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Biography & Autobiography / Adventurers & Explorers > Hell of a Ride

A Canadian Author Canadian Read

Hell of a Ride: Chasing Home and Survival on a Bicycle Voyage Across Canada

By Martin Bauman

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Publish Date

February 21, 2024




Martin Bauman was twenty-three and restless when he embarked on a solo bicycle trek across Canada. It was a ride that came in the wake of his father's sudden depression, his cousin's suicide, and the stirring up of his own childhood of buried memories. He had billed the 7,000-kilometre journey as a mission to encourage people—men, especiall—to talk about depression. It was ironic that he was so reluctant to talk about his own.

In Hell of a Ride, Bauman—named one of Canada's "emergent" authors by the RBC Taylor Prize in 2020—brings his sharp reporting instincts and lyrical prose to explore a timely question: how much of the past do we carry with us? And how much of our fate is ours to choose?

A spiritual successor to the bicycle-bound escapades of Kate Harris's Lands of Lost Borders, with an emotional candour reminiscent of Antonio Michael Downing's Saga Boy and Greg Gilhooly's I Am Nobody, Bauman's Hell of a Ride takes its readers on a journey from the rain-slicked streets of Vancouver, British Columbia, to the hills of St. John's, Newfoundland, through encounters with couch-surfing swingers, pot-smoking Maritimers, runaway army veterans, prairie farmers, steely-eyed birdwatchers, and Kiwi empty-nesters. Along the way, Bauman interrogates the past through reflections on home, family secrets, and belonging: How to feel at home in a place one always itches to leave? And if one is always on the move, how to find a home at all?

Heartfelt and uplifting, Hell of a Ride is a coming-of-age tale of a son's search to connect with his father and also come to terms with his own past. It is a clarion call for deep community, an ode to forgivenes—of oneself and others—and a love letter to the call of adventure.

ISBN: 9781990770470
Format: Paperback
Pages: 228
Publisher: Pottersfield Press
Published: February 21, 2024