Just finished your book. I can’t add more to the emotions and thoughts already expressed by your blog followers other than to say I absolutely loved reading it. Life changing for me… Proud of you dude. – 6/28/2017.
Often times we read reviews and question their authenticity. Easy to do in a world of fake news, fake posts, fake everything. Well this one is real for what it’s worth. About the author: I had the privilege of working with Jerry many years ago and among the forever cynical people we associated with, Jerry was the one genuine guy who always brought out the positives. Like his Harley biker bar encounter, Jerry never cared if people laughed at his can-do actions and at the end of the day became wildly successful in business and life. In fact, the majority of cynics did covertly cheer him on and probably aspired to be more like him. About the book: Downhills Don’t Come Free makes you seriously question your life approach. It encourages change for those looking for it. Highly inspirational and entertaining, this book synthesizes the tremendous number of thoughts one goes through when faced with new challenges and provides foundations to look at them in positive ways that motivate success. If you made it to base camp but haven’t left the tent yet, this book will motivate the start to the summit. It’s a great read. YBYAWC. Awesome. – Jim K. June 2017
YBYAWC! Just finished [the] book, congratulations. Really fun read. … Thanks for the journey. I thought the blog was awesome but the book was terrific. Dave F. June 30, 2017
A nice relaxing read of a great adventure. I found the author’s reflections on life and past experiences as well as encounters along the way very entertaining and thought-provoking. I can’t get the scene of the Alaskan nomad munching on wild mushrooms out of my mind. I chuckle every time I think of him. Be prepared to want to quit your job and get out and see the world after reading this book – pedal on kemosabe! Robert C. — July 2, 2017
I took away from Downhills Don’t Come Free three great lessons. Don’t be afraid to just ‘go for it’. Don’t sweat every detail. Have faith in your ability to problem solve. When it’s your journey, make sure you’re confident in the path..” – Steve Rebhan, General Manager, Battle Creek CC. June 2017
The book is awesome, I love it! I can’t put it down, but I have competing priorities like driving out to Polebridge and then a loop to East Glacier through the Maria’s Pass and the East to West way on the “Going to the Sun”. I’m in awe of everything I saw today and it’s competing with your amazing story… what you did… truly amazing. Thank you for capturing this. Do you have any interest in talking about your adventure??? John W. — July 3, 2017
Book is a great read — very impressed — can’t wait to finish up! Tom P. — July 5, 2017
Started the book last night. I got so scared I had to go to REI and buy a jumbo can of bear spray. Good stuff! Dave F. — July 6, 2017
Jerry, thanks for the book, it looks fantastic. I just read “Part 1: Finding my stretch…” and loved it. You’re a heckuva writer. I’m excited to hear about your process for writing the book. A big congrats!— Jeff P. — July 7, 2017
” Great book Jerry, loved the stories, what an adventure! Jane W. — July 9, 2017
We really enjoyed your adventures ….[the] book is very entertaining! Gail B. — July 9, 2017
Jerry’s book was a great read! Unbelievable story and experience! Tim W. —July 10, 2017
I started your book two nights ago–I think it’s great so far. It reads quickly and I find that I’m reading until late without noticing the time passing. Dave G. — 7/11/2017
Just finished the book–GREAT JOB!!! I didn’t have anywhere near the adventures you had–Wow! [From a man who biked across the continental USA]. The friends of mine who have [also] read it love it. Jim H. — 7/11/2017Uh
I am totally enjoying your book. I have an advantage, I know how you talk so, I can literally hear you talking, which adds to the enjoyment! Jim K. — 7/13/2017
I started reading and am already hooked. Your personality comes through on every page. I’ve now met Anthony and Sarah from your first week on the trip… It’s a page-turner. Mark L. — July 14, 2017
[I’m into] the Jerry Holl book! Very impressively written. As I read your book, I may have to start planning my bike ride from Siberia to Moscow to Shanghai! Maybe throw in a mountain climb and some helicopter skiing. Doing it all naked!” — Bob N. — July 15 , 2017
Hi Jerry – I [read] the kindle version of your book, and enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing your adrenaline-fueled adventure story with me! Wally W. July 18, 2017
Loving the book so far. Savoring it! …your language is really descriptive and takes the reader ‘there’ in a good way. They are along for the ride! Kathy — July 18, 2017
