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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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Places I have been
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How can I afford this?)

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


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(see all 3 book)

Heading into Mexico
Sunday, May 12, 2002  (Sent from Douglas Arizona)


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Dear Family and Friends:

Sunday, May 12, 2002

We are in Douglas, Arizona which Is a border town with Mexico’s Agua Prieta. The first leg of our journey is now completed. We considered our six weeks in the USA our “Shakedown” We call it this because we knew things would need the bugs worked out and it is much easier to do that in our home country. It was a good plan because we had a few equipment failures (see web site for details) and needed some good ole American Mail Order to our current address “General Delivery” to replace stuff.

Our health is good and our bodies are firming up. We have both lost noticeable amounts of weight and the affects of our previous stressful jobs are fading away. Tim has lost 25 lbs. and Cindie has lost 10 lbs. We feel good and ready for the land and the wonderful peoples of Mexico.

Our equipment has been evolving and getting more streamlined these past few weeks. Even with all the streamlining Tim’s bike still weighted 150 lbs., most of the extra weight is three weeks of food we are bringing into Mexico. This will be the last time we carry this much stuff. We mailed a lot of unneeded items and our backpacks/boots back to Tim’s parents. The next time we plan on using our backpacks/boots again will be around October in Central Mexico. There are several volcanoes there, including a nearly 18,000 ft. volcano, that Tim has his heart set on climbing.

Speaking of equipment – I was hoping that someone out there could contact (email-less) Ed of Southwest Sounds and Cyclery in Prescott and ask him what size spoke we need to buy in order to have spares. We seem to have to left without any spare spokes. Ed built our wheels and would know without even thinking much. We actually have not had any trouble with our wheels. Our wheels are still perfectly true witch is a testament to Ed’s skill as a wheel builder but it is always good to have spares. The next bike shop we probably will see is in Durango, Mexico. They can be easily bought there but knowing the size would make this task much easier. So, if one of our Prescott friends could find out and email us back the sizes it would be greatly appreciated.

Although we had bike toured before we still had to relearn even the basics, sometimes the hard way. From Prescott to Douglas we pedaled about 700 miles and went on a five day backpacking trek in the Chiricahua Wilderness Area. We suffered an above average heat wave while riding through Phoenix, Tucson, Green Valley, and all points in between. From Green Valley we left the Sonora Desert and climbed over a low pass and descended into the Chihuahuan (Che-wow-an) Desert. This area, while still a desert, is a few thousand feet higher and enough cooler that we considered it near perfect biking weather.

We took a major zigzag course though southeastern Arizona. This took us through, Sonita, Parker Canyon Lake (just recently a 30,000 acre forest fire), Coronado National Memorial, Sierra Vista, Tombstone, Gleeson, Chiricahua (cheer-i-cow-a) National Monument and then up and over the gnarliest (yet) dirt road climb over Onion Pass at 7,600 ft. and into the beautiful green Cave Creek Canyon to Portal, Arizona. In Portal we hung out for a week to recover from our mountain climb and prepare for our week long backpack trek. Thanks to the Prescott office of Southwest Ground-water Consultants, Inc. (Cindie’s previous work) we got all four boxes from Prescott including our backpacks. After our backpack trip in the high country we stayed in Portal to regroup and gather our final supplies for Mexico. From Portal we rode to Douglas in two days.

We cross the border in a few days and will be heading south into Mexico. Our route is basically down the center of the country following the Sierra Madre. We plan on riding the famous Copper Canyon Railroad (second class) and get off and trek around the villages containing reclusive Tarahumara Indians. Later, by July, we hope to be near Mexico City in Guanajuato to attend a Spanish immersion language school.

In Arizona our main study was the history in the area. We studied and visited several ghost towns to learn about the hardship and glory of the cowboys, miners, and settlers. Their stories were much wilder than any fiction story. Our most intensive study during our last few weeks was of the Apache struggle to remain free. We studied several books and visited the camps and battle fields where their future was carved. We found both histories interesting and very educational. There are several new pages on our web site describing our experiences and summarizing some of the knowledge that we obtained.

In Mexico we plan on first concentrating on learning Spanish, which is the language that we will be communicating in for the next two years as we travel through Mexico, Central America, and South America. Beside Spanish we plan on studying the various Indian groups of Mexico and Mexican history concentrating on the famous Revolutions.

Our web site is a bit of a mess. It is only possible to work on it for brief periods at a time. I concentrate on the photos and the text because we find it important to complete this while it is fresh in our mind. Aesthetics and navigation are on the back burner to be worked on later. Slowly, in time, our site will be more user friendly and pleasing to the eye. Please be patient.

Now that we are heading into the wilderness parts of Northern Mexico and we are not sure about how we are going to connect to the Internet. We are sure that we will find a way. It will take some time to figure it out so it may be a few weeks before you hear from us again.

We would like to thank all of our new (and old) friends who have signed up for our email update list. Also, we were very pleasantly surprised by the number of readers that shopped from the links of our web site. Thanks for your continued support of our adventure.

Tim and Cindie Travis

Douglas, Arizona

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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

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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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