I have done some crazy things in my life, but this long bike ride was by far my most outrageous endeavor. Inspired by a friend who was moving to Alaska, I decided to ride a bicycle to Key West, Florida from Vancouver, Canada. I had no previous training, skills or experience, but that didn’t stop me. I departed Vancouver with a couple hundred bucks, no tent, no sleeping bag, stove, or any kind of bicycle gear and made it up as I went along. At the time, there was no Internet which meant each day was truly an unknown adventure.
The first edition of this book was published in 1996 and was a Canadian bestseller. I recently went back through it and realized what a wonderful adventure it was and that it was time to bring The Adventures of Coconut Head back on the market. I retained the rights from the original publisher and then redid the 300 or so illustrations and added in a few stories that the publisher wanted left out. I am really proud of this book and have found numerous Coconut Fans over the years.
One of my favorite Coconut Head inspiration stories is from Darren Alff who runs the world’s biggest Bicycle Touring Site:
After returning from a canoe trip in Western Canada, my Aunt Christi and Uncle Tom presented me with a book they had found at a local souvenir shop on their travels. The book’s cover featured two naked cyclists embracing in the desert…. and the book was called, The Adventures of Coconut Head. As soon as I opened the book and began to read, I knew I had been given something special… and by the time I was finished reading, I was a raving “Coconut Head” fan!
When I first started reading this book I was at a point in my life where I was thinking about running from Oregon to Mexico – down the California Coastline. But after reading about “One Big Bodacious Bike Trip,” I knew that I had to try cycling instead. Since I first read The Adventures of Coconut Head, I have cycled through more than seventy different countries all around the world. I have helped thousands of people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds; learn how to bike tour through my books, videos and website.
There are plenty of things that have inspired me in life, but Ted Schredd’s “Coconut Head” book inspired me at just the right time. Ted’s comedic take on long-distance cycling will make you laugh out loud; it will forever change the way you view both yourself and the strangers you meet on your travels; and it might just inspire you, as it did me, to conduct your own incredible bicycle touring adventures somewhere in the world.
The Bicycle Touring Pro
Here are a couple reviews form the original release,
“A threat to literature” — Fiona McCaw, Monday Magazine, Victoria, BC , September 27, 1996
“His sense of humor will eventually win you over, as will his incurable romanticism.” — Province Showcase, Province Newspaper Vancouver, January 1, 1997
“I was hooked from the start, entertained, amused, and enlightened by each morsel.” — Kirsten Fraser, Where Magazine, January 12, 1997
I read your book shortly after coming out of the army. I already loved bikes and was already crazy enough to bike coast to coast, but your book probably made me ride from Portland to New New York via San Diego!! Thanks
Robert Jack Harrington
One of my favorite books of all time!