…I am also very sad ~ I just started part 3 ~ Back in the US of A. I am so enjoying reading this I hate being that close to the end. I want it to go on and on. Your description of the people you met and the landscape you saw is so fun to read. Your humor is the best. I also followed your blog at the time. You gave me a good belly laugh almost daily. Brings back some of the stories Jill would tell me about working with you… She so loved working with you. Joan S. — July 25, 2017
Jerry, your ears must be burning! The book is a riot. I would like to connect also… Jon W. — July 25, 2017
Great read Jer – Inspires me to get off my ass and do something meaningful… for me! I did a bike trip round Superior as a kid and camped roadside. No bears – just friggin dogs. Norm S. — July 25, 2017
Really loved the book Jerry. Well done and very inspiring! One of those books that I would look forward to getting under the covers each night and enjoy a new adventure with each chapter. I seriously was bummed that the book had to end. Can’t wait to hear about your next adventure and subsequent book! By the way, did you wear a heart rate monitor on the trip? If so, how high did your hr get on some of those crazy climbs? Tom F. — July 26, 2017
Hi Jerry, I just finished reading Downhills Don’t Come Free. You had a great story to tell and you told it well. Congratulations. Mark L. — July 26, 2017
Hi Jerry, John T. here. Tomorrow I am flying to Seattle, one way, and riding my bike home. You were my inspiration. Thank you!! John T. July 28. 2017
Just wanted to say I finished the book and loved it. You are a great inspiration and the messaging and attitude throughout really lifted me up…Meanwhile the years tick by…and you wonder if this is it? So, your story really resonated with me. YBYAWC! Doug — July 30, 2017
This is an amazing story, full of (mostly) good experiences cycling along some of North America’s most beautiful scenery. Lots of interesting characters (including some wild ones), and a lifetime of stories … All in all, I found DOWNHILLS DON’T COME FREE to be a fascinating, albeit a bit of a scary read. There’s a lot of good lessons here on how to make a trip like this (and maybe a few lessons on how to NOT make a trip like this?) I am amazed that a non-cyclist could pull off this feat. Chris L. – August 1, 2017
I’m only as far as Prince Rupert. Enjoying the heck out of the book. I hope your writing doesn’t tank between there and Mexico. Frank M. – August 1, 2017
Just finished reading your book. Laughed my ass off. Sounds like a hell of a life-changing trip. … And let me know next time you’re going riding with Cathy. ‘Cause I want to make sure I don’t join you. Greg W. – August 1, 2017
I really enjoy reading [this book] …I want to so badly do this trip it’s hard to get off my mind. I’ve driven the route in various stages so I know what to expect but the just the physical challenge alone is what I most look forward to. Chris H. [former triathlete] – August 3, 2017
Just finished [“Downhills Don’t Come Free”]. I really enjoyed the journey as I could relate to much of the area and people he describes. His thoughts along the way about trusting yourself and plowing forward ring strongly with the way I hope to have and will approach things. Got a laugh about his mechanical skill…kind of feel the same way as I try to run a fishing boat; somehow manage to keep it going with the right combination of luck, dogged attempts, and other’s help. Would love to meet Jerry for a beer. I’ll keep passing [the book] along to like minded souls. Erwin S. – August 7, 2017
Hi Jerry, I just finished reading your book and enjoyed it very much. I recall your quest back in 2012 but never followed your blog. I’m so glad you published your book. It was very inspirational and gave me and other readers a window into your heart and soul as you conquered the elements, mechanical breakdowns, endless climbs, fatigue and other challenges, while keeping such a positive and determined attitude throughout. After reading your book, I’m absolutely in awe of what you accomplished and the relentless drumbeat of your inner voice that propelled you that staggering distance in such a short period of time. I’m curious about your latest endeavors and how your life has changed over the last few years. I’ve been on a bit of an adventure myself over the past few years, and your book really made me take a step back and reflect. After leaving [ ] in 2014, I was ready for something different. Taking on a similar role at another [similar company] would have been the safe, familiar route, and many would consider this the obvious decision to make, the path of least resistance. But the more I thought about it, doing the same thing at another [company] for the next several years simply wasn’t going to fulfill my desire for a richer experience. I worried that I would look back and feel I took the easy route, or in your parlance rode the flats instead of climbing the hills. So I decided to make a major change and move to Beijing China. I joined China Distance Education as Co-CFO in early 2015 and have been living in Beijing ever since. This move