Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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January 7, 2013

Series highlights adventurous bicyclists

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

Once the real trip began, Stoll left his schedule open-ended and simply followed the weather and wind. When he wasn't near civilization, he camped and cooked his own food.

Along the way, Stoll endured some pretty nasty viruses and lots of aches and pains, dealt with more than 100 flat tires and other bicycle malfunctions, crashed dozens of times, was robbed at gunpoint, and even spent a day in a Zimbabwean prison.

But the experience also basically answered all of his questions.

"That's the beauty of why I'm still talking about it and why people still buy the book," said Stoll, who's a graphic designer by trade. "The trip keeps growing. It ended a relatively long time ago, but it still changes me. I still keep growing from it in ways I never imagined possible. When people go on such adventures, they may have one goal in mind but, if they're lucky, they come back with something more."

Aside from having to readjust to the culture of his native country, Stoll also admits his biggest fear after the odyssey ended was that it would be his life's pinnacle. But after a couple years, he discovered more unanswered questions he had.

"That started a new journey," Stoll said. "Luckily I've learned, and I know it sounds clichŽ, to find the adventure in everyday life. I definitely take a lot more joy in things I thought would be ordinary."

He's often asked what's the secret to fulfilling one's dream or even knowing what to do with your life.

"I always say step zero is all everything needs to fall apart," Stoll said.

Indeed, hitting rock bottom tends to offer drastically different perspectives. Stoll notes there are a plurality of movie characters who endure some kind of crisis before breaking through their proverbial walls.

"Fortunately, when you're watching a movie you can see the other side," he said. "In real life you don't have any idea, and that's probably the most frightening thing there is. In my experience, you basically have to throw everything away and start over."

wade.coggeshall@flyergroup.com

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