Testimonials and Reviews


Heather Andersen’s fine book blends the best aspects of travel writing with memoir as she guides us on a journey both internal and external. Her descriptions of Southern Africa bring culture and landscape to life with precision you only earn through slow steady observation at bicycle-pace, while her own personal story of endurance, hardship, forgiveness, and wonder unfolds unexpectedly.  A marvelous tale.”

-Ana Maria Spagna, author of Potluck: Community on the Edge of Wilderness


If you have a dream that seems beyond the possibility of manifestation, read I Never Intended to be Brave. Heather Andersen will take you on a journey of awakening. When you finish this inspirational book, you won’t hesitate to go on your own journey.”

-Nancy Slonim Aronie, author of Writing From the Heart


If you want to see the world, there are few better ways than by bicycle…[Heather] relays her experiences of a lone woman against the world, and makes for a very interesting and highly entertaining read. I Never Intended to Be Brave is a fine read, very much recommended for those looking for a memoir of true adventure.”

Midwest Book Review Small Press Bookwatch


In I Never Intended to be Brave, Heather Andersen takes us with her on a thrilling and inspiring journey, a woman bicycling alone across southern Africa. Her vivid word pictures, humble courage, and engaging style are reminiscent of pioneer travel journalist Joshua Slocum in Sailing Alone Around the World. And, she deftly brings the reader the sense of presence Robert Persig observed in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, ‘On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.’ Andersen, on a bicycle rather than a motorcycle like Persig, was even more in the scene. We’re fortunate that she is sharing her journey with us. It’s a wonderful, moving story. Five stars.”

-Rich Olken, founding Executive Director BikesBelong, General Manager (retired) Let’s Go Publishing, Past President National Bicycle Dealers Association


If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to do the thing you’re most afraid of–whether or not you intended it–and come out wiser, softer, and yet more courageous, reading Heather Andersen’s debut will satisfy your curiosity.”

-Susan Piver, author of The Wisdom of a Broken Heart


As someone who barely bicycles beyond the bikepaths and streets of Washington, D.C. and environs, I am in awe of Heather Andersen’s nerve, verve and vigor to take on the natural and cultural challenges of southern Africa on two wheels all by herself. This book really brings home the beauty, joys and frustrations of both the bicycle and the formerly dark continent that now intrigues us so much.”

-Peter Harnik, co-founder, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy


I Never Intended to Be Brave is truly an adventure to read. Follow along with Heather Andersen as she takes a journey of discovery through the external landscape of Southern Africa and the inner landscape of her heart to uncover the opportunity that exists within every challenge.”

-David Surrenda Ph. D., CEO, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health


What a thrilling book! I felt as though I became Heather’s traveling companion and was there to see the sights, hear the sounds, and feel ‘the dark’!”

-Vandita Kate Marchesiello, Director Kripalu Professional Associations


Heather Andersen’s African bicycling adventure is a fun story of humble triumph. Her tale shows us that the things we’re told to fear can often be overcome with courage, compassion and understanding. Heather never intended to be brave but she is. A great read.”

-Mike Greehan, former Publisher, Bicycling Magazine
and Past Board President, League of American Bicyclists


I Never Intended to Be Brave is an inspiring story that will encourage you to dream big, overcome your fears, and strive to reach your potential…Reading [Heather’s] book may inspire you to live a life of “no regrets.””

-Susan Heim, Chicken Soup for the Soul editor


“…Spunky and observant, Andersen…pushes[es] forward despite legitimate fears and daily challenges…[she] reveals the underlying cultural richness so many of us have encountered [in Africa]…Every life is a unique adventure. Andersen generously shares a slice of her own life adventure in this fresh and beguiling book.”

-Barbara E. Joe, Peace Corps Writers


“I went on a bike trip through Africa with Heather Andersen without ever leaving my home! Her fascinating account of an extraordinary adventure is as interesting as it is educational. To say her story is inspiring is an understatement.”

-Desiree Rumbaugh, Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher




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