Cycle Nomad

Toward the end of the twentieth century, Bob Foster, a biology student with a facility for languages, decided to have an adventure far greater than most young men in their twenties would attempt. He decided to bicycle around the world, starting in Malaysia, progressing through Southeast Asia, through China and Tibet, down into the Subcontinent. Then the Middle East and Turkey. On to Europe—Italy, Switzerland, and France. The trip wound up on the American continent, as Bob bicycled north from Panama to Southern California.

Most of his travel was on wheels. He did make some hops by air—over water, of course, and a flight to Paris for an appendectomy, and another from Pakistan to Jordan because a visa for Iran wasn’t possible. He also flew back to the States for a quick visit when his grandfather died. But most of his time was spent on wheels. Curious because Bob Foster had not been a biking enthusiast before the trip, nor has he kept it up since. But for the length of his odyssey around the Northern Hemisphere, he rode, repaired, and rested up from his mechanical companion.

I have called Bob a biology student and implied that he was (is) a linguist. During his travels he was also a historian, a Buddhist at least in fascination, a vegetarian, a heterosexual, a writer, and most of all a world traveler. Being a world traveler, the way he traveled, required him to be athletic and courageous. The trip was hard work, sometimes uncomfortable, occasionally lonely, and often dangerous. He was up against daunting weather, hostile strangers, and disease. On the other hand, the rewards were at least as important as the difficulties. It was of course an enlightening experience, as well as a thrilling rush; and when he returned to Southern California he was tired, healthy, happy, relieved, and brimming with lessons learned.

For example, he had learned, or affirmed, that people are good. He also learned that people can be mean, even (and sometimes especially) children. In fact, of all the dangers on the road, from amoebic dysentery to gale-force winds, people are the biggest threat. However, the trip revealed that the concept of hospitality is worldwide. A lot of things are worldwide, including poverty, corruption, bad drivers (especially bad truck drivers). Honesty is not worldwide, and a lot of cultures around the world treat their disadvantaged (and their women) poorly by our standards. By “our,” I mean the supposedly respectable United States, which seen from afar and through foreign eyes throughout the world, has a shameful report card. So much so that Bob often found it wise to camouflage himself as a Canadian, a Frenchman, even an Argentinean.

It’s a strong piece of travel literature, packed with adventure, knowledge, and wisdom.

5,220 Meters on the Tibetan Plateau

a 14,000 mile cycling odyssey

9 bike chains

3 constitutional monarchies

16 democracies

2 communist states

and 2 dictatorships

Live the


Of a cycle nomad!

from near-death experiences in a rural Nepali Hospital to sultry tropical romances, cycle nomad is a Transformational tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. transformationalwill keep you on the edge of your saddle.