Neil Peart cycles his way through West Africa and brings us along with him, dysentery and all. The Masked Rider details his physical and spiritual journey, through photographs, journal entries, and tales of adventure. Peart's "masks" are the masks that we wear--culture, psychology, labels, expectations--and his book reveals how traveling in a very foreign land allows us to peer behind them.
From the Back Cover
"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."
So begins the text of Neil Peart's extraordinary journal about riding a bicycle on the roads and off the beaten track in West Africa. The Masked Rider is about the bike trek and the people who travel along with the author, including literary sidekicks Aristotle and Vincent Van Gogh. Sometimes it's a story of a tour of hell--Dante on a bicycle--as he suffered the pains of dysentery and stares down the muzzle of a drunk soldier's machine gun. Other times it's a journey of exalted discovery and African adventure of the highest calibre.