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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 Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left


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Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel 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
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


See My Videos Here



(see all 3 book)

Our First Week Down the Road
Sunday, April 07, 2002 (Sent from Tucson Arizona)


WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  Goodbye Letter Thumbnail Photo Page for this Letter Next Letter  WB00772_.gif (451 bytes)

Hey - we made it to Tucson. It was not as hard as we (as in Tim) thought it would be.

Personally, I am still adjusting to my new life style. I think I will feel better overall once I get into a little better shape. I feel like I've been in boot camp all week. I can't understand how Tim can carry most of the weight and still be out in front. I just stay on his wheel and before I know it we are at the next town.

We will stay in Tucson for a few days and will be leaving on Tuesday April 9th. I mention this because we have a good internet connection while we are here (thanks to Tom my brother) and we will be getting email regularly until then. If you want to write now is a good time and if you have pictures or other file attachments to send this will be one of the last time we can receive them. After Tuesday we have to use a slow connection with a calling card. In other words, please only send text email after Tuesday.

Below is an excerpt from the web page. Our site has recently been updated with photos and more.

Tim and Cindie Travis

 

The first day down the road was exciting and crazy. It was March, 30, 2002. Despite all of our planning and preparations we still wound up staying up all night the evening before we were to depart. This was compounded by the fact that Cindie had just flew back from Alaska the very day we had to stay up and Tim had very little sleep the previous night because he had to get up at 4 am in order to sell the RV. Needless to say when our big day finally arrived all we wanted to do was sleep. This lack of sleep would play a mean trick on us later in the day. The problem was that we had a lot of trouble getting all of our stuff to fit on two touring bicycles. The biggest culprit was the fact that we simply bought to much food and rather than throw it away we carried it. After all, the way for us to go the furthest is not to ride faster but to spend less money. Our daily mileage dropped but so has our spending.

The send off that our local friends gave us was terrific. We were running late and we had finally resorted to just cramming in our gear into our bags and wobbling up the hill to the restaurant where we were supposed to meet everyone. When we walk up the doors flew open and we pushed our bikes inside. (this restaurant is owned by a couple who have a son that rode with us.) Once inside everyone broke out in a big round of applause. I was not sure why. We had not really done anything yet except pile more on a bicycle than anyone had ever seen before. We set the bikes against the wall. Everyone congregated around them and had a contest to see if anyone could pick up Tim's bike. Few, if any, could. We nervously ate and wondered what the day would bring. Sadly we felt like we were unable to visit with everyone. Some of our friends we had not seen in a while and it would have been nice to have a long conversation with them. We talked to as many friends as we could and saw that it was time to head to the courthouse.

At the courthouse even more people were showing up. We were a bit speechless but we soon climbed on our bikes for what seemed the first time and started down the longest road we will ever ride. A road that will take years to reach the end and bring countless good and bad times to us. No one ever said that thinking "outside the box" would ever be easy.

Once we got rolling the first true test of the feasibility of our grand plan was about to be played out. This test was whether or not we could make it over the mountain passes that separated us from the much flatter Phoenix to Tucson valley areas. We knew that if we could reach the flat land that we would not be seeing another big climb for over a week. By the next mountain climb we would have much less food and our bodies would be in better condition. The big concern was that we both had not ridden much in the past several months and we were facing this physical challenge in an untrained state. Looking back on the pictures from that day it was clear that we both had also gained a fair amount of weight. One more thing to haul over the mountain.

The bikes were packed poorly and therefore handled very badly. Everyone politely kept their distance because we both had only limited control over the heavy bikes and would veer or even swerve from side to side. I could tell that our friends, now riding up the first climb with us, were getting concerned for our safety. It was even suggested that we camp just out of town and have a feast to lighten our load.

We started out riding with about 25 of our cyclist friends but as we got further out of town they turned off to go on other rides. Some had mountain bike plans others went on a long road ride. We knew that all the paths that they were taking led back to the same place and comfortable lives. Our road led somewhere else. Someplace that we had only seen on maps and guide books. We parted with the last of our escort in Wilhoit. And then there were two. We were now going to always be strangers in town and just passing through.

At Peeples Valley Tim finally pushed his bike into the grass and laid down to rest. He quickly fell into a deep sleep. When we were getting ready to go the last few (up hill) miles to Yarnell Tim noticed that he was badly sunburned and there were GOAT HEADS on his jersey. If you are unfamiliar with goat heads they are natures imitation of those metal spike things that the police through under the bad guys car tire to puncture a hole. They tend to grow in the high desert and are feared by all cyclists. We fear them to. Sure enough when we inspected our tires Tim found one pushed in pretty hard. When he pulled it out, we heard the familiar hiss sound indicating our first flat tire just hours after we started.

