Imagine a shy country girl, who had never traveled out of the United States, embarking on a yearlong bicycle trip around the world, leaving behind all the comforts of home to travel with 249 strangers. In Shifting Gears, she explains the turmoil she endured before leaving, the daily hardships encountered in camping and biking in Third World countries, the brutally long miles of daily riding, the language barriers, the personal dynamics of living with the same strangers 24 hours a day and dealing with a myriad of new personalities. Even a serious accident in France didn’t slow Al down, and she returned to finish the trip she had spent four long years working to finance. She overcame lifelong insecurities to become a leader of fellow cyclists and went home with a desire to live her life differently than previously planned. Her idea of returning to Driggs, Idaho, refreshed and ready to teach another 10 years backfired, and she retired early to pursue dreams she never before felt able to accomplish. For Al, life began at 50 and she is slowly ticking off those dreams, one by one, as she realizes them. She now knows the fear of the unknown won’t stand in her way and that there are fascinating people all over the world waiting to be part of her adventures.