Excerpts from Neil Peart's Privately Published Books Now Available

The African Drum - Neil PeartRaindance over the Rockies - Neil PeartDuring the 1980's, a full decade before he released his first novel, The Masked Rider, Neil Peart authored and privately published five other books/travelogues, many of which dealt with his cycling adventures across the globe.

Each book was reportedly produced in very limited quantities, and only gifted to friends and family. As such, these books have rarely seen the light of day beyond Neil's inner circle. Fortunately, I've come across several of these books thanks to sheer luck (and the help of fellow Rush fans). As such, I've transcribed excerpts from some of Neil's early works including, most recently, his 1988 book Raindance Over the Rockies: Across the Rocky Mountains by Bicycle.

From the excerpt:
The hours and miles went by smoothly on the flat highway, spokes shining in the sun as we followed the course of the Bow River, aquamarine and foaming white as it tumbled over its rocky bed. Heavy evergreen forest lined the banks, and the air carried the scent of moving water and sun-baked pine needles. The river looked so inviting that I parked my bicycle against a signpost and climbed over the worn rocks to splash my face, arms, and legs in it, washing away the dried sweat in the cold water.

I had thought to linger there and wait for some of the others, but as I stood beside the road, drying in the sun, I found myself surrounded by hordes of small black flies, circling and landing all over me. They were unshakable; if I moved away they moved with me, a tornado of insects, and soon I was riding away again to escape them.

Even then, whenever I had to climb uphill, I slowed down enough for these ubiquitous pests to encircle me once more, and I thought how terrible it would be to have a flat tire here, to have to stop and fix it amid an orbiting cloud of flies. And again I thought about the Indians, and the white explorers.

The mountains gradually loomed nearer, still a wall of battlements stretching from north to south. The coniferous trees on their sides became visible as countless dark triangles, like daubs of green oil paint. The individual peaks and ridges stood out now in smoky shades of blue, gray and purple, and above the treeline rose the sharp, barren summits, light gray and streaked with snow.
Below are links to each of Neil's early books:
  • Riding the Golden Lion, 1985. 7 page excerpt.
  • The Orient Express, 1987/88. No excerpt available.
  • Pedals Over The Pyrenees (or Spain And Spokes And Trains), 1988. 4-chapter excerpt.
  • Raindance Over the Rockies: Across the Rocky Mountains by Bicycle, 1988. 5-chapter excerpt.
  • The African Drum, 1988. Part I (13 chapter) excerpt.
  • Enjoy this rare glimpse into Neil's adventures.

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