We were tired from our first real athletic effort in months, the searing sun, the predictable headwinds, but now we have to pull everything off Tim's bike and try to find the necessary items in order to fix his flat.

In the end we made it to camp on BLM land just outside Yarnell for a twelve hour sleep.

WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  Goodbye Letter Thumbnail Photo Page for this Letter Next Letter  WB00772_.gif (451 bytes)

DownTheRoad.org's RoadNews Newsletter Past Newsletters Index

If you would like to be put on my email list just fill out the Email Update Sign Up form.

Newest to Oldest

Suddenly, In The Blink of An Eye - How the gap year tour was interrupted
Aug 2013 (Kalispell, Montana, USA)

Greetings from America's Great Pacific Northwest
June, 2013 (Sent From Prospect, Oregon USA)

11 Years Down The Road: Looking for my second wind
March,
2013 (Sent From , Death Valley California, USA)

A Decade Down the Road: My ten year anniversary reflections
March, 2012 (Sent From Rajasthan, India)

Notes from Bangladesh
January 2012 (Bundi, India)

Earthquake, Robbed, and All Day 18% Grades - Sikkim, India-A place to remember October, 2011 (Sent From Calcutta, India)

Darjeeling, India was Great for Monsoon Season
September 2011 (Sent From Darjeeling, India)

Up The Road to Darjeeling, India With My New Travel Partner
June 2011 (Sent From Darjeeling, India)

The Divorce of Tim and Cindie Travis: Troubling times on the road
April 2011 (Sent From Katmandu, Nepal)

Tangled Up in Blue: How I found myself on the road alone
November 2010 (Sent From Rishikesh, India)

Goodbye Mcleod Ganj, India and The 4–5 year “India and Neighbors” Bicycle Touring Plan
September 2010 (Sent From Mcleod Ganj, India)

Greetings From India
July 2010 (Sent From McLeod Ganj, India)

Our Touring Bike Sponsorship
April 2010  (Sent From Batesville, Indiana, USA)

Two one-way tickets to India and our books are now in Amazon's KINDLE!
January 2010 (Sent From Batesville, Indiana, USA)

Digging Through The Past
November 2009 (Sent From Batesville, Indiana, USA)

Greeting from the East Coat of the USA
August 2009 (Sent From Binghamton, New York, USA)

Cindie's Daily Journal Now on Twitter and Email Interview
June 2009 (Sent From Pueblo, Colorado USA)

NPR Mp3 radio interview, Newspaper coverage, and one dead computer
May 2009 (Sent From Delores, Colorado, USA)

Seven Years DownTheRoad: What has changed and what we have learned.
March 2009 (Sent From Phoenix, AZ, USA )

Back on the road and you are invited to our public appearances.
March 2009 (Sent From Ajo, AZ, USA)

A quickie before I go
Feb 2009 (Sent From Yuma, AZ, USA)

Mp3 interview download, itchy feet, and continued 50% off book sale
 February 2009 (Sent From Yuma, Arizona, USA)

Winter Break in the Arizona Desert
January 2009 (sent from Yuma, Arizona, USA)

Return to America and 50% Off Autographed Books
December 2008

Computer Crash and Selling Books at El Tour De Tucson
November 2008
(sent from Tucson, Arizona, USA)

Hear our latest radio interview (mp3) on KGNU Metro with Roger Wendell
October 2008
(sent from San Jose, California, USA)

Wind, Rain, Cold, Cindie’s Illness, and Forum Trolls
September 2008
(Sent From Victoria, British Colombia, Canada)

The Book is Done and We are Back on the Road in Alaska
July 2008
(Sent from Eastern Alaska/Wester Yukon)

Six Years Down The Road: breaking even and meeting friends.
April 2008

(Sent From Twizel, South Island, New Zealand)

New Zealand: One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth
February 2007
(Sent From Wanaka, New Zealand)

Let's get started in New Zealand and 50% off our first book
November  2007

(Sent From New Plymouth, New Zealand)

Hello to friends and family of DownTheRoad.org:  Crisis in Cindie's Family

Going to New Zealand!!
August 2007
(Sent From Katherine, The Northern Territory, Australia)

