The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions,
and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world.
My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell
books about touring
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Places I have been
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India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present
/ Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010
Sept 2007 to May 2008
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007
SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006
June 2003 to June 2004
AZ, Mexico, and
March 2002 to April 2003
How I started
The 5 years before I left
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Equipment Pages Index
How Much to Bring and Weight
Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
more about Sponsorship)
HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames
Steel Repair Myth.
and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs
Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets
How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground
Pots and Pans
Solar Power for Camp
Bike Touring Shorts
Bicycle touring lights
Pictures of Equipment Failures
all 3 book)
Travel Journal for
The State of Arizona, USA
Prescott to Douglas, Arizona
(March 30 - May 12, 2002)
||Prescott - Yarnell The road was steep in places and a nice down hill in
others. Tim got the first flat tire, 30 miles from Prescott.
(More on the First Day)
||Yarnell - Lake Pleasant We began the day with a nice 5-mile down hill
ride from Yarnell to Congress, the road was hilly into Wickenburg. After lunch in
Wickenburg we headed for Lake Pleasant. It was a hot and tiring day.
||Lake Pleasant - Phoenix The high today was around 95 degrees so we waited
until 3:00 in the afternoon to start riding. We got to Doug's house around 6:30 PM.
||Phoenix - Lost Dutchman State Park We started early today and finished
late. The high was 96 degrees. Too hot to ride for long periods of time. I was
definitely looking forward to a rest day.
||REST DAY Lost Dutchmen State Park
||REST DAY Lost Dutchmen State Park
||Lost Dutchman State Park - Somewhere past Florence. Stopped in
Florence to get out of the midday sun. Slept at a road side table. My mother
taught me never to do this, but it turned out to be a comfortable place to sleep.
||Somewhere past Florence - Tucson. We had our first rain today it
lasted about a minute and barely wetted the ground. We are in the desert with
lots for saguaro, Palo Verde, creosote, cholla, and prickly pear cactus. The wind
kicked up about 9:30 am and got stronger as the day went on. We were rolling along
at a blistering 4 mph into a gusty headwind. We got to Oracle Junction at about noon
and waited until 2:30 to get rolling again. The gusts just about knocked me off the
bike twice so we pulled over again. Later that day we heard that there was a 26 car
pile up in a dust storm not far from where we were riding. Had Madonna's delightful
chicken for dinner.
||REST DAY Tucson. Stayed at Madonna Forcier's house. Madonna
has a lovely house located 8 blocks from the University of Arizona. Had dinner with
Yiannis and Eleni.
||REST DAY Tucson. Interview with Joe Garcia with the Tucson Citizen.
Had dinner with Richard Forcier.
||REST DAY Tucson. More errands to drive me crazy. Had to pay
the tax man.
||Tucson to Green Valley. Met Jerome who worked at Ajo Bikes, he
showed us through town. Stopped at San Xavier Mission. Got to Green Valley at
2:30 PM, hot and slightly humid. Got our Hepatitis B shot. Met Erbyn (sounds
like Irvin) Stanhope at the clinic. Stayed the night with Erbyn and his wife
Jean. They moved to Green Valley from Iowa. Erbyn served on a destroyer in the
Mediterranean during World War II. He was heavily involved in the Italian campaign
including Anzio. His stories conjured up visions of a large fast ship speeding
through the waves while hunting German submarines with depth charges. Thank you
Erbyn for serving our country.
||Green Valley to Deering Spring (Forest Road 62). We rode our first
dirt road today and went from 2,800 ft. to 5,000 ft. Much cooler today. The
dirt road was washboard and steep in places. We were loaded to the hilt with
water. I didn't think I could peddle a bike at 2.5 mph. It was all about
11 mi. dirt
||Deering Spring to Bivouac Camp in Coronado National Forest along 83,
South of Sonoita. Our best riding day yet. Our dirt road turned to pavement
about 2 miles from our camp. The ride to Sonoita. was quick and through rolling
hills. Sonoita. had everything we needed including a restaurant, store (including an
electrical outlet and water spiket), post office and bank. The miles melted away
from Sonoita. to our camp in the Coronado National Forest.
2 mi. dirt
||Bivouac Camp in Coronado National Forest to Parker Canyon Lake. The
pavement turned to dirt again and it was slow going. Went looking for a camp on the
deserted section of the lake and found a family waiting out the noon day sun. They
were traveling north from Mexico. They had a 1 year old baby in tow. Times
must be rough in Mexico. I wonder how many other Mexicans pass by this lake because
it is an obvious permanent water source. Tim spoke with the leader of the group and
found out that they were from Chihuahua and looking for work. Can't blame a man for
trying to give his family a better life.
