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Synopsis

Armed with wit and humour, an internationally acclaimed cycling writer tackles the longest mountain bike race in the world.

For Paul Howard, who has ridden the entire Tour de France route during the race itself -- setting off at 4 am each day to avoid being caught by the pros -- riding an adventure cycling race should hold little fear. Still, this isn't just any mountain-bike race. This is the Tour Divide.

The Tour Divide race follows a fixed course called the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, crossing the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and ending in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The Great Divide route is more than 2,700 milesÛ500 miles longer than the Tour de France and involves more than 200,000 feet of ascent -- the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest seven times.

The other problem is that Howard has never owned a mountain bike -- and how will training on the South Downs in southern England prepare him for sleeping rough in the Rockies? What's more, the efficient backup team that helped Howard in the Tour, his dad, will be absent. Undaunted, Howard swaps the smooth tarmac roads of France for the mud, snow, and ice of the Tour Divide, fending off grizzly bears, mountain lions, and moose. Buzzing roadside fans are replaced by buzzing mosquitoes. Worse is the unshakeable fear that he might have to earn his wild west stripes by drinking whiskey with a cowboy.

Entertaining and engaging, Eat, Sleep, Ride will appeal to avid cyclers, ultra cycling fans, and readers of adventure travel narratives with a humorous twist.

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