This book really disappointed me. I was hoping for an account of what riding a bicycle across Asia would be like around the end of the 19th century. What I got was more of a social studies read. The story is loosely jointed with rambling descriptions of side trips, dignitaries, and mobs of locals. We hear very little about the bicycles they rode. The theme of how amazed the locals would be when they came into each new place is repeated endlessly. I wanted to know how the bicycles performed, how they were maintained, how they dealt with weather. If you want to read a rather prismatic view of emerging cultures, this is for you. If you want to read about a bicycle adventure, skip it. After all the author says they only chose bicycles out of convenience. No passion here.