Back in the Outback
July 2006

(Sent From Normanton (home of the big crocodile), Australia)

Five Years DownTheRoad:  a Different kind of endurance
April 2007
(Sent From Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia)

5 min Video Postcard from Tasmania
February 2007

(Sent From Canberra, Australia)

How do we stay married while traveling together 24/7? and Australia Video #1:  Bike Touring Down Under
January 2007

(Sent From Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia: On the way to the Snowy River National Park)

Downloadable Malaysian Video Postcard From the Road
November 2006
(Sent From Strahn, Tasmania, Australia)

Culture Shock in Australia and Keep Your Ears on the Road
October 2006

(Sent From Mt. Gambier, Australia)

Two 1-Way Tickets to Australia Please and 5 minute Thailand Video Download (37 mb) 2 Thailand Bike Tour Video
 July 2006

(Sent From Parit Buntar, Malaysia)

Laos: Eyes of the World
May 2006
(Sent from the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia)

Four Years DownTheRoad
March 2006
(Sent From Bangkok, Thailand)

Out of China: Slipping Past the Watchful Eye of Censorship.
January 2006

(Sent from Luang Phrabang, Laos)

Into Occupied Territory: Tibet
November 2005
(Sent from Dali, China)

The Many Faces of China: Inner Mongolia and Shanxi, Provinces.
September 2005
(Sent From Kangding, China)

Made in China: Free Birds in a Caged World
 July 2005
(Sent From Beijing, China)

Three Years and Still Going
May 2004
(Sent From Long Sheng, China)

Cambodia: Poverty Does Not Equal Crime.
February 2005
(Sent From Dalat, Vietnam)

Thailand: Landing in a Whole New World.
December 2004
(Sent From Siem Reap, Cambodia)

Crossing Over to the Other Side: Relocating to Asia
November 2004
(Sent From Bangkok, Thailand)

The New Global Bicycle Touring Plan.
 August 2004
(Sent From Mooresville, Indiana, USA)

Northwest Argentina: The Wrong Way In the Right Country
April 2004
(Sent From Bariloche, Argentina)

Bolivia: The Calm After the Storm
January 2004
(Sent From Mendoza, Argentina)

Peru #2:  Been Doing Some Hard Traveling
November 2003
(Sent From Copacabana, Bolivia)

Peru #1 Riding Between The Extremes
September 2003
(Sent From Huanuco, Peru)

Ecuador #2: The Magic of the Andes
August 2003
(Sent From Chiclayo, Peru)

Ecuador #1: Riding on top of the Southern Hemisphere
July 2003
(Sent From Riobamba, Ecuador)

USA: CULTURE SHOCK
June 2003
(Sent From Quito, Ecuador)

Costa Rica #1:  Green Grass and High Tides

Nicaragua: Travels Through a Troubled Land
March 2003
(Sent From Santa Elena - Monteverde, Costa Rica)

Honduras: From the Guatemalan Border to the Nicaraguan Border
February 2003
(Sent From Esteli, Nicaragua)

Antigua, Guatemala to the Sea
January 2003
(Sent From Omoa, Honduras)

Guatemala: From Paradise to Despair
December 2002
(Sent From Antigua Guatemala)

Guatemala:   Riding Through the Highlands
November 2002
Thanksgiving day in the USA
(Sent From Quetzaltenango, Guatemala)

Our Final Weeks in Mexico
November 2002
(Sent From Comitan, Mexico)

Six Months Down the Road
October 2002
(Sent From Amecameca, Mexico)

So Close to Mexico City Yet So Far From Anything
September 2002
(Sent From Amecameca, Mexico)

Toluca
August 2002
(Sent From Toluca, State of Mexico, Mexico)

The Great Secret of Michoacan
August 2002
(Sent From Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico)

Adios Guanajuato
July 2002
(Sent From Guanajuato, Mexico)

Hello Guanajuato
June 2002

(Sent From Guanajuato, Mexico)

Greetings from Mexico
May 2002
(Sent From Cuauhtemoc, Mexico)

Heading into Mexico
May 2002
(Sent from Douglas Arizona)

Enjoying Arizona
April 2002
(Sent from Sierra Vista Arizona.)

Our first week Down the Road
April 2002
(Sent from Tucson Arizona)

Good bye Letter
February 2002
Written while living in our RV

newbig.gif (1848 bytes)

WB00771_.gif (436 bytes)  See the complete story on how I made the decision, saved up, and finally left on my life long bicycle tour

 

 

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