From the Library: Bicycle Journeys with Jerry

You know the saying it is all in the details, or the one referring to someone as detail oriented? I have long considered myself to be in that category, and may explain why I worked in a research library for so long, or why now, I like drawing up construction details at work. In writing, details are often necessary, at other times they tend to get in the way, they can bog down the writer and the reader both. 

The further into this book I got, the more I realized it was going to be a case of too many details. Rather than extracting the essence of his rides, Jerry D tends to provide a play-by-play recounting. All these details, the miles of minutiae, in my opinion, tend to bog down the storytelling. Case in point: "Then I entered the airport for real. I changed T-shirts because it smelled like cigarette smoke, and successfully navigated the self-service ticket and luggage tag, dropped off the luggage at TSA, called home (after 11 P.M. at home) and headed for security." I have to think that many editors would have filtered much of this out. What may have seemed significant at the time, does not really add much to my reading of the experience second-hand, and after the fact.

Generally speaking I subscribe to the philosophy of if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing. I know my mother used this phrase on at least one occasion during my younger years, probably more, since it has continued to reverberate over time. Thus, even though Bicycle Journeys with Jerry does tend to drag on, the fact that I have chosen to say something about it means that there are other redeeming qualities about it.

Indeed there is. Jerry D is one of us, a regular Joe who simply enjoys the adventures that await us every time we ride. And thus the adventures he shares with his readers are probably pretty close to what we would experience ourselves yet, included here are rides that we have likely never done, and quite possibly never will. You won't read about great achievements, no historical glory, just personal satisfaction. It is as simple as that.

Dusterhoff, Jerry   Bicycle Journeys with Jerry   Round Rock, TX: Acyclist Publishing, 2008


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