4 out of 4 stars
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I've been an active sports player since high school. Looking back, I realize my tightest circle of buddies includes mostly those field hockey teammates from my high school and college years. The same case applies to ‘Diesel’ Dave Galloway—the author of Being Seyboro—except for the fact that his sport is cycling, and he’s been doing it now for over thirty-five years! His story is significant because it highlights how, sometimes, we lose our dream or talent in the process of growing up. Even so, in Galloway’s case, he was lucky to have regained the talent he had nurtured as a child and, later, as a teenager.
While in basic boot camp training with the U.S. Airforce, Galloway learned that smokers were partly excused from the requirement of standing rigidly at attention. This demand forced him to start smoking. Nevertheless, with his family’s help, he was able to quit smoking ten years later. Soon, he noticed that quitting smoking made him gain weight. At first, to lose some pounds, he resorted to running, but that didn’t work for him. Then, one day as he was flipping through the channels at home in Goldsboro, NC, he came across a televised episode of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic bicycle race. And just like that, out of the interest the game had elicited in him, Galloway rediscovered a passion that had lain inert in him since his teenage years.
I enjoyed reading about the health benefits cycling offered to Galloway and members of his club, Seyboro Cyclists Club. While I have never been an avid biker, in university, I spent more time on a stationary bike than on the field playing hockey. Therefore, aware that cycling habitually helped people lower their body’s fat levels, I could relate to Galloway’s assertion that the sport helped in cutting his weight drastically, unlike any other sport he’d tried before. Nevertheless, the most surprising health benefit I discovered was related to the game’s ability to keep senior citizens in shape (one of the active club members, George Howell, is currently eighty-four years old). Moreover, for these group of cyclists, it was amusing to note that the club had established a special subgrouping for them styled as “SloBros.”
The author’s comic tone was best captured in some passages that were headlined as “A Seyboro Memory.” A personal favorite involved two friends—Frank and Randy—that were also fierce competitors. They both signed up for a biking challenge known as the Assault on Mount Mitchell. Through trickery, however, Frank had Randy eat a couple of Big Macs during their race. Sadly, because of not keeping his wits about him, Randy couldn’t finish the race as he later developed stomach trouble. It, thus, appeared like Randy had “assaulted” some Big Macs rather than the real thing!
In summary, I didn’t find anything to dislike in this book. The number of editing errors was also on the lower end. I, thus, rate the memoir 4 out of 4 stars. Some of the values exemplified in this book include teamwork, friendship, perseverance, and humility. I recommend it to anyone looking for something more out of life. At the same time, it may be less suited to those with a closed mind.
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