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Author bicycles across the country

She has her bicycle, 34 pounds of supplies and a mission to prove herself a whole person by riding from California to Washington, D.C. and back.
This all comes on the heals of a “brain explosion,” which left Megan Timothy unable to write, read or speak.
“I was imprisoned in my own mind like solitary confinement,” said the 63-year-old who biked through Lincoln County Monday.
She takes with her clothes, a tent, vegetarian food and her book — “Let Me Die Laughing! Waking from the Nightmare of a Brain Explosion.”
Writing the book was a major step into Timothy’s path to recovery. It was inspired by the most difficult six months of her life.
In September 2003, Timothy had just lost her mother, who she cared for for years. Her mother’s illness had left her in a financial crisis.
And then her brain turned on her. Doctors call it a “bleed,” although Timothy prefers to refer to it as an explosion. Whatever it was, it only left her with one word — “chicken.”
“And let me tell you, there’s not much you can do with ‘chicken,’” Timothy said.
Because she had no money, Timothy was placed in a rehabilitation home, which she refers to as “The Place.” It was two of the worst weeks of her life.
“I think sometimes (doctors) forget that behind this broken piece of person is a human being,” she said.
She finally managed to leave and unpack in a new home when it burned to the ground leaving her with her cat and nothing else. It was at this point she did the only thing she could do.
“I laughed,” she said.
Slowly, but surely, Timothy went on the road to recovery. She learned how to gracefully accept help from friends and even began the arduous process of learning to read and eventually writing her book.
“Gradually the words made sense and the sentences made sense and then the paragraphs made sense,” she said.
Now, three years later, she’s hit the road as a way to promote her book, but also as a quest for self discovery.
“I decided I needed to prove to myself I was a whole person,” she said.
So far, it’s worked.
“As I have been riding, things have been getting better,” she said.
Bicycling across the United States is by no means Timothy’s first adventure. At the age of 21, she left her native country of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) for the United States. Her money brought her as far as Los Angeles.
She became a folk singer, a bunny at a Playboy nightclub, an actress in campy films and eventually a screenwriter and bed and breakfast owner.
In her 50s she bike alone through the Middle East up to eastern Europe and into Morocco. In her younger years she road down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft and down the Amazon in a kayak.
She has loved her latest trip so far — everything except for the traffic and the laundry.
“You go on this huge adventure, and you spend every night doing laundry!” she said.
Timothy rides during the day, camps at night and makes occasional appearances to promote her book. She’s been able to see the United States up close and personal, and has found everyone to be giving and kind (except for a cranky old man at an RV campground).
“I’ve learned so much about myself, about other people, about compassion,” she said.
For more information or to purchase “Let Me Die Laughing! Waking from the Nightmare of a Brain Explosion” visit www.cronehousepublishing.com.
by Sarah Grano

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