was my ‘stretch’ if you will. Suddenly I was immersed in a completely different culture, professionally (I’m the only westerner at a company with 1,500+ employees!) and personally. I needed to adapt, learn the language, understand the cultural dynamics of how to interact with people, and simply learn how to live here. Fast forward to today – it’s been such a great experience and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity. The people here are fantastic, friendly and so helpful. And so much personal growth and wonderful experiences that just would not have occurred had I followed the more worn path. Well, thank you for your sharing your experiences – the book really hit a chord with me. And it made me remember how enjoyable it was to work with you. Time shoots by so fast. I hope we can meet up some time in the future for a beer! Mark — August 8, 2017
Jerry – Great book…. appreciate the will wishes for the road ahead and have been spreading the word on the great read! Nice work and safe travels. Charlie G. – August 9, 2017
[From a man currently cycling from Seattle to Minneapolis.] I just finished my 11th day and it has been amazing. I downloaded your book and it has been a constant companion. You had so much more to deal with than me. Being in civilization is a breeze compared to what you encountered. I can now greatly appreciate your accomplishment… Take care and fantastic job on the book. I really enjoy reading it at the end of each day. John T. — August 9, 2017
I [read] your book while on my adventure, a SwimRun Otilla in the Casco Islands off Portland Maine. I thoroughly enjoyed it (could not put it down). [Jerry Holl’s comment: The book was a little different from what I think she expected…she continued] It’s not “just about the bike” (to borrow a defunct Lance Armstrong quote) – it is not about the trip per-say, but about taking the leap or stretch to do something different… [A presentation on this book] would be interesting to hear from many angles- reaching those who want to change the course of life’s direction [as well as] just those who want the nuts and bolts of the day to day adventure. Jan G. — August 9, 2017
Not being athletic or outdoorsy myself I wasn’t expecting to like the book as much as I did. On the one hand, yes, it’s about a man who goes on a solo biking trip from Alaska to Mexico and the challenges and joys of such an adventure. But it’s also about the value in shaking yourself out of your everyday routine, your comfort zone, the stupor that you find yourself in, to rediscover the thrill of living and learning and growing, something that most of us lose as we get older and more sedentary. This was a surprisingly fun summer read! I highly recommend it – it’s quite inspiring. Kyaro S. – August 10
I loved this book. I read a lot of books about cycling, travel, walking – this book is in my top 10. He tells about the [people], places and the bears he sees – and the places he stays. This book is a must read, very well written. I loved this book, I would love to do what you did – you’re so lucky. Great read, well written! Anonymous Netgalley reviewer – August 19, 2017
Great book …congratulations! Just finished your book this past weekend, great read and what a tremendous experience that you have captured and shared. Personally for me it was a great time to read about your adventure as I was “couch bound” for past 5 days recovering from atrial ablation procedures on the 16th for afib and atrial flutter issues that came up this summer.
For me the story is a strong reminder to “get on the horse and ride it full stride” and experience life because none of us really know what is around the next bend in our life journey. For me the ablation procedures was nothing more that you losing some lower gears on your bike…a “drag” but one that can be fixed with the right procedures!
I look forward to our next gathering. I hope you wear your yellow biking jersey, otherwise I might not recognize you! Undisclosed (for medical privacy) – August 21, 2017
Hi Jerry, I read your book, and really enjoyed it. I must say I was impressed by your journey. That was a mean feat that you accomplished. I have done some testing things in my life, special forces selection, run thirteen marathons, been to the Arctic, but never have I embarked on a journey like the one that you did. I think that some of the life lessons that I have learned have left me a little constrained in my sense of adventure. One of the things you learn in the military is to plan for every conceivable potential eventuality, and have a solution figured out ahead of time. That may be relevant in a military life or death situation, but in every day life it is much less so and I loved the way that you just went for it and figured it out as you went along. That was really very inspiring!
I’m living in southwest France now and I use my bike as a means of everyday exercise. Your tale has made me seriously consider doing some bike touring.
