Listen free for 30 days

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

Narrated by: Nicola MacKenzie
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: Sport, Other
4 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

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 members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    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!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun and informative

I hope you have done more trips to write about, if not please do! thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Patronising and snobby

Fundamentally this should have been a great take but I found her tone to be patronising and snobby. It was as though every village and town were subjected to a barrage of criticism, particularly the northern towns.

I’ve decided not to listen to any more of it.

Such a shame!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful, well written, happy tale

This story flows so well that it was easy to relax and listed to. The narration is wonderful and it was lovely to hear a positive, inspiring tale.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

kept me entertained while walking The Downs.

felt like I was taken on the trip with them. Great read and beer guide.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Lacklustre

The narration of this book was way off. This made it difficult to determine if the story itself was poorly written or simply down to the reading.

I think the author is in her late fourties so why use someone who sounds in their late seventies? It gives the impression the book is aimed at the older generation which I am not. Also the narrator uses a fake sounding posh voice which sounded ridiculous when swearing and guzzling down beer. It just did not seem plausible.

The pronunciation of places was way off too.

I am sure her narration style would be perfect for some stories but not this one.

Maybe give someone else more appropriate a chance at reading this and my star rating may improve. Sorry to seem harsh but I say this with the best intentions



Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John S.
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris
  • 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.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paula
  • 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