Book review: Falling Uphill
Part 1: Causes for the ride, warm up across the USA
Some individuals sip from the well-spring of life. A few dip their toes into life’s waters to
test the temperature. Others tip the
entire world into their lives while gulping every last drop of adventure into their
For most of us humans, great tragedy causes us to change course
in life: death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, loss of a best friend
Scott Stoll, author of Falling
Uphill, lost his job and lady within moments of each other. Like many of us, he ran the corporate ladder,
drove the nice car and enjoyed a steady income.
But when that scenario hit the
bricks, he hit the road.
J.K Rowling, author of Harry Potter, said, “Let us step into
the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
rivets you to your own bicycle seat on a 25,742 mile, 50 country, four year
trip across six continents. When Scott
sweats, you sweat. When he fears for his life along the savannahs of Africa,
you feel a chill run up your spine as a rogue elephant chases you through the
bush. When he meets a gentle woman along
the way, you meet her, too. And, the
characters, good grief, you cannot forget the characters you meet along the highway.
Like anyone on an adventure, you confront self-doubt,
loneliness and questions about your existence.
On Scott’s expedition, he engages four moments of enlightenment. Additionally, he pursues the tale with a
unique presentation, which of course, rendered the title of the book. Not only will you travel the world, but you
will appreciate some unique emotional moments of understanding.
“During my long years of meditative cycling, despite moments
of agony, months of chronic pain, illness, injury and overexposure, I realized
my journey was many times more joyful than painful,” said Stoll. “Ironically, I discovered it was my
misadventures that forged my character and revealed my truer self, like
suffering from heat exhaustion and realizing everything I own was worth one
glass of water, and if I had one wish before I died, it would be to say goodbye
to the ones I loved. And like standing on mountain tops, I realized my entire knowledge
and belief system didn’t work anymore. I
discovered it was possible to survive with a totally different concept of
Why might this book review be unique? First of all, I have cycled across six
continents, too. I felt the same things
and suffered, too. I visited the same
places and realized what Stoll realized—very much with a similar pattern of
understanding. We share a kindred spirit for the “Zen of the Crank.”
That’s why I feel this bicycle adventure book represents one
of the best I have ever read. Stoll
sucker punches you with humor when you least expect it. Subtle, dry, funny! You’re sure to relate the tale to your office
mates the next day.
Right off the front page, you see one devil of a beleaguered
bicycle loaded with gear and spare tires, so much so, it looks like an
overloaded donkey left on a rocky trail. Strangers asked Stoll, “Why are you riding a bicycle around
From that point, you discover why he decided to launch on
his improbable journey into foreign cultures, languages, extreme temperatures
and the unknown.
said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many
of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable
views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner
of the earth all one's lifetime.”
discovers a fellow touring rider on his test ride coast to coast while pedaling
through the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.
were you serious when you said you wanted to bicycle around the world,” asked
Dennis, the touring cyclist.
course, I’m serious,” replied Scott.
named Vilma said, “Why don’t you guys just go sit on a beach in Mexico and have
the cabana girls bring you umbrella drinks everyday for four years?”
happened, Dennis spurred Scott to make the ride around the world.
worked, saved money, planned the route, made preparations, purchased needed
panniers and added their camping gear.
section of the book deals with “Survival.”
El Sadat said, “He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will
never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress.”
question about life: you must make a decision to live it fully or slobber
through it. Most folks, 9 to 5, stagger
through it with a promise to travel the world when they retire. Harsh reality: the average retiree dies within five years of
finishing his last day at work after a 40 year working trudge.
to a question as to why he bicycled around the world, “To do something never
done before. To see the world. A spiritual journey. A coming of age quest. Because I can’t stand
being a rat in a cubicle maze, and I had nothing better to do.”
offers you an opportunity to discover your own quest whatever it might
entail. You might quest to become an
artist, singer, parent or athlete.
Choose it and put every cell of your body into it. Create your passion.
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from the Arctic to
the South Pole - as well as eight times across the USA, coast to coast and
border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to
Athens, Greece. In 2012, he bicycled coast to coast across America. His latest book is: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World
Frosty Wooldridge, copies at 1 888 280 7715/ Motivational program: How
to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty
Wooldridge, click: www.HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com