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Summary

As Ellie’s 50th birthday approaches and her ambitions of a steady income, a successful career and an ascent of Everest seem as far away as ever, she begins to doubt she’s capable of achieving anything at all. So when her best friend Mick suggests a gruelling cycle ride from Land’s End to John o’Groats, she takes up the challenge. They opt for the scenic route which takes them along cycle paths, towpaths and the back roads and byways of Britain, unable to resist sampling local beers in the pubs they pass along the way.

But as the pints start to stack up faster than the miles they’re putting under their tyres, Ellie wonders if they’ll ever make it to the finishing line....

©2012 Ellie Bennett (P)2012 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"Nicola MacKenzie lends a variety of intonations - frustration, anger, and satisfaction - all of which pals Ellie and Mick encounter along the way. MacKenzie's voice keeps a steady pace along the duo's journey - one that blends historical facts in an irreverent travel story." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Mud, Sweat and Gears: Cycling From Land's End to John O'Groats (via the Pub)

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    1 out of 5 stars

Cyclist or listener - who became more weary?

Content is quite informative and entertaining but the delivery is so painful that I was unable to finish listening to the book. The narrator seems to thing the listener is aged 7 listening to a bedtime story. Pity as beer and cycling are two of my main interests!

8 people found this helpful

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Massive disappointment

I must have bought this by mistake. This book tends to be lumped together with other cycle adventure books and I wrongly assumed it would be funny and interesting. What is actually documented is a rather dull story, written by a particularly hapless woman that appears to know nothing about cycling. The worst aspect of the audiobook has to be the way that it is read by insanely patronising, woman. All in all, one to avoid.

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent funny cycling tale

One of my favourite books in Audible. The cycling adventure had me laughing and kept me entertained from start to finish.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

What a shame.

This is a subject dear to my heart, and I feel exactly as another reviewer did: I love cycling and beer, but this was utterly ruined by the narration. Find another reader and this could be a best seller, as it is, it's as tedious a slog as some of the hills mentioned in the book.

5 people found this helpful

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Harder than cycling

Story ok, could be humorous read by the right narrator, definitely made me turn it off

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Should be called 'Guts & Grit'

A wonderful account of two ordinary people who achieved a great journey (End to end) which others only dream of. A really nice story!

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Very enjoyable bookmarks Thanks for an enjoyable

Good picture of the journey and excellent commentary on the places. Well put together and well read. Michael

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Motivation Booster To Get Out And Ride

If I was doing an End To End, this is how I would do it (just less pubs)
Fantastic story of a pair of not very fast cyclists.

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Love this book

I have over 200 titles in my audible collection and this one is the one I have listened to time and time again . Usually around spring time, yes the narrator is poor but the story of two normal people doing something we all dream of doing is truly inspirational ..
I love it and I don’t want it to end .. wish the pair would cycle somewhere else and Write about it , just ditch the narrator ..

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Great story, easy listening with some good info!

I felt like I was part of the tour with Ellie and Mick, loved the story with the bits of history, geology, wildlife information thrown in. I love that they took their time to cycle the route, making it a proper tour. Even as a non-beer drinker, the book made me want to start actually liking beer! The narrator fits the story well.

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  • John S.
  • 05-01-13

Here's what you need to know before starting

The cycling aspect is almost incidental to the content: Bennett is no Josie Dew nor Bettina Selby, though she's quite upfront about it. Instead, there's rather interesting travel narrative concerning the scenery of the areas she and Mick visit, as well as notes on the historical importance of many places. And then there's the pubs, mention of each one of the many they stopped at, and exactly which beers they quaffed. Regular entries along the lines of "Wolfsbane Corner has one pub, The Curious Cretin, where we dropped in after making dinner at the campground next door. They had offerings from the craft brewers Henchman & Son, so Mick enjoyed a Saucy Sally witbier, while I tried their Leering Lout stout; we agreed that mine was the better product ...." abound; I appreciated those items, but if you feel that sounds tedious, this ain't the book for you! I did have a little bit of trouble figuring out their relationship, which is implied to be travel buddies, nothing more. Bennett's writing was great in terms of balancing the serious nonfiction geographical aspects, and the self-deprecating humor of their mishaps. I'd look forward to raeding anything else she'd write. Nicola MacKenzie's narration made a perfect fit, as though it were Bennett herself speaking directly to the reader.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 13-07-19

A great listen for cycling adventurers

Listened to this while cycling on a few trips in Colorado. I used to live in Bristol, UK - where the author is from - but it would be enjoyable for anyone with a sense of British culture and humor. Highly recommended, and very high quality audio reading.

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  • Paula
  • 02-10-12

An Quasi Adventure. . . of Pub Jumping

This is the story of a platonic couple who set off to cycle the length of Great Britain and succeeded in doing so. Each of their 32+ days is described and summarized, often with humorous bits and a little history thrown in. If you have a strong interest in Britain's many fine pubs and ales, and a somewhat lesser interest in the issues and perils and joys of cycling; this book will be of interest. Unfortunately, my primary interest was in cycling. . . thus I was ever so slightly disappointed in the absence of more on that topic. Great narration, I must say!

2 people found this helpful