9 mi. dirt
||REST DAY Parker Canyon Lake. Watched birds of prey dive into the
lake and snatch fish from the water. Amazing. Cindie fixed a slow leak on her front
||Parker Canyon Lake to Nicksville. Started out the day with an
uphill climb from the lake and the dirt road was knarley from there. Then the real
monster climb started toward the pass at Coronado Monument (see photos), it was my first
mental test on the bike, I knew if I put my foot down I wouldn't get started again.
Luckily I made it to the top, hot but happy. The rest of the ride was a nice down
hill and a honking tail wind.
18 mi. dirt
||Nicksville to Sierra Vista - Flat, Flat, Flat, and a nice bike path to
||REST DAY Sierra Vista. Tim fixed yet another flat. I think we
need to stay off the dirt roads.
||Sierra Vista to just past Tombstone- Really nice riding, spent time at
Buckow Cabin where a minimum of 17 murders occurred, now it is just adobe and mine ruins.
Tombstone was to touristy for me but we stopped in the Epitaph (Every Tombstone needs an
Epitaph) the clerk gave us some remakes of some western stories printed in the heyday of
Tombstone. Excellent reading! (More on
Tombstone, AZ) Headed out towards Gleeson (Ghost Town) on a dirt road. I am sure
that miners used this road to go back and forth to Tombstone.
3 miles dirt.
||just past Tombstone to the Chiricahua National Monument - Stopped in
Gleeson and took pictures of the cemetery and some of the dilapidated buildings including
the old hospital (see photos on Ghost Town page). We rode north up Sulfur Springs
Valley and then east towards the monument. We got to the front gate at 5:15 PM and
the Park Official said that the camp ground was full and we could camp in the National
Forest 6 miles away, it should take you about 20 minutes to get there. Obviously she
thought I had an engine hidden some where. OH by the way, it was up hill 1,000 feet and on
a dirt road. I was exhausted and asked if we could camp in the day use area.
She said no, and I was not to happy so Tim took over the conversation. He
asked her to fill up the 2.5 gallon water bag we had. She said that she couldn't,
but we could fill up about 1/2 mile in and we better be back in 20 minutes. There
was the ticket. We got our water alright. Needless to say it was the first time that
I hid from a Park Official. Of course, Tim was all smiles, he had done this before.
So off to sleep we went and in the morning got legal and a nice camp site to boot.
12 miles dirt.
||REST DAY Chiricahua National Monument - Did the Faraway Cabin Tour.
This area was homesteaded just after Geronimo surrendered in 1886.
||HIKE Chiricahua National Monument - First Hike, a beauty. We hiked
down Echo Canyon trail to Hail Stone trail, Heart of Rocks trail and lower Rhyolite trail.
I highly recommend this hike, bring plenty of food and water and don't forget your
||Chiricahua National Monument to Pinery Canyon Camp Ground. We did
the dreaded climb to the campground our elevation change was from 5200 feet to 7000 feet.
The road was washboard and the bottom near private property but once we got into
the Coronado Forest the road surface was much more manageable. The campground was
one of our best campsites yet. We had firewood and could legally have a fire and we
found a spring with water so we got to have a hot shower too. As opposed to our $12
campsite in the monument we didn't have to pay for this one.
||13 miles dirt.
||Pinery Canyon Camp Ground to Idlewilde Camp Ground. We finished the
dreaded climb over Onion Saddle at 7600 feet. I always forget that going down is not
any easier the going up. The road was much rougher on the down side. We hit
pavement about 5 miles out of Portal and sailed into town. We stopped for a
much needed lunch and headed to the campground from there. Went to sleep exhausted.
10 miles dirt.
||REST DAY Portal, Arizona. Portal, Arizona is one of those pleasant
surprises you find on the road. Cave Creek Canyon rivals Oak Creek Canyon in many
was. The plant diversity is incredible. This area is known as a sky island.
The Sonoran Desert is to the west and the Chihuahuan Desert is to the east.
