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We hope everyone had a good holiday season. We have been laying low in Yuma, Arizona in a borrowed RV (caravan for my overseas buddies). Joe and Fay have been following our web site off and on for several years and saw that we were coming through the desert Southwest. The RV they had lived in for 15 years is parked behind their house and they offered it to us for an extended stay. Such generosity never seizes to amaze me, yet we have seen it repeatedly on our trip. From Craig in New Zealand, Jerry in Australia, David in Malaysia, and Lucho in Peru just to name the longer stays I can think of at this early hour. And now we have Joe and Fay in Arizona to thank for giving two tired travelers a place to stop for a couple months and get some computer work done. I do not know how to thank people like this enough but I will say it again, thank you all.
We have ordered more books from our warehouse and will continue to sign and ship books from Yuma until early March. Thanks to all who have taken advantage of this offer. We love signing the books and thinking about all the places they are going. About a third of our books are going out of the USA with many going to non English speaking countries. Well, it is probably more accurate to say English is not their first language and often it is their second or third. Achieving an international audience is a great honor for us.
This sale has been more successful than expected and was just the thing we needed because we had to buy computers, replace worn out drive trains on our bikes and see a doctor for checkups. Health care is incredibly expensive in the USA so it is a good thing we are near the Mexican border where it is cheaper. Such is life on the road.
This spring we will start heading North and can not carry books with us on the bikes. The sale of our books will have to end and we will switch back to the more expensive online fulfillment system.
The book sale can be found at
Taking time off the road, like we are doing here in Yuma, is one of our secrets to traveling for this many years. We have taken a 2 - 3 month break about every 18 months since we have started in 2002. This seems to be our schedule to avoid burnout, usually we are working on the next book during our breaks but not this time. We have been tying up a lot of loose ends with our web site and gear. In a few more weeks I will make announcements about several new equipment pages and an entire new finance section.
I have shot daily videos since the very first day of our tour and have about 30 hours stored on tape so a movie project seems inevitable in the future. During this down time I have been communicating with a couple video post production firms about putting together a feature length DVD documentary about our travels. I am almost ready to hire one of them to take my raw video tapes and compile them into a professional package we could theoretically sell from DownTheRoad.org. As always, the problem is capital. It would be risky to finance such a project with our credit card and hope for a return on our investment during such a bad recession. This project may have to wait until the economy picks up.
It is good to be in our home state of Arizona where we have so many good friends. If I had to be confined to one state, province, or small country for the rest of my life I would still pick Arizona. It has it all. Where else can you cross country or down hill ski in winter and be an hour away (by car) from the desert where it is 65F and sunny.
We retrieved our road bikes from storage in Prescott and have been riding with the local club www.FootHillsBicycleClub.org. Switching bikes these past few weeks has been a breath of fresh air. My overloaded touring bike is like pedaling a dump truck full of dirt and my sleek road bike feels like an Italian sports car. It is mostly flat in this part of Arizona and we are riding in a road pack of about 25 club riders. It reminds me of being 12 again and riding with the bike clubs in Indiana. The distances we can cover on road bikes riding in the bunch are astronomical compared to what we can do going from campsite to campsite on our loaded touring rigs. When we leave in the spring we will ship our road bikes to my sister in Indiana and ride them this fall before taking off to travel in a new location.
Our book has been reviewed a few places that I have been meaning to mention for a while now.
The Bicycle Exchange web site is a wealth of cycling information and entertainment. I have been a fan of the webmaster Jim Joyce's multi author book called "The Bicycle Book" since we received a copy in Alaska and carried it for inspiration all the way to Arizona. Gianna Bellofatto Reid, a contributor to The Bicycle Exchange and book wrote a review of our first book in an article called Endless Discovery
Biking Biz: Bicycle Touring and More is a blog that I have been following for a while to keep up with everything from European road racing to long distance touring. Gene Bisbee has posted a review for both of our books. The Road That Has no End is reviewed in his first post titled Tim and Cindie Travis's bicycling adventures have no end, fortunately
The review of our second book is titled Another bicycling adventure with Tim and Cindie Travis
That should about do it for now. Tim Travis
Previous letters can be found at http://www.downtheroad.org/LETTERS.htm
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Tips & Advice
I have used several brands of bicycle panniers and
highly recommend Ortlieb.
See Why I switched to Ortlieb waterproof Panniers?
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