Wheel Life Wisdom

Book details lessons learned from a bicycle

MBS alumnus, business consultant, author and Maine native Tim Bishop ’79 and his wife Debbie have published a book about the life lessons they learned during 10,000 miles of bicycle touring across America.

In “Wheels of Wisdom: Life Lessons for the Restless Spirit,” the Bishops chronicle the inspirational encounters they experienced during three tours across the U.S. Whether traveling on isolated back roads or weaving through traffic, the couple reflect on adopting the right mindset, overcoming obstacles and relishing life.

A lost shoe, for example, prompts reflections on placing too much value on possessions, and gripping the handlebar for an extended period of time results in lessons on letting go, according to a Publishers Weekly review. The book incorporates faith and includes sections of questions for personal reflection.

The Bishops dedicated their third tour to TheHopeLine, a nonprofit that reaches out to teens and young adults in need. As volunteer coaches with the crisis service, the couple raised more than $22,000 during the tour.

Avid cyclists, the Bishops married in 2010 at the age of 52. They wrote about their first long-distance tour in “Two Are Better: Midlife Newlyweds Bicycle Coast to Coast.” They also have written two e-books, “Bicycle Touring How-To: What We Learned” and “Metaphors in Motion: Wisdom from the Open Road.”

While “Wheels of Wisdom” includes lessons from all three tours, Tim Bishop says the most recent book is different from “Two Are Better” because they have “given readers more to ponder and encouraged them to apply the book’s principles to their own life.”

Calling TheHopeLine Tour, which was more than 4,300 miles, “long, challenging and intense,” Tim Bishop says the couple’s mission to raise awareness and money prompted them to connect with many people via social media every day.

“In addition to handling the usual logistics that come with a self-supported bicycle tour, we were also contacting media in upcoming cities along the way. I think the intensity of the tour — and the prayers of friends and strangers alike — resulted in some special, if not unusual, experiences. We landed home with some stories that we had to tell,” he says.

Published by Open Road Press, a company started by the Bishops, the book has been lauded by Publishers Weekly.

The Bishops live in Tennessee where Tim, a native of Houlton, Maine, spends most of his time on the publishing company while staying open to other consulting opportunities. One project on his to-do list is converting to print a 2014 e-book he wrote called “Hedging Commodity Price Risk: A Small Business Perspective.” Debbie Bishop is an elementary school reading teacher.

With their most grueling tour behind them, the Bishops have no intention of easing up on their long-distance cycling.

“Cycling helps to keep us fit — physically and mentally,” Bishop says. “Although some may argue we’re a bit off our old-age rockers.”

“Wheels of Wisdom” can be purchased in the online Open Road Press store or in e-book format on Amazon. For more information, visit openroadpress.com.