of Adventure Cyclist magazine, you’ve likely seen his work. He’s funny, an imaginative storyteller, and a wild and wacky character. But his book “Spokesongs”, sadly, isn’t any of those things. I love Willie, but Spokesongs left me sorely disappointed.

First of all, the book is a huge 256-page hardback. It weighs about a pound and was obviously not created with the traveler in mind. It doesn’t easily fit inside a backpack or a set of panniers. The publisher apparently forgot that some people might actually want to read the book while doing some traveling of their own. Never before have I seen a travel book so ill-designed for its intended audience.

But then I started reading. The text was large and the chapters were short – most of them just a couple pages in length. There was some obvious padding going on here.

The stories were good, but not great. As Willie admits at the beginning of the text, most of the stories come from pre-published articles he had written for other publications. And because the stories are scattered about from three different bicycle tours, the whole book comes across as disjointed and boring.

Maps showing where each story is taking place in the world attempt to string the stories together, but I found myself ignoring the maps altogether as they provided little, if any, assistance in following Willie’s adventures.

While a few of the stories throughout “Spokesongs” were funny, enlightening, or encouraging, the book as a whole is just plain forgettable.

Three hours after starting the text I reached the last page. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a gigantically sized book in such a short time. And frankly, I wasn’t sad that the journey was over. I was happy to shed a pound of paper from my panniers… and I was ready to get back to my travels and start creating some “spokesongs” of my own.

Willie Weir’s “Spokesongs” is available at Amazon.com

0 thoughts on “Spokesongs: Bicycle Adventures On Three Continents – A Book By Willie Weir

  1. Vel says:

    Ive read that book and many others like it and there’s just one thing to say,bike touring is boring ,just as boring as watching a garden grow, just as boring as listening to your kids tell a story of how their day went .To tell you the truth life is just boring.

  2. Darren Alff says:

    Vel, I don’t agree with you. I don’t think bike touring is boring or that life is boring. It can be boring if you make it that way, but that’s your choice.

    This isn’t about life or bicycle touring being boring though. This article is simply a review of Willie Weir’s book, which I found a little lacking when compared to other bicycle touring and travel books I have read in the past. That doesn’t mean that all bicycle touring books are boring. And it certainly doesn’t mean that life is boring. I’m sorry if you feel that way.

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