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Ghost Trails by Jill Homer

Ghost Trails

by Jill Homer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
304585,641 (3.43)3
Most sports become inspirational when extraordinary people excel at ordinary things. In ultra-endurance racing, ordinary people must excel at extraordinary things. "Ghost Trails" is the true story of an ordinary person - timid, nonathletic, raised in the suburbs of Salt Lake City - and her unlikely route to one of the most difficult bicycle races in the world, a 350-mile epic along Alaska's frozen Iditarod trail. Through her struggles and intimate confrontations with her fears and weaknesses, she discovers the surprising destination of her life's trails.… (more)



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Review first published on my blog: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2011/12/ghost-trails.html

Ghost Trails is a story of a journey - physical and emotional. Jill Homer is an ultra-cyclist, participating in extreme bicycle race events. This book is the story of Jill Homer's journey on a 350 mile race along the Alaskan Iditarod Trail. Yes, a 350 mile bicycle race across the frozen Alaskan wilderness! This book is also the story of how she came to that sport and that race.

I have not followed her blog. Nor am I familiar with the world of ultra-athletes. The courage these athletes show and the challenges they choose to face are absolutely amazing. I do not completely understand it and have no intention of following in her footsteps, but it is an inspirational feat to witness. I commend her commitment to the sport. I commend her ability to pull a reader into an experience that most of us could never imagine.

The first book I read by Ms. Homer was titled Be Brave, Be Strong: Journey Across the Great Divide. That book chronicles her participation in a almost 2,800 mile race along the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. It completely immerses the reader in the experience of the race. This book unfortunately fails to do so. The chapters of this book alternate between the race and descriptions of past events that led to her becoming a cyclist. Each is individually interesting. However, the intensity of the race experience is broken at the end of each chapter, and that is disconcerting. I wanted to go along with her on the race and stay with that experience.

***Reviewed for LibraryThing member giveaway program*** ( )
  njmom3 | Dec 4, 2011 |
The story of an ordinary person completing the Iditarod mountain bike race, in the middle of February, along a frozen barren trail in Alaska got my attention. I had no idea such a race existed. It's considered one of the most difficult wilderness races in the world.

This is an inspirational book where the author Jill, a young woman, have to face her fears and weaknesses in the freezing cold of Alaska.

I love the outdoors, enjoy biking and grew up in the cold but the thought of biking solo through the wilderness and setting up emergency shelter for the night, in the midst of Alaska is both a bit crazy and brave.

Climbing into a sleeping bag, alone, in the middle of the night with only a tent protecting me from the frigid cold and snow; I don’t even want to imagine “what if”????

My mind keeps thinking, "what about wolves, what about moose?”. Thank god, the bears are hibernating.

This was such an intriguing story and easy read that I finished it in two days. ( )
  AnnikaBirgitta | Nov 19, 2011 |
The first few chapters I thought, "why is this girl letting the men in her life push her to do things she obviously doesn't want to do" but as the book went on I began to think that maybe Ms. Homer really did (does) want to do all these wilderness things - she just doesn't think she does. I liked the interspersing of earlier adventures with the main Iditarod race. I think Ms. Homer did a great job of capturing the mental ups and downs that many endurance athletes face. Overall I quite enjoyed the book, though my electronic copy could have used a better copy editor. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Nov 16, 2011 |
I thought this was a great book. I never even knew there was such a sport as ultra endurance cycling, especially on snow!

Jill Homer intersperses the story of her challenge to complete the Iditarod Bike Race with chapters about how and why she became a cyclist. Thoroughly entertaining, well written and compelling, this book will keep you turning pages! ( )
  Cdnwren | Nov 5, 2011 |
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