Review of The Limey Project by Felix Lowe, Eurosport cycling writer and author of Climbs and Punishment
How to describe The Limey Project? For starters, it's a coming-of-age pedal-powered road-trip travelogue like no other – Dumb and Dumber meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with two deliciously amateurish bike-packing ingénus at the helm, on a baptism of fire on a rain-soaked Route 101.
Long before Trump's presidency and Borat's equally implausible cultural learnings, two bumbling Brits – the eponymous Limeys of said preposterous Project – channel their inner Louis Theroux, not so much for a weird weekend but a fabulously fruity five-month screwball cycling adventure. With next to no experience in the saddle, "Bone" and "Killer" – our misleadingly monikered protagonists who hardly know their panniers from their pedals – attempt to ride down the West Coast of America from Seattle to San Diego. Here, instead of thanking their lucky stars and consigning their steeds to the scrapheap, they hook a left and – before you can say 'cold turkey in Albuquerque' – decide to keep turning their increasingly toned legs all the way to the Atlantic, riding gingerly into the heart of the Deep South before mercifully calling it a day in Miami.
It's as if plumier and pluckier versions of Marwood and his pal Withnail decided to go on detox by cycling, quite ludicrously, across a continent twice, powered only by energy gels, constant enthusiasm, and a noxious concoction christened "choodle" – not to forget nuggets of sagacity from an imaginary bear called Brian. Along the way, they come across their fair share of Uncle Montys and kooky companions – with a motley crew of bizarre beings raising their often very ugly (yet sometimes friendly and endearingly kind) faces in an array of madcap scenarios that will make you laugh, wince and cry.
Gaining inspiration from The Goonies, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Baywatch and a bike-packing demi-god by the name of Tom Kirkendall (an early object of their aberrant infatuation), our dastardly duo slowly gain in confidence and cycling competency as they revel in the delights of the Pacific coast – before coming tumbling down to earth in the vehicular hell of Hollywood. All this before a combination of desert and mountains pushes them to their limit and forces some difficult decisions which even Brian can't make for them.
Adam 'Bone' Stones has a marvellous way with words and keeps up a zippy pace diametrically opposed to his and his ailing companion's trundling momentum in the saddle. The reader delights in discovering the myriad pearls, pitfalls, and peculiarities of America through the impressionable eyes of the highly likable and unflaggingly eager Stones, whose vivid metaphors, good humour, and rip-roaring prose brings the journey alive. It's almost as if you're there, strapped to his poor excuse of a bike, along with the countless other unnecessary objects crammed into his panniers – including binoculars and a book he never reads...
The Limey Project is an oddball cycling odyssey I can get on board with but not get bored with. Fans of Tim 'French Revolutions' Moore, Simon Reeve and David Farrier's Dark Tourist will love it. In the inimitable words of the mulletted drifter Dedric, one of the many pieces of pedalling flotsam that washes up alongside our heroes as they calamitously camp their way around the USA, I can guaran-frickin-fuckin-tee it.
Find out more about The Limey Project here