This area is also a mix of the ponderosa forest of the Rocky Mountains and the Chihuahuan
forest of the Sierra Madres. The plant life includes ponderosa pine, chihuahuan
pine, apache pine, Arizona sycamore, Arizona oak, yucca, mesquite. All within 100
feet of cave creek. But what Portal is most famous for is it's birding. It is
one of the world renown spots for birding. The most famous bird in the area is a
trogon. Wouldn't you know it that Tim saw one as we came in but didn't know what he
was looking at. The trogon looks more like a type of parrot and this is the farthest
north it migrates.
||REST DAY Portal, Arizona. Retrieved the rest of our boxes from
Prescott today. It is amazing what we threw in those boxes at the last minute.
We have enough food for a month. I think we were going through separation
anxiety. Thanks Bill, Chris, Andrew and Scot for all you assistance with our
||Rode to town
||REST DAY Portal, Arizona. I think we will go birding today.
||REST DAY Portal, Arizona. Discovered that the tent zipper didn't
work anymore. Maybe a cleaning will help.
||REST DAY Portal, Arizona. Went birding with Frank and Robin today.
Expert birders. Robin knew every bird song. To name a few we saw a Red
Start (picture), oriels, blue throated, black chinned, and magnificent hummingbirds,
greater pewees, and yellow rumps. At night we went owling and saw and elf owl.
Tim nicknamed it a GI Joe owl because it was only 4 inches tall. Saw a gray
Cleaned the tent and still it doesn't work.
A skunk managed to find our oatmeal at about 3:00 am. It had a heyday getting
into the bag because it was double bagged. Oatmeal was everywhere.
|Rode to town
||REST DAY Portal, Arizona. Talked with Sierra Designs today.
Tim told them our story and they are sending us a brand new tent with metal zippers and
two doors as opposed to one. The tent will be here sometime next week. So I
guess it is time to go backpacking.
A ring-tailed cat came to camp tonight. Tim
thought it was the skunk again and it turned out to be a ringtail. Their tail is
about three feet long with multiple rings. They are in the raccoon family as opposed
to the cat family. Tim said it looked like a big mouse.
|Rode to town
||REST DAY Portal, Arizona We are sending back a large box to
Indiana. Time to lighten the load.
||Packed for the Backpack Trip. Had to say good-by to Robin and
Frank. Good-byes are always hard but I think that we will see these two in Costa
Rica. Met Dave Utterback, he is storing our bikes in Portal and he gave us a ride up
to Rustler Park, 8480 ft. Did a day hike in the area. It was a cold and windy
||Hiked to Buena Vista Peak and Camp Victoria. Still a cold and windy
||Hiked 6 mi.
||Hiked from Rustler Park 8480 ft. to Tub Springs 9000 ft.. The packs
were full, the trail steep and full of downed trees from the fire of 1994. This high
alpine meadows are green and covered with flowers in some areas and charred to a crisp in
others. It has been 8 years since the fire and things are just starting to come
back. The first trees to come back are the Aspen and some of the Douglas Fir are
about three feet tall. Seeing the aftermath of such a fire really hits home and has
renewed my respect for fire. We stopped at Tub Springs for the night and finished
the day with a day hike to Centella Point. A great side trip.
||Hiked 6.5 miles
||Hiked from Tub Springs 9000 ft. to Anita Park 9500 ft. There was a
lot of up and down and around fallen trees today, very tiring. I was glad to get to
Anita Park and stay for a couple of days. Anita Springs was near by but a good 320
feet below the park. Good clean water.
||Hiked 3.5 miles
||Hiked to Chiricahua Peak at 9796 ft. Again had to go up and over a
lot of downed trees. The trail crew should be coming through soon. Also took a
side trip to Ojo Aqua Fria Spring.
||Hiked 4.5 miles
||Hiked from Anita Park 9500 ft. to John Hands Picnic Area 5600 ft.
Going down can be as hard a going up. Luckily there wasn't as much burned
area. Tim and I were pretty tired when we got down and were thinking of camping near
the picnic area. As we were walking down the road a car came by and we flagged them
down. Peter and Cedric picked us up. Peter is a Ph.D. Ecologist from Poland
and is here at the Southwest Research Center (supported by the Museum of Natural History)
to study the Red Start bird. Cedric is his field assistant. They gave us a
ride to Portal. We landed at Dave's house and took a much needed shower. We
slept under the stars and fell off the sleep quickly
||Hiked 6.5 miles
||REST DAY - Regrouped and now are preparing for our bike tour. We
have to wait for the tent so we may be here a couple of days. We were unexpectedly
woken up in the middle of the night by first a bear going for the bird feeders and then
Dave chasing him out of the yard. The bear was tall enough to reach feeders that
were 8 feet in the air.
||REST DAY - Spent the day birding and meeting the locals of Portal, Az.
