INDIANAPOLIS — Scott Stoll hit his nadir just before New Year's in 1997. That's when his girlfriend dumped him, his roommate eloped, and he lost his job - all in short order.
"I was suddenly without money, my best friend, my love, my career," Stoll said. "My whole perception of reality, my identity, had been called into question."
So he did what any rational person would - spent four years riding his bicycle more than 25,000 miles across 50 countries and six continents. It's all detailed in Stoll's book Falling Uphill.
The Milwaukee native will speak about the experience at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 in Clowes Auditorium at the Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St.
It's part of a free speaker series presented by the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library and the Central Indiana Bicycling Association. Each guest speaker has traveled the world by bicycle and will discuss their journey.
Each event is 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month, through April, at the Central Library. Future speakers are Willie Weir, Jerry Williams, and Jim Gange.
After Stoll's incredibly rainy day, he began asking himself if there was anything he could do, without limitations or fear, what would it be?
"I realized I had been living backwards - trying to do everything right, hoping people liked me," he said. "Then I'll get what I want."
An avid bicyclist, Stoll decided to hop on his two wheels and pursue the happiness that eluded him.
"I figured it had to be in the world somewhere," he said. "I knew I liked to ride a bike. It all added up."
As spontaneous as that may sound, it still took Stoll four years to save the money necessary to begin his odyssey. He also took a ride from border to border and coast to coast in his native United States to prepare.