It was a great read Jerry. Congratulations and well done you! Chris L. — September 11, 2017
While I found the author somewhat obnoxious from time to time, I could not put this book down. I am fascinated by epic, biking, travel memoirs and this was no exception. It is not the first time that I have read a book like this & found the author’s voice a bit annoying, but I think that may be attributable to the fact that you have to be just a little crazy and self-confident to take on a ride like Holl does. I got used to his style and agreed with some of his inspirational thoughts on life. I loved reading about him biking through Sonoma County and the San Francisco area, where I am from. He does a great job of balancing the on-the-road, eat/find camp/sleep, and engage with people rhythms of a ride of this nature. He has some great descriptions of the landscape in a way that I have found other long-ride memoirs miss out on. I would highly recommend it to someone wanting to take a long ride at some point or just needing some encouragement to think and dream big! Kelly R. – September, 2017
Hi Jerry. My wife has read your book and she absolutely loved it. She gave a copy to one of her friends and her friend loved it too…. I plan to read the book while sailing [in the Adriatic]. Tim M. – September 12, 2017
This is a great story, told authentically by Jerry Holl. I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry a few years ago. As I read his tales, I could clearly hear his voice and see his big grin as he so honestly shared what some of us might be too embarrassed to tell. What a great read! Anonymous – September, 2017
Hi Jerry, ….. I LOVED the book and I’m bringing it to New Zealand!!!! The serious bikers there will love it too…. All the best in your next adventures! Marge H. -September 18, 2017
Halfway thru, excellent! Really enjoying it. Inspiring and humorous! Thinking about what adventures I need to take. Thx, great read! Dave J. – September 24, 2017
Diane and I had a great time reading your book aloud to each other over breakfast. Often times I would follow your trip on google map street view. We enjoyed the read! David and Diane – September 25, 2017
[Note written to my brother, Steve, from one of his friends]. Hi Steve! OMG. I’ve been wanting to have time to write to you so that I could provide you my heartfelt feedback. Overall…. I LOVED it!!! It was so fun reading a book from someone I “knew”. Now I totally feel like Jerry and I are BFF’s. The book is an easy read. Especially if you are into adventure. And, I especially liked that Jerry wasn’t a cycling geek at all and that he was just out for an adventure…. taking each hill and turn as it came. And, great picture of you two in the book! Also – the ending CRACKED me up! OMG. Of course Cathy wanted to ride that last part. Of course!!! And, seriously… what a perfect ending. To fall on the final ride? It just had to end that way. I really, truly just LOVED this book. It makes me want to toss caution to the wind and go on my own adventure someday. THANK YOU for sending me the book!!! Michele – September 21, 2017
Incredible ride, fantastic story — highly recommended for anyone who is wondering “what’s next?” in their own life! M.mmmmmmm – September 29, 2017
Your book is costing me sleep Jerry, I’m having a hard time putting it down! Lee G. – October 6, 2017
Hi Jerry, Wow, How cool. Congratulations! My sister just completed reading your book and she loved it! Tim – Oct 6, 2017
My book club peeps have started buying and reading your book. I can’t put it down! Shellee – October 9, 2017
Congrats! A fun engaging book. Actually, I still want to go through all of the “study” questions in the back. [The book] did not tank! I had a thrilling ride all the way to the end. … Again, congrats and thanks for the awesome ride. ~fm – October 9, 2017
I read more of your book last night; it is pretty hilarious. I did a LOL (as my kids would say) – can’t recall the specific part – it is just all the writing which is truly “you.” So congrats. I hope you have tons of fun with this, and that it also leads to wild success! R. N. – October 9, 2017
Jerry, …Great story, great adventure. I hope to do a cross country bike trip after I retire in 2 years. Thank you for the inspiration! Peter N. — October 11, 2017
Congratulations Jerry ~ this [Book Excellence Award – Finalist : Adventure] award does not surprise me. You wrote a great book. You need to go on another adventure & write about it ~ I am retired now and need to find another worthwhile book to read. J. – October 11, 2017
Jerry – I think this [book and Book Excellence Award – Finalist : Adventure] is just great – I am in the last 20 pages – so fun. I gave a book to a leader at ***** that is a biker – he was very excited to take it on a trip to Asia. I asked him to think about a leadership session using this book as a launching off point. K. – October 11, 2017
I read the book within 2 days of getting it. It is outstanding! M. 0ctober 11, 2017
Jerry —this [Book Excellence Award – Finalist] is awesome!! I am loving the book! I didn’t get started on it until recently and it was right after we returned from our short trip to Alaska. We drove from Anchorage to Tok and back to Anchorage so I was familiar with the route and towns and it made the beginning of the book even more engaging! …. You accomplished an amazing journey and I feel that I am right there with you and it seems that your voice is jumping off the page! You might consider an audio version as your passages in italics really lend themselves to vocal emphasis!! Great writing too. Thoroughly enjoying the read. Sue S. — October 13, 2017
Hi Jerry, Congratulations on your [Book Excellence Finalist] award: what a wonderful achievement. I am somewhere in the low 200s page number wise, although I did jump to the ending and found out (spoiler alert) you survived. You tell a truly engaging story, and it is a lot of fun to read, especially since I know you (although apparently not well enough to know that you were crazy enough to ride a bike all the way from Alaska to Mexico). My wife read your book and really enjoyed it as well. Mike – October 15, 2017
When I read your [book], I hear your voice, your laugh, and your singing. Because I know you, I can predict outcomes before I read them …loving the read.
