The cyclist who went out in the cold : adventures along the Iron Curtain trail
'Bill Bryson on two wheels' IndependentScaling a new peak of rash over-ambition, Tim Moore tackles the 9,000km route of the old Iron Curtain on a tiny-wheeled, two-geared East German shopping bike.
Asking for trouble and getting it, he sets off at the Arctic winter's brutal height, bullying his plucky MIFA 900 through the endless and massively sub-zero desolation of snowbound Finland.
Haunted throughout the journey by the border detritus of watchtowers and rusted razor wire, Moore reflects on the curdling of the Communist dream, and the memories of a Cold War generation reared on the fear of apocalypse - at a time of ratcheting East-West tension.
After three months, 20 countries and a 58-degree jaunt up the centigrade scale, man and bike finally wobble up to a Black Sea beach in Bulgaria, older and wiser, but mainly older.