The University of Gravel Roads – a travelogue by Rene Cormier that chronicles worldwide motorcycle adventure – has become a bestseller in Canada. The book, published in 2010, highlights Cormier’s five-year solo-motorcycle journey that took him around the world.
Once The University of Gravel Roads was published, the text was in high demand – fueled “in large by extensive author appearances across North America.” How large? “Sometime when we were out guiding African Motorcycle Safaris in the summer of 2014, we sold our 5,000th copy,” Cormier says.
In 2003, the 33-year old Cormier left a successful career and cashed his few possessions to finance his dream — a motorcycle trip around the world. Planning to be away for three years, a need to replenish his financial resources stretched the travel over five years. Through narrative and photography, his book covers countless experiences of his 41-country, 95,000 mile route, completed with no idea of what he was about to learn, no sponsors, and no support vehicles.
“I’d learned that the world was full of loving, generous and honest people,” Cormier says. “I’d learned how little money it took to be happy on the road. I’d learned that the more of myself I shared with the locals, the more they shared with me and the more I rode away with. I’d learned that the simpler my life was, the more I was able to enjoy it.”
Following his extended, two-wheeled expedition, Cormier founded Renedian Adventures, which is in its sixth year of guiding African Motorcycle Safaris. Cormier, along with his wife Colette and son Jacques, currently spend half the year in Canada and the other half in southern Africa, helping people explore Africa on two wheels.