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

An amusing and heartwarming tale from a fine young writer

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

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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