Six-and-a-half years ago, I finished a year of living on a bicycle. I moved to a new city in an unfamiliar country for a new relationship and started living a new life. Though the officially “adventurous” chapter had officially ended, it never felt like the journey ever finished. It had just taken a new form.
But as the adventure morphed around me yet again — this time, taking the form of a camper ute in the empty parts of Australia — I couldn’t help looking back at the bike trip that had started it all. Something had happened out on those North and Central American backroads. I was a different person now, I was sure of it. But I wasn’t quite sure how. The only thing I knew was that it felt important and, whatever “it” was, I wanted to share it. I summoned my memories, broke out my old travel journals, fired up my ancient laptop and started figuring it out.
The result of that effort is now, at long last, finished and ready to share. The Guest: A Backroads Journey by Bicycle is available both as a paperback and as an e-reader. I could go on and on about how it feels and what it means to be sitting, years later, at the end of this journey but, instead, I’ll just invite you to read the book.
Now, while I respect those of you who prefer your Kindle (I’m a begrudging convert: they’re cheaper, lighter, don’t use paper and you can read them with the lights off), I’m going to tentatively suggest that you go for the paperback. The cover art by the equal parts talented-and-humble Eva Roethler is a dreamy, surrealist work of art. I chose a slightly larger cover size specifically to show off Eva’s work and I think it’s worth the extra money (and the wait for shipping) to have it sitting on your shelf. Just look at that thing! Even with the “not for resale” text striped across the proofing copy I’m holding in that photo above, it looks amazing.
That said, regardless of which format you choose I’ll still be humbled and incredibly happy if you choose to fork out a taqueria dinner’s worth of coin to read about me and my friends cycling and having adventures far from home.