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Reviews Leon McCarron’s ‘The Road Headed West’ – book review

Leon McCarron’s ‘The Road Headed West’ – book review

An amusing and heartwarming tale from a fine young writer

We all dream of fleeing the relentless government-funded boiler calls and the Saturday morning Asda runs for a life-changing adventure, right?

Desk-bound 23-year-old Leon McCarron sure did, but put a plan into action by embarking on a five-month, 6,000-mile adventure across America on a bike called Lola.

The Road Headed West details his experience, featuring gun-toting Iowan farmers, tornadoes and some Michigan roads that make cycling in central London feel like a breeze.

Thankfully, Northern Ireland’s McCarron is great company, amusing and wise beyond his years (yet still retaining the wide-eyed nature of youth), with his recounting of a monster truck derby a highlight.

While his endurance sport capabilities may pale in comparison to Race Across America (RAAM) riders, what emerges is a love letter to the joys of travelling by bicycle instead of a car, providing plenty of escapist fun for the reader, even if their cycling adventure dreams remain exactly that.

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Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.