We received our tent today. Sierra Designs sent us a replacement tent
because our old tent zippers weren't working. Tim called Sierra Design and they said
that they would send us a replacement for free. They were true to their word!
They send us a wonderful tent. I just wish that it was bear proof.
||REST DAY - Spent the day around Portal. The waitress at the
restaurant asked Tim if we had moved to Portal. I guess that is our clue that we
have been hanging around too long. We did get our final package today so we are
heading down the road tomorrow.
||Portal Az. to monument to Geronimo's surrender. I started out the
day thinking that we would make it to Douglas just 65 miles away. The weather would
tell me otherwise. We began our ride down to Rodeo NM with the wind coming from the
east. Normally the wind comes from the south-southwest. As the day went on the
wind increased to 35 miles an hour. We stopped at the monument to Geronimo's
surrender for lunch, at least we had some shade and a table to sit at. The wind was
so strong that it was blowing our belongings off the table. Laura from Portal Fire
and Rescue stopped by and gave us another gallon of water. As the day went on the
wind increased so we decided to stay the night at the monument. Tim stayed up all
night concerned about illegal aliens coming through and robbing us. The Border
Patrol catches 10,000 illegals a month in the San Simon Valley alone. Then morning
came with no incident except for a very tired Tim.
||Monument to Douglas, Az. The wind blew all night so it was
impossible to get started before the wind kicked up. Tim took lead for most of the
day while I tucked in behind him and still it was like riding up hill. We stopped
for lunch and a rancher came by and gave us a coke. Then border patrol stopped and
asked if we wanted a ride into town. Later on I wished we had taken that ride.
The scenery was wonderful and as I looked south I could see the Sierra Madre loom in the
distance. We were very relieved to reach Douglas and went to sleep early.
||REST DAY - Douglas, Az. Went to Wal-Mart and got our last supplies for
going into Mexico. Ran into Kim and her husband from Portal, and we traded stories
about Mexico. Made phone calls to home and prepared for the border crossing for the
rest of the day.
The final goodbye at the Prescott Courthouse
We made - our first camp just outside Yarnell on BLM land
Tim working on the web site at Lake Pleasant
Camping at a road side rest area about 10 miles south of Florence Arizona. Notice
the unreadable sign that says no camping and the "his and hers" picnic tables
that we used as our beds for the night
Our Camp at the Lost Dutchman State Park
Cindie (at the bottom) Looking up at a Saguaro that many birds lived in.
Tim on the pass looking down into the Coronado National Monument.
North and Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03
(July 18 - Aug 22, 2002)
The State of
Guanajuato to Toluca, Mexico
Other essays by Tim
Into the Mist State
of Michoacan, Mexico
Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Michoacan,
Full size Picture
- Guanajuato to
Penjamillo to Patzcuaro, Mexico
Patzcuaro to Cuidad Hidalgo, Michoacan,
Into the Mist Mexican highway 15
Cuidad Hidalgo, Michoacan, to Toluca, Mexico
The Velodrome in Toluca, Mexico
(Oct. 12 - Nov. 8, 2002)
The States of Tabasco and Chiapas,
Villahermosa, Tabasco to Cuauhtemoc Chiapas, Mexico
Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Tabasco and
Chiapas, Mexico Pictures
Full size Picture
- Museum La Venta and the
Olmec Heads Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
Villahermosa, Tabasco to Ocosingo,
Palenque #1 Photo Picture Page
Palenque #2 Photo Picture Page
Misol-Ha Waterfall Chiapas, Mexico
Agua Azul Chiapas, Mexico
Tonina Mayan Ruins Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico
Mexico's Day of the Dead Ocosingo, Chiapas,
Ocosingo to Cuauhtemoc Chiapas, Mexico
(March 15 - April 10, 2003)
Costa Rica #2
Manual Antonio to Monteverde
Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
Tim's Emailed Newsletters
Costa Rica #2 (incomplete)
Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Costa Rica #2 Pictures
Full size Picture
Parque National Manuel Antonio, #2
City of Santa Elena
Santa Elena, Monteverde
Frog Pond (Ranario), Santa
Santa Elena, Cloud
Forest, National Park
Sky Walk, Suspension
Bridge, Canopy Tour
Sky Trek Zip Line,
Tips & Advice
Tools and Spares
Pots and Pans
Preventing Flat Tires
Bike Touring Shorts
Have Learned On The Road
Injustice of Poverty
Much MORE Gear Here!
Cycle Touring Racks
Tents and ground