Take A Seat

“Take A Seat,” by Dominic Gill
In June 2006, Dominic Gill pedaled south from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, on a tandem bicycle loaded with video equipment and everything he needed to survive, but an empty seat on the back of the bike. He planned to bicycle the longest land route in the world, to the southernmost city in Argentina, picking up riding partners along the way. Gill’s movie documenting the trip, “Take A Seat,” won a special jury award at the Banff Film Festival. His book of the same title is good for those of us who want to spend a few more hours living the journey with him. The book’s strength lies in the adventure itself, with the built-in what-will-happen-next literary tension, rather than Gill’s storytelling — the book is linear, start-to-finish narrative, never straying too far from the daily struggles of an 18,000-mile bike tour with 240 companions, in 15 countries. And it doesn’t have to be. You’ll shake your head with incredulity at Gill’s good luck, getting a spare part just in time, or being offered shelter when a night in a tent might be dangerous, or just dangerously cold. Gill has penned an adventure book about an enormous, singular adventure with a colorful cast of hundreds, and it may leave you thinking about taking on a similar adventure yourself.