Kim – October 17, 2017
Jerry. WOW! I am at a loss for words such to summarize my many thoughts after a great read but here goes…..
I thoroughly enjoyed your book…..so much so that I found it difficult to put down once I began. It was so well written that I felt as if I was truly experiencing the adventure firsthand. I could envision the scenery…..I could feel the rain, the cold and the sunshine as well as the gritty determination, the exhaustion, the hunger, the euphoria. I am totally in awe of your journey which indeed is a testament to “mind over matter” and an incredible YES I CAN attitude.
I was particularly moved and inspired by you sharing the many life lessons you discovered along the journey. Indeed, it was most heart warming to read of the many persons you encountered who , without conditions, offered their generosity of heart in sharing food, conversation, encouragement and more. It certainly restores one’s faith in humanity in knowing that people are innately good and caring, particularly to a stranger.
Your story certainly does inspire, it lights a spark to the reader to take inventory of their life and to consider reaching for opportunity and growth. Congratulations on the fulfillment of an incredible self-journey which continues to evolve. I love your statement of realization that you did pedal solo but your adventure was a shared experience in those who you encountered along the many miles. I also love the message of positivity stated repeatedly in your book and encouraging us all to look for the best in a person or situation.
Thank you for the gift of sharing your life changing story. It is inspiring, uplifting, and “infectious ” in challenging us all to stretch our capabilities and live life to the fullest.
WOW, once again! Gail – October 19, 2017
Downhills Don’t Come Free: One Man’s Bike Ride by Jerry Holl was an Epic couldn’t turn off story!
The story told by Jerry Holl was spellbinding. Having climbed a few hills on a 10 speed bike in my youth was an embarrassing small slice of what Jerry shared about his journey from Alaska to Mexico with only a bicycle, a tent, a few odds / ends, and himself was inspiring. I tired reading the physical stamina Jerry exhibited over his journey, It was nice to know there were many people supporting his ride. The nature he was exposed to was amazing, I don’t have enough words to say to do justice to Jerry’s conquest, Well done! Anonymous — July 2017
As a former co-worker of Jerry’s, I sure heard Jerry’s voice, loud and clear, in his book. We’d be on marketing trips together and he often wished he could be out in nature, looking at the mountains or stars. I’ll never forget it. So, he was able to achieve a life-long dream of his! I am envious! This story is amazing – couldn’t put it down. Not everyone can embark on an adventure like this – it was fantastic living the impossible and improbable through him. It’s a quick read – he’s one lucky guy! Shelley M. — October 23, 2017
I really enjoyed your book. I loved the adventure. Great job! Bob — October 26, 2017
Hello Jerry! … You have no idea what an effect [your book] made on me during my trip. I was laughing out loud on the flight as I envisioned things you endured, while being emotional realizing so many things you said catered to things in my life both professional and personal. Whew! That was a mouthful!!! ….. You are my mentor!! … Jeanette – October 27, 2017
Hi Jerry – My wife just picked up your book for me at Gear West and I read it in 5 days! As an avid cyclist, I found myself truly enjoying what each day brought on your journey and love the approach you took towards your ride! Congrats on the amazing achievement and the great book! Chris — October 30, 2017
[Jerry] loving your book! You just negotiated your campsite once off ferry on Vancouver Island. So loving this…Such an inspiration!!! Patrick — October 31st, 2017
Jerry: Just finished your book. OUTSTANDING! You are nuts dude. But another affirmation that 1) we are all capable of more than we understand, 2) most people are on call to be unselfishly helpful, 3) we need to be grateful for whatever our situation is. I walked away from @@@@@@ for exactly the logic you outline in the book: IMMOBILE STASIS = atrophy…. Roger — November 5, 2017
