Cycling Book Release Party

Sally Vantress-Lodato Releases Updated Book Edition

In 1988, Sally Vantress-Lodato left behind everything she knew to embark on a cycling trip around the world. She chose a basic mountain bike, because she was a beginner cyclist. “My small frame did not fit other options,” she says. “Women-specific gear, especially bikes, was really not available. Having wider tires and upright angled hand bars helped me learn to ride.”

When Vantress-Lodato left to ride around the world, she set out on a personal journey to learn about herself and the world. She was not sponsored, and did not plan to write a book. As the trip became a series of lessons, however, she decided to write Seeing Myself Seeing the World to motivate others to step outside of their comfort.

The original edition reflects on her 18-month trip as she cycled 21,000 miles. This winter, Vantress-Lodato introduces a revised and updated book, including perspective from 30 years post-trip.

Vantress-Lodato at McKenzie Pass in Oregon state.

“This revised book brings out the critical role people play in our lives and what this means to our search for purpose,” says Vantress-Lodato. “I have added insights that I have learned during this gap of time and how they apply to today’s world.”

A trip like Vantress-Lodato’s would look greatly different in today’s world. Thirty years ago, she points out, there was no internet or digital devices to share and record a journey, gather information, or check maps.

“I had to find ways to communicate, using a pay phone to call home every few months and using the post office to send my film, journals, travel books and other things home,” she says. What has not changed, she says, is the connection people have with one another, a topic of focus in her travelogue memoir.

New Friendships were made in Beijing, China. (Vantress-Lodato in Center Left)

Vantress-Lodato hopes the updated version of her book inspires others to reflect on their past as a tool to change their future.

“It’s daunting and enlightening to look back with a perspective of today,” she says. “We don’t often get that chance, but when we do, it can help us uncover things we might want to change. This knowledge helps us feed rather than starve the burning need we all have inside of us.”

Vantress-Lodato has been a bike commuter in the Spokane community since 1998, and used to manage the Spokane branch REI store. She hopes her book serves as inspiration for others to overcome fear and try something new to get outdoors.

“It’s incredibly exciting to watch someone overcome their doubts and begin their journey in outdoors pursuits. For some it’s as simple as getting outdoors and walking. For others, it’s about pushing themselves to reach a higher level of performance. My story demonstrates the power we each have inside of us to reach our goals,” she says.

Vantress-Lodato on her bike in New Zealand.

Vantress-Lodato believes her book will be relevant to the Spokane outdoors community, especially, with our wide range of outdoor opportunity.

“We have an amazing treasure of outdoor activities here. Connecting ourselves in ways that resonate with each of our unique needs is a powerful way to recharge,” she says. “We have four seasons in our region. To connect, recreate and become great stewards of our outdoor play-land is important. The more we can inspire people to connect outdoors, the more our community will prosper.”

Vantress-Lodato arrives home in Aptos, California, at the end of her cycling trip.

Now Vantress-Lodato enjoys recreational riding and going on cycling trips that work well with her family. She’s still had plenty of oversea adventures since her trip in ’88, though. Some of her recent trips include India, Spain, Chile, and Botswana. She shares her experiences via a travel blog on her website,

Join Vantress-Lodato on Sunday, December 17th at Black Label Brewing Co. in the Saranac Commons Community Building in Spokane for a book release party featuring her updated edition. The event runs from 12:00-3:00 p.m., with a toast and author reading beginning at 12:30 p.m. The author will also be available to sign copies.

Vantress-Lodato, author of “Seeing Myself Seeing the World”

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