Neil Peart’s travel memoir of thoughts, observations, and experiences as he cycles through West Africa reveals the subtle, yet powerful writing style that has made him one of rock’s greatest lyricists. As he describes his extraordinary journey and his experiences — from the pains of dysentery, to a confrontation with an armed soldier, to navigating dirt roads off the beaten path — he reveals his own emotional landscape, and along the way, the different “masks” that he discovers he wears.
“Cycling is a good way to travel anywhere, but especially in Africa. You are independent and mobile, and yet travel at people speed — fast enough to travel on to another town in the cooler morning hours, but slow enough to meet people: the old farmer at the roadside who raises his hand and says, ‘You are welcome,’ the tireless women who offer a smile to a passing cyclist, the children whose laughter transcends the humblest home.”
Neil Peart was the drummer and lyricist of the legendary rock band Rush and the author of Ghost Rider, Traveling Music, Roadshow, Far and Away, Far and Near, Far and Wide, and, with Kevin J. Anderson, Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives.