A world map of Scott's bicycle ride around the world
Scott Stoll's before and after picture of his bicycle tour around the world.
Scott Stoll's before and after picture of his bicycle tour around the world. The change on the inside is even more dramatic. More about the before and after picture.

Around the world by bicycle

Scott and biking sinking into the sand on a foggy day.
Scott dipping the front wheel of his bicycle in the Pacific Ocean. It’s a tradition to dip the back wheel in the Atlantic and the front wheel in the Pacific or vice versa.

One man’s quest for happiness

4 years, 41,444 Kilometers (25,752 miles), 59 Countries, 6 Continents and 4 moments of enlightenment

In one week, Scott Stoll lost his job, his best friend, his girlfriend and his confidence. Disillusioned with society, full of angst, a lost and wandering soul with nothing left to lose, Stoll asked himself a question:

If I only have one life, one chance, if I could do anything, what would I do?

The question that launched Scott’s journey.

His answer resulted in an odyssey around the world by bicycle, seeking answers to the great mysteries of life, vowing to find happiness or die trying. Stoll felt that life was a gift and that he had only one chance to live. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

After many years of preparation, and only 5 days before the 9-11 attack in NYC, he began his first pedal stroke and eventually cycled every inch to meet his goal of circumnavigating the globe under his own power. (The equatorial circumference of the planet is 40,077 KM.) And, that’s not including his 10,609-Kilometer warm-up ride across the USA from border to border and coast to coast. Scott was the only American to complete a round-the-world bicycle tour during those interesting times.

The quest wasn’t easy. He was imprisoned, held hostage, mugged, run over, suspected of terrorism, accused of espionage, trampled, diseased, heartbroken—he nearly died a dozen times. But more importantly, in the most unlikely places, he also discovered the wonders of the world, kindness among strangers, the meaning of life, peace, love and — Yes! — happiness — and much more than he imagined possible.

Re-live and re-imagine a journey around the world on a bicycle as a man stumbles through moments of pure survival and moments of pure enlightenment in Scott’s best-selling independent book Falling Uphill.

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See a Map and read more about How Scott rode a bicycle around the world.

Spirit of Adventure Award

Winner of the Spirit of Adventure Award

Scott Stoll was the Recipient of The Spirit of Adventure Award. Presented by The LA Council of Hostelling International for outstanding enthusiasm and curiosity while traveling.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity for sharing my adventure!

Download the newsletter (PDF) about the award and a nice article about my trip.

Favorite media interviews:

Falling Uphill: The short film

One man’s quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle.

Travel around the world with this montage of photos and videos from Scott’s 4-year, 26,000-mile bicycle tour. Previously a Youtube Feature Video and specially requested for the Boston Bicycle Film Festival.

Falling Uphill The short film: A montage of photos and videos from Scott’s 4 year, 26,000 mile bicycle tour around the world. Previously a Youtube Feature Video and specially requested for the Boston Bicycle Film Festival. “I nearly cried watching this video. Just a normal guy and look what he has achieved.” ~ Ingrid K.

This is a longer, slower version with more pictures. This is better for schools.

If you could do anything, what would you do? Re-imagine a journey around the world on a bicycle and re-discover the passion to live your impossible dream. Falling Uphill. Buy the book.
If you could do anything, what would you do? Re-imagine a journey around the world on a bicycle and re-discover the passion to live your impossible dream. Falling Uphill. Buy the book.

Relive the adventure around the world on a bicycle with Scott’s award-winning, bestselling book: Falling Uphill

Please note: There are a lot of resources here about the logistics of bikepacking and lots of photographs and videos, but all the generic journal entries have been deleted and turned into a book. I spent a lot of time to craft a book so that you, the reader, can feel like you are actually riding the bike and reliving the journey. That process took me years. It included culture shock, a lot of introspection, some travel around my own country to get to know it again, lots and lots of writing and feedback and edits, a year to produce the book (finding a publisher, design, more edits, et cetera), plus another year to write and record the new anniversary edition.

Falling Uphill Anniversary Edition: One man's quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle. By Scott Stoll.

More info ▷

Falling Uphill: One man’s quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle.

New Anniversary Edition. Re-live and re-imagine bicycling around the world in quest of happiness. I’ve traveled the world by bicycle to discover the “secrets” of life, and I’ve spent many more years to digest my trip, exemplify the lessons learned and create a book that I believe is both entertaining and enlightening: I almost die, fall in love, find “God” and discover the meaning of life — what more from a story could you ask for?

Falling Uphill: The Young Adventurer Edition. The true story of one man’s quest around the world on a bicycle seeking the meaning of life. By Scott Stoll.

More info ▷

Falling Uphill: The Young Adult Edition

The YA edition of Falling Uphill is here for the young adventurers and the young at heart. Hundreds of photos and frequently asked questions. Plus advice how to make your dream a reality right now!

Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life. A true story about finding happiness in the last place left to look. By Scott Stoll. Book cover.

More info ▷

Falling Uphill: The Secret of Life

Now the best-selling independent book has been re-imagined and illustrated by Poplar Creek Elementary School. Also in Spanish. Illustrated by the schools of Argentina. Cayendo Hacia Arriba: El Secreto de la vida.

Pedal Power: Inspirational stories from the world of cycling.

Pedal Power: Inspirational Stories from the World of Cycling

New. Scott has a chapter about his bicycle journeys and how his adventures fuel a desire to make the world a better place. Synopsis: A bike can be so many different things—a simple way of navigating busy city streets or enjoying quiet lanes, a cross-country steed to take a rider up hill and down dale, or even a world-beating racing machine. What unites everyone who rides is that they each have their own cycling story to tell. This book collects inspirational stories from riders around the world, both ordinary and extraordinary, from the London cyclist who rode 10,000 km in a month, to the daredevil trials rider who hops from building to building, to classic tales of grand-tour rivalries and legendary cycling records of days gone by. Essential reading for anyone who loves life on two wheels. Available on Amazon.

By The Seat of My Pants. Edited by Don George. Lonely Planet.

By the Seat of My Pants

New Edition. Scott has a co-starring role in Edwin Tucker’s “Let the Buyer Beware”. This story is based on the funniest chapter in “Falling Uphill” but from Edwin’s POV. Synopsis: Humorous tales of travel and misadventure. Lonely Planet knows that some of life’s funniest experiences happen on the road. Whether they take the form of unexpected detours, unintended adventures, unidentifiable dinners or unforgettable encounters, they can give birth to our most found travel lessons, and our most memorable – and hilarious – travel stories. These 31 globe-girdling tales that run the gamut from close-encounter safaris to loss-of-face follies, hair-raising rides to culture-leaping brides, eccentric expats to mind-boggling repasts, wrong roads taken to agreements mistaken. The collection brings together some of the world’s most renowned travellers and storytellers with previously unpublished writers. Available on Amazon.

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More stories about the bike trip

Make-A-Book Project Certificate of Achievement

Certificate of Recognition

I’m very excited. This Thursday the Ambassador to Argentina will be visiting some elementary schools in Buenos Aires to read the new Spanish edition of my children’s book. The kids will be receiving their own copy of the book and the certificate of recognition pictured above.

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