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Overlander: Coast to Coast on a bike with Alan Brown

Thursday, Mar 28 2019
19:00 - 21:30
Alan Brown
location: The Bike Station, 250 Causewayside, EH9 1UU

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“Sensitive, personal and culturally informed…an eloquent reminder of the wonderful country we live in…Time to get on my bike” Andy Wightman MSP

We’re thrilled to collaborate with Edinburgh’s Bike Station for a very sepcial bike book book launch: Come celebrate Alan Brown’s cycling memoir Overlander, a fusion of essay with travel and nature writing in the tradition of Lesley Riddoch and Kathleen Jamie.

Seeking a temporary escape from city life and a mad modern world, Alan Brown plotted out a personal challenge: an epic coast-to-coast trip through the wild and lonely interior of the Highlands.

He traversed paths historic and new, eschewing creature comforts and high-tech cycle gear, trusting his (mostly) serviceable mongrel bike. Armed with the essentials and a sense of adventure and curiosity, he discovered more about nature, history, people, his country, the concept of risk, and himself, than he ever thought possible.

Alan traced a route from Argyllshire’s Loch Etive across remote Rannoch Moor, the beautiful glens of Perthshire and dramatic Grampian terrain to reach the Moray Firth at Findhorn. Ready for all weathers and obstacles, he succumbed to the hypnotic daily routine of ride, eat, sleep, repeat.

Overlander is the stunning account of it all, where he savours the landscapes, the wildlife and the solitude, and offers insights into self-reliance and self discovery.

In the words of Lesley Riddoch, Overlander “cheerfully debunks much of the off-putting preciousness of the hardcore cycling fraternity to return cross country cycling to what it should be.” It’s a brilliant adventure, and a brilliant, timely book - join us in celebrating its arrival in the world!

Doors at 7pm for 7.30pm event kick off, and to round things off we’ll have music from the brilliant Ewan Maclean.


Alan was born and brought up in Aberdeen, and studied environmental and then physical chemistry in Edinburgh, before working as a research chemist here and in France for a few years where he also worked as a translator, developing a lifelong passion for the country’s language, culture and literature. Having initially sought refuge from the instabilities of academic life in Edinburgh’s financial and cultural institutions he then became a freelance programmer, analyst and change manager before giving in to the urge to write.

The place of bicycles in a mentally and physically healthy life and in the circular economy of liveable cities is another enduring passion, and Overlander, his first published work, is in part an attempt to express the deep joy that can come from cycling an ordinary bike over any terrain, but especially through our hills and forests.

Ewen is an arranger and composer who has led many bands in Scotland including Felicidade and the Latin Quarter Five, and most recently his quinet algorhythmical to critical acclaim. He also has played in numerous groups around Scotland including Goat Stew, Alexander & Maclean and Orchestra Dynamita. He has a passion for latin music, having lived and played in Brazil and Mexico. He continues to collaborate with a wide variety of Scottish jazz and folk musicians.


**The Bike Station is a wheelchair accessible venue, although the toilets are too narrow for most wheelchairs. The event will be seated, with speakers using microphones. **

**As always we have 15 free tickets availble for this event, intended to make the evening accesible to those who are unwaged/ on benefits/ might not otherwise be able to attend - If you can afford a £3 ticket please book one as this supports the bookshop and allows us to save free places for those who can’t, thanks! **

**You can also buy your tickets in the shop & save yourself the eventbrite booking fee :P **


Book places here.