Hi Jerry, My name is Kit, I work for a friend of yours, ********. He picked up one of your books for me and had you sign it, so first of all, Thank you! The book was amazing and really inspired and touched my soul. I am a Randonneur and do long distance self-supported riding as well. Nothing as long as what you have accomplished, yet, but I got goals, J. I got into biking when my daughter left for college. First with racing which turned into longer rides, and now has turned into Randonneuring with goal to do PBP in 2019 and potentially putting Trans AM on the list for 2020. I started racing 2009 and have been randonneuring the last 5 years. I have completed 3, Super Randonneur series (200K, 300K, 400K, 600K in a year) and 2, R12 series (200K every month of the year consecutively) and I’ve done 2-1000K’s and 1-1200K. And always looking year after year to up that adventure. I related so much to your drive and heart in your book. Within the first chapter and throughout the book, I related, cried, felt my heart beat fast, smiled, laughed out loud and cheered as you were determined to finish, I have felt all of those things as well. Unfortunately I did not have a spouse that supported this passion and though we remain good friends, it did cause our relationship to end. However, I do truly believe that each person should live out their lives as fully as they are able and passionate about doing. You only get this one. You are very blessed to have a spouse that supported you in living out your dreams, and continues to do so. I love meeting new people and being new places and doing things that “most” of my friends say are crazy, but my other friends are by my side supporting or doing these things with me. Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you, thank you! For the inspiration, but most importantly to be reminded passions and desires to be wild and free and self-sufficient is an awesome and amazing thing! I hope we can stay connected and I can hear of more adventures for you and the stories you share! All my best….ride on! Kit — November 10, 2017
Having sold a million copies of my books and published 1,200 other client books in my life, I know a great read when I see one! This book is an EPIC adventure tale that needs to be added to your collection, especially if you are not ready to give up on life and accept the aging process. Even though Jerry pedaled solo 3,634 miles at nearly 58 years old, from Alaska to the Mexican border – this book actually has almost nothing to do with cycling. Rather, this is an adventure book which encourages you to overcome your fears, take calculated risks, accept hospitality from complete strangers and it will even inspire you to plan your next trek so that you too will not give up on life and accept aging as most people do. What caught me totally by surprise was Jerry’s incredible sense of humor and his masterful use of the English language. These two things combined with learning of this incredible adventure made me realize this is one of my all time favorite books that I have ever read…and now I’ll begin reading it a second time. If you are looking for a feel good experience that will leave you eager to achieve more in your life, start here, read this book and get ready for your spirit to be forever changed!
— Patrick Snow, Publishing Coaching and International Best-Selling Author of Creating Your Own Destiny – November 30, 2017
Downhills Don’t Come Free is a wonderful book! The whole concept of “finding your stretch” – that challenging place where you feel most alive – imbues the book with an energy and vitality that jump from the page. In this adventure of taking on a bike ride from Alaska to the Mexican border Jerry describes in vivid and compelling detail the ups and downs of the journey. On it he learns such lessons as the continual goodness of strangers, the stunning first hand beauty of unspoiled nature, the senses-alive power of living in the moment, and embracing the unexpected. From Alaska and Canada wilderness moments where bear spray (yes!) is his constant companion, to the unique human wilds of Venice Beach, California, the book is a panoramic view of the vastness of natural and urban variety. It is, in the end, an ode to persistence, endurance, and follow-through, and a celebration of living life fully and ecstatically. This book is not just for those who want to take a similar adventure, but for anyone looking for their “stretch,” be that physical, mental, or emotional. Dale Griffiths Stamos – Writer/Teacher/Producer/Director – December 22, 2017