Why Don't You Fly?
miles from Worcestershire to Beijing on a bicycle
No accomplice. No support crew. No engine.
And no ghost writer!
You see things; and you say, 'Why?'
But I dream things that never were;
and I say, 'Why not?' (George Bernard Shaw)
Don’t You Fly?’ is the amazing story of a single handed bicycle ride from the UK to
Beijing with a round tour of the Indian sub-continent thrown in just for
unusual response to redundancy had neatly polarised reactions amongst
family and friends. My sister and youngest brother had loved the concept
of a bicycle ride across Asia and their enthusiastic support helped me
through those times when, assailed by doubts, I wondered if I ought to go
through with it.
other brother, though, was less sure. ‘It seems a very Chris Smith type of thing to do,’ he remarked
dubiously when he phoned from his apartment in Manhattan.
father pronounced himself undecided as to whether it was a good or a daft
idea, or a combination of both.
don’t think you should go,’ declared a former girlfriend. ‘It’s too
‘Eighteen months by bicycle?’ exclaimed a friend who
clearly thought that I’d finally lost my sanity. ‘Why don’t you fly,
Christopher?’ he continued with the exaggerated patience normally reserved
for the very young or the mentally retarded. ‘Instead of taking eighteen
months to get to Sydney you’d be there in eighteen hours!’”
Subtitled ‘Back Door to Beijing – by Bicycle’, this is an exceptional book about an exceptional journey.. In describing a parallel inner journey that investigates the nature of being, ‘Why Don’t You Fly?’ has transcended divides of gender, age, class and education to entrance even those readers without any previous interest in cycling or foreign travel because this is much more than a travelogue or a book about a bicycle ride; ‘Why Don’t You Fly?’ is a book about the human condition.
Smith’s smart, honest prose is crafted superbly and
peppered with wonderful moments of drama, dialogue and real humanity. (Asia
and Away Magazine)
"Mad dogs and Englishmen......"
"Karl Marx and Careful Driving "
Chris has begun work on a second book
Click here for details
Published by Penn Press www.penpress.net
Find synopses of all 23 chapters with pictures of the journey
See maps of the route with additional pictures