Elizabeth’s Engagements and Media

A giant thank you to all the folks who have invited me to tell my “Outpedaling” story. What good are authors without readers, after all?

Upcoming Events

Please join Elizabeth at 6 p.m. (Eastern time) Wednesday, Dec. 9 in a discussion about “Outpedaling The Big C” with the D.C. Public Library and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association


YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePgLlpSq5EY
Facebook:  https://fb.watch/2h99fXl9g2/

This event will be broadcast on Facebook Live

During this program, Elizabeth will share stories of her mental, emotional and physical journeys; the process of publishing her first book; and how public libraries fit into the picture. We’ll also talk about cycling advocacy, safety, and infrastructure as relates to long-distance trips and share some of our favorite books about bicycling for you to cozy up with this winter. 

Learn more here: Eventbrite, DC Library

Sign up here: Facebook Event

Recent Engagements

Book Signing/Talk at the Appalachian Trail Museum in Central PA
2:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 31, 2020

1120 Pine Grove Road
Gardners, PA 17324

Come meet the author and have her sign your copy of “Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America”. The book includes Elizabeth’s adventures on the Appalachian Trail during her 1991 thru-hike as The Blister Sister. The museum will have books for sale. Learn more here.

Please Note: Due to the pandemic, the talk will be outside, weather permitting. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed. In the event of inclement weather, the event will move inside to the adjacent Ironmasters Mansion.

Radio/TV Appearances

Click on the links below to hear/watch more about Elizabeth cross-country bicycling adventure.

Spotlight on: “Outpedaling ‘The Big C’

Mars Hill Radio host Dawn Sessler, from Syracuse, N.Y., interviews Elizabeth about how persistence matters when navigating rough and tumble times. Aired Jan. 1, 2021.

“Outpedaling The Big C:” How Biking Across America Helped One Woman Reclaim Her Life After Cancer

NPR Milwaukee/WUWM 89.7 – Elizabeth interview with reporter Audrey Nowakowski aired Nov. 27, 2020

“An American Story” on PBS39 serving the Greater Lehigh Valley, PA

PBS “More Than Money” host Gene Dickison interviews Elizabeth about her bicycle trek, her cancer odyssey and her journey to rediscover her father during this “An American Story” episode aired Sept. 22. Runs 28 minutes.

CBS News Radio “Eye on Travel” with Peter Greenberg

CBS Travel Detective Peter Greenberg interviews Elizabeth about her cross-country bike ride, Heals on Wheels, and how vital bicycling has become during the coronavirus pandemic. Aired Aug. 22. Note: Interview with Elizabeth starts at 29 minutes, 36 seconds into the segment.

Magazine/Newspaper/Newsletter Articles

The Potomac Appalachian: Newsletter of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club: November 2020 issue, page 9: Keep Calm and Read On: One of Our Own

Jane Friedman’s “Getting Published” guest post: Oct. 22, 2020: I Spent Nearly Two Decades Writing and Editing My Book. It Finally Found a Publisher.

Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association: Autumn 2020 issue : McGowan spins moving tale of cross-country bike odyssey

Crain NewsPro: October 2020 issue: “Getting Around Trump: Environmental Reporters Share Different Tactics” page 4

Idaho Magazine: October 2020 issue: Cambridge to White Bird – A Lone Cyclist on a Long Ride

The Racine (Wisconsin) Journal Times: Oct. 4, 2020: Our Authors: One woman’s journey for rediscovery

The Janesville (Wisconsin) Gazette: Oct. 1, 2020: Book chronicles cyclist’s journey to outpedal ‘The Big C’

Melanoma Research Alliance, Melanoma Stories: Sept. 18, 2020: Elizabeth McGowan @ Outpedaling ‘The Big C’

“Mary Beth Danielson writes” guest post: September 2020: Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America

“Outpedaling” Reviews

Kirkus Reviews: “The Pulitzer winner interweaves a cross-country cycling travelogue with an account of growing up with her late father. A keen and poignant celebration of being alive.”

Foreword Reviews: Outpedaling “The Big C“ journeys through illness and America, viewing the ability to put one foot in front of the other as a gift… McGowan makes sense of her circumstances and develops strength across her powerful, 4,250-mile bicycle trip. Joyful, introspective, terrifying, and sobering, her memoir is about reconciling her mortality with her father’s.

Library Journal: This is not only a wonderful road narrative, with a delightful array of characters and quirky places featured along the way, it is also a heartfelt and engaging account of the author’s battle with cancer… Even readers with limited experience with cancer or cycling will find plenty to enjoy and identify with in this remarkable and thoughtful memoir. VERDICT This striking personal account may serve as an inspiration to anyone facing difficulties in life. For fans of Rinker Buck’s The Oregon Trail and William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways.

Booklist: This memoir covers a lot of ground – literally. McGowan intersperses the trek tales with chapters about her melanoma, her career and her family. Long-distance cyclists, cancer patients, and people who have lost a beloved parent should find much to inspire them in this account.

Praise for “Outpedaling”

“What a journey—a transcontinental chronicle from a writer who is truly, fully alive!”

—Bill McKibben, the most effective environmental activist and writer of our time

“McGowan takes readers through an intimate journey—across the country and through her own past—as she shares insights and lessons learned that will resonate with cancer survivors, medical professionals, and anyone who’s ever wanted to just ‘say yes’ to an adventure. Melanoma—or any cancer—changes you and the way you see the world. Outpedaling ‘The Big C’ thoroughly and entertainingly proves that all change isn’t bad.”

Michael Kaplan, President and CEO, Melanoma Research Alliance

“Part travelogue and part diary, Elizabeth brings the reader along multiple journeys. We’re able to ride with her on her bike trip across America, sit next to her as she seeks her treatments and relishes her survival against Cancer, and listen with compassion and, at times, recognize ourselves, as she works through the loving yet complicated relationship with the father she lost to melanoma at a young age. Alone, each of the challenges Elizabeth takes on in her life would be impactful to most anyone. To have experienced them all and arrive at the other side still celebrating life shows a strength of spirit and resiliency seldom matched. With the clear voice of a journalist, the eye of an anthropologist, and the heart of a woman who has faced death in the eye and said ‘Not today,’ Outpedaling will leave you believing people are good, we all can proceed as the way opens, and everything will be OK.”

—Sandi Marra, President and & CEO, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

“Fantastic and riveting story of hope and love.”

Gene Dickison, host of “More than Money” on PBS 39 serving the Greater Lehigh Valley (PA, NJ, and DE)

“A book for anyone seeking inspiration to live life more deliberately and fully, especially those who have wrestled with cancer or who have lost loved ones to it.”

Anna Marie Lux, The Janesville (WI) Gazette

“A powerful, rollicking adventure that takes us across America and deep into one person’s life-and-death experience.”

Carl Zimmer, New York Times science reporter