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Wayne Tefs is the Dead Man on a Bike in his posthumous follow-up memoir to Roller Coaster: A Cancer Journey. Diagnosed with a rare cancer in 1994, Tefs spent the next 20 years raising a family, writing acclaimed works of fictions, battling cancer, and cycling. Always cycling.
Brutally visceral in his approach, Tefs explains: “This book is about the wound, about how cancer sticks a knife in your side and says, There, do what you can. What are the options? You can fall over dead; whinge out your days; leave the knife to fester; yank it out and splash blood around; pretend the knife is not there; anaesthetize it; use it to wound others; rage. Attempt to ride it away on a bicycle.”
And ride he does. Tefs cycles along the highways and byways of the Manitoba prairie; steep and arid Catalina Foothills; and lush, rolling French countryside. While he rides, he unflinchingly examines his sense of Self, uncovering bright flares of insight, earthy humour, deep-seated fears of mortality, and Zen-like moments when the Self falls away and all that remains is peace.
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