After returning from a canoe trip in Western Canada, my Aunt Christi and Uncle Tom presented me with a gift they had found at a local gift-shop: A book titled, “The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head: A North American Odyssey.”
On the cover of the book were two nude cyclists, smiling at the camera, with a big blue bar covering their exposed body parts.
To some, this may seem like a strange and somewhat inappropriate gift for a teenage boy to be given by his aunt and uncle, but to me, this was a classic “Tom and Christi” present. Over the years my aunt and uncle have presented me with a number of strange and wonderful gifts… and this book was certainly no exception.
As soon as I opened “The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head” and began to read, I knew that this book was special. By page 50 I was more than hooked – I was a raving “Coconut Head” fan!
Ted Schredd’s wild and wacky bicycle touring book has made me laugh, made me think, and has inspired me in so many different ways… and it is with great pleasure that I present to you today, my interview with this amazing man.
“The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head: A North American Odyssey” is the story of a young Canadian man named Ted Schredd who leaves his home to cycle around the perimeter of the United States with his girlfriend, about $5.00 in cash, and an old bicycle he found at a garage sale.
In the book, Ted and his girlfriend cycle south from their home in British Columbia and cross the border into the United States. They suffer from “confused biker syndrome” along the way, but once they reach the USA, they continue south down the Pacific Coast and make it all the way to San Diego when Ted is suddenly invited to speak at a motivational conference in Arizona. Temporarily leaving his girlfriend in San Diego, Ted flies to Arizona for the conference, but while he is there, he meets another young woman and becomes romantically involved with her!
When Ted flies back to San Diego after the conference in Arizona is over, he has to decide between staying with his current girlfriend and continuing the bike trip with her, or giving her up for the woman he just met in Arizona. As you can imagine, this is where the story gets really interesting.
Without giving too much away, Ted does continue his trip by bike and eventually makes it all the way around the United States. Along the way he meets hundreds of crazy, fun, caring and memorable characters and has tons of wild cycling adventures, which he describes in exquisite, laugh-out-loud detail.
“The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head” is such a good book that when it was first published in 1996 it went on to become a Canadian best-seller. And while the book is certainly not for everyone (you have to have a sense of humor to read it… and shouldn’t be easily offended), “The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head” is by far one of my favorite books about long-distance bicycle touring.
Watch the video below and you’ll get a good sense of Ted Schredd’s story-telling technique… and his sense of humor. Enjoy!