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A Review of the Book, The Road That Has No End, by Tim Travis 

By Gianna Bellofatto Reid

“Travelers call the road home, and our home is a road that has no end.” 

These are the opening words imparted by Tim Travis about touring the globe on bicycle. Not just a diary about what he and his wife, Cindie ate, saw and where they slept. But a book that challenges materialism, consumerism and being a slave of bigger, better and more. Henry David Thoreau would be pleased.

The Road That Has No End: How We Traded Our Ordinary Lives For a Global Bicycle Touring Adventure is the beginning of an exotic adventure that Tim and Cindie Travis set out in 2002. They headed toward the Mexican Border and planned to travel through Central America, down the West Coast of South America, then onto South Africa, up the East Coast towards Portugal, into the United Kingdom, across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, China and onto Australia. Impossible! Dangerous! And crazy...are ways that some people might describe their plan. But nothing deterred Tim and Cindie.

Before their launch they saved several years toward one goal: COMPLETE FREEDOM! It’s that freedom we sample on weekends. But imagine no bills, no meetings, and a clear schedule to ride and ride and ride. This is what Tim and Cindie experienced in their first book that takes the reader from Arizona to Panama. But this took discipline, planning, talking and putting their marital partnership to the test.

The book has over 150 photos that capture the culture and people encountered. Some authors may have condensed the entire trip into one volume. However, Tim is writing separate books to cover each leg of the journey. Just like the ride, the read is unhurried, and the feeling for the details is remarkable. His description of Lake Atitlian in Guatemala, a natural world wonder, had me daydreaming of riding along its shores to experience it firsthand. I found myself reaching for the brake handle when they descended into the Volcano of San Pedro. I could smell the burning rubber brake pads. I felt as if I knew the people south of our borders a bit better and marveled how their lives held happiness with so much less than we Americans typically possess and need. 

As Tim described it, “We learned the true nature of ‘poverty’ and how the meaning of ‘happiness’ is as individual as the people we met.”

The Road That Has No End is part philosophy, geography, anthropology and travel. It’s about living a life that many of us never even dare to dream. This sort of trip isn’t for everyone. So, the next best thing is to read the book(s) and enjoy. Also visit online for regular updates and photos at www.downtheroad.org. You can order the book online or call 1-800-247-6553.

Go confidently in the directions of your dreams. Live the life you imagined. -- Henry David Thoreau.

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The Book...
The Road That Has No End: How We Traded Our Ordinary Lives For a Global Bicycle Touring Adventure (2004)
by Tim Travis 
Paperbound, 314 pages, black & white photographs.

Gianna Bellofatto Reid is author of the "Life Is a Bike" series of cycling essays and is a contributor to The Bicycle Book: Wit, Wisdom and Wanderings, Jim Joyce, editor.

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