Once Upon a Time on a Bicycle: A self-propelled two-wheeled journey of necessity

Once Upon a Time on a Bicycle: A self-propelled two-wheeled journey of necessity

by Michael Russell


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, February 1


It was not the first time he had pedaled toward a horizon thousands of miles away, but never before had there been no horizon. From under the inexorable cloud of an abandoned promise, Michael Renati relinquished every possession unable to fit in bicycle panniers with only one goal in mind: to become a stranger navigating strange lands under his own power. Headwinds and climbs, tailwinds and descents, exploration, introspection, distance, vision, resolve, saying goodbye and starting over poignantly blend with exotic-locale photography to tell the true story of a man on an all-or-nothing journey to reintegrate body and soul.

For devotees and aspirants, ONCE UPON A TIME ON A BICYCLE includes a "Notes from the Road" appendix detailing the author's expedition inventory, bicycle-build specifications, and equipment evaluations.

From novelist Richard S. Wheeler, six-time Spur Award winner and recipient of the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement:

"This is a compelling story of a long bicycle ride, from the American Southwest to Central America. It is an interweaving of two journeys: one geographic and the other, interior and ethical. As we explore these pages we see a great adventure, planned and executed with a realistic grasp of the dangers – and beauties – awaiting the traveler. The gifted author's story is absorbing, perceptive, and evocative. From the seat of a touring bicycle we see country and people close-up. We sense trouble as it arrives, magic when smiles greet the rider, and comfort in villages, cities, and landscapes. This is an elegant book brimming with photographs, wisely kept to black and white, offering a visual dessert. ONCE UPON A TIME ON A BICYCLE is far more than an adventure. It is a love story."

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780999873021
Publisher: Nonesmanneslond
Publication date: 05/03/2018
Pages: 316
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Michael Russell had never heard of bicycle touring when, at the start of his eighth-grade summer vacation, he lashed a canvas pup tent and flannel-lined sleeping bag to his three-speed Raleigh and rode from his home in southern New Hampshire to his grandmother's farm on the Blackwater River. He was unaware at the time that others similarly journeyed and that such journeys could change, or even save, one's life. His passion for self-propelled physical endeavors led to his winning three world cups in ballet skiing and the creation of SnowDance - a first-of-its-kind theatrical dance company on skis - and inspirited a life-long dedication to achieving excellence in every quest. He has been a business manager, photographer, U.S. Freestyle Ski Team captain, stage actor, musician, logger, bartender, mechanic, motorcoach operator, teacher, builder, and uncompromising advocate for individual rights. He wrote the novel HONOR STUDENT in 1989 and a revised edition 30 years later, and ONCE UPON A TIME ON A BICYCLE in 2018. He is currently completing WINTERDANSE: THE MISPLACED ART OF SNOW BALLET for 2021. He resides off-grid in a secluded mountain range with his wife, German shepherds, and wild-animal neighbors.

Table of Contents



Stage One: Seeking Tabula Rasa (Chapters 1-9)

Along the Way (Photo Gallery One)

Stage Two: Stranger in a Strange Land (Chapters 10-21)

Along the Way (Photo Gallery Two)

Stage Three: The Road to La Mancha (Chapters 22-27)

Along the Way (Photo Gallery Three)


Notes From the Road

Customer Reviews