Geared up with two tents, six panniers, two tandem bicycles and one stuffed pink pig, Paula and Lorenz Eber set off from Seattle, Washington to cycle the world with their two daughters, eleven-year old Yvonne, and her thirteen year old sister, Anya. Their dream: to pedal in a complete circle around the world using a carbon free, environmentally friendly way to travel. Their goal: to raise awareness of asthma – a disease that Paula has suffered from her entire life – and the world’s desperate need for clean air.
Breathtaking is the exciting and inspiring true story of their adventures. Readers follow the Ebers across Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and North America as they raise their daughters around the globe. School is conducted outdoors on mountaintops. The responsibilities of parenting have been expanded to include hunting for an English copy of the latest Harry Potter book. And family togetherness takes on a new meaning as the Ebers must work together to survive a 100-degree heat wave in Italy, drug smugglers in Russia, a broken foot in New Zealand and a tornado in the U.S. Yet, as the family pedals farther and farther away from home, they realize that the greatest challenge they face is the journey that they must undergo within themselves.
The Ebers returned home twenty-four countries and 14,931 km (9,332 miles) later – raising $65,000 for the non-profit organization, World Bike for Breath. They spoke about clean air and asthma to more than 150 newspapers, magazines, and TV stations, including Time for Kids, NPR, and PBS’s Roadtrip Nation. They are the only family on record to complete a full circumnavigation of the world by bicycle.
Paula Holmes-Eber, Ph.D., is an anthropologist, professor, and the author of six previous books. She has published dozens of articles about cycling and adventuring as a family, including frequent contributions to Adventure Cyclist and the League of American Bicyclists Magazine. To learn more about Paula and the Eber family’s adventures, go to www.bike4breath.com.
Lorenz Eber, P.E., is an aeronautical and civil engineer. In addition to his passion for cycling, he is a private pilot, sailor, and photographer. His photographs have appeared in numerous books and magazines, including Time and on the cover of Adventure Cyclist.
“The Ebers’ story is a shining light for millennials everywhere who are challenging traditional notions and blurring the lines between a life of family and one of complete adventure. The Ebers have done both, and are an inspiring example of what incredible life experiences are possible with family in tow!”
—Mike Marriner, co-founder and co-producer of the PBS television series Roadtrip Nation
“Kudos to the Ebers for concocting a crazy-big adventure—cycling around the world with two kids in tow—and then actually accomplishing it. Breathtaking celebrates the highs and takes a clear-eyed look at the lows of this ambitious trip—required reading for anybody who’s considering a king-size adventure, both for inspiration and cautionary tales.”
—Susan Crandell, former editor-in-chief of More magazine and author of Thinking about Tomorrow: Reinventing Yourself at Midlife (Grand Central, 2007)
“Breathtaking is a riveting combination of adventure, travelogue, and family saga. It’s great reading for armchair travelers as well as those who love to adventure themselves. It’s especially inspiring for parents who want to travel with their kids but wonder if it’s really possible. This book will show them that it is.”
—Robin Simons, author of Together on Top of the World: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits (Warner Books)
“Breathtaking is an exciting blast around the world on two wheels. As a biking mother of three kids, I identified with the need to carry three and a half pounds of Harry Potter in overstuffed panniers, and appointing (and trusting) a leader of the day. And I recognised those daily, sometimes hourly, dilemmas about carrying on against the odds. This is a personal journey, a family journey, a global journey and ultimately the kind of journey we should all do with our kids at some point in our family lives.”
—Kirstie Pelling, owner and winner of the British travel blogger of the year award, The Family Adventure Project