Giveaway - Changing Gears

I had the pleasure of meeting Greg Foyster and Sophie Chishkovsky last year when they cycled from Melbourne, via Tasmania, to North Queensland. It was a 6,500 km trip. Greg, is a writer by profession, and he has written a book about the trip called Changing Gears. I was asked to read it a couple of months ago and that is something I hesitate to do if I know the author. I get a bit anxious about telling the truth about a book that doesn't inform, inspire or impress me. I didn't have to worry in this case. I loved the book. In fact, I told Greg I'd take a couple of weeks to read it but when I started the book and put it down, I kept thinking about it and had to keep reading. I finished it in a few days. 

I love and admire Greg and Soph because they were crazy enough to think about doing a trip like this and for continuing to pedal kilometre after kilometre when they were starting to question why they were doing it. They're back in Melbourne now, we've kept in touch, and they're still on their simple living path. I won't tell you anything about Greg's story, except to say that I was surprised by how funny it is, and you can read my endorsement below. I don't think my sheets are as white as he says they are but if they are, it's all due to homemade laundry liquid. ; - )

Greg and his publisher, Affirm Press,  have given me a book to give away. Just comment on why you'd like to win the book and we'll draw the winner out next Tuesday morning, my time. Make sure you leave a link or email address so I can contact you if you win.

If you don't win the book, do yourself a favour and buy a copy. It will be published on 1 September and will be available at most good independent book shops, your local Dymocks and online at

Endorsements for Changing Gears

“Greg Foyster raises questions many of us have asked ourselves about work, spending, values and commitment. Looking for a way to live well within an ethical framework, he and his girlfriend Sophie hit the road to cycle up the east coast of Australia. They were looking for others who had moved from a life of stress and overconsumption to a gentler and simpler way of living. What they found was self-belief, self-reliance and the beginnings of a better life. If your lifestyle clashes with your values, if you want to change how you live but need a push to get you there, this is a must-read book for you.” Rhonda Hetzel, author of Down to Earth

”Until humanity figures out what to do about climate change, we need heroes like Greg Foyster and Sophie Chishkovsky who put their lifestyles on the line to inspire us to change.” Colin Beavan, author of No Impact Man

”Greg is funny, insightful and sometimes painfully honest. But Sophie is hilarious!” Tanya Ha, author of Greeniology 2020

”This book is honest, edgy, raw and confrontational. Greg shares his truth in an uncut, heartfelt and mind-digested way. In the saddle of his pushbike we share a personal journey that’s uncovering community for what it is… A compelling ride to the future we are all creating.” Costa Georgiadis, host of Gardening Australia

“From advertising to dumpster diving. A fascinating account of one couple’s journey to live by their principles.” Craig Reucassel, The Chaser and The Checkout

Pedal-Powered Book Tour

Greg said they want to promote the book in a low-impact way, so from September 20 until November 20 they’re embarking on a Pedal-Powered Book Tour. It’ll be a 2000-kilometre journey from Melbourne to Sydney over 60 days, visiting bookstores along the way. Go along and meet them and take a nice piece of banana cake or some muffins to fuel the next leg of their journey. Here’s the current itinerary:
  • 12.30pm Friday 20 September at The Sun Bookshop in Yarraville for a talk and signing
  • 6pm Wednesday 25 September at The Bookshop at Queenscliff for pizza and wine and a talk  and signing
  • 7pm Thursday 26 September at Bookgrove Ocean Grove for a talk and signing
  • 9am Saturday 28 September at Torquay Books for a talk and signing
  • 12pm Thursday 3 October at Collins Ballarat (Sturt St) for a talk and signing
  • 11am Sunday 6 October at New Leaves Woodend for a talk and signing
  • 12pm Monday 7 October at Aesop’s Attic in Kyneton for a signing
  • 2pm Wednesday 9 October at Stoneman’s Bookroom in Castlemaine for a signing
  • 12pm Saturday 12 October at Dymocks Bendigo for a signing
  • Wednesday 16 October in Shepparton
  • Thursday 24 October in Wangaratta
  • Saturday 26 October in Albury
  • Wednesday 30 October and Thursday 31 October in Canberra
  • Saturday 2 November in Cooma
  • Wednesday 6 November in Bega
  • Friday 8 November in Moruya
  • Saturday 9 November in Bateman’s Bay
  • Sunday 10 November in Ulladulla
  • Tuesday 12 November in Nowra
  • Friday 15 November in Wollongong
  • Monday 18 November to Wednesday 30 November in Sydney
For regular updates on the book tour, visit the book page on Greg and Soph's blog, or the Changing Gears Facebook page.


  1. Hi Rhonda,

    I'd LOVE to be the recipient of the book, Changing Gears. My email address is

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this giveaway!

    Diane in North Carolina

  2. IF the giveaway is open to non Australian readers---I would love to be inspired by their journey and the people they met along the way.

  3. Hi Rhonda,
    This book sounds awesome. I would love to win it because I am trying not to buy many books. I love to read about people living frugal, simple lives.
    I LOVE your blog and always look forward to reading it.
    Susan susanrob64@hotmail. com

  4. Hi Rhonda, I'd love to get my hands on a copy of this book - I've followed their journey on their "Simple Lives" blog since they headed off from Melbourne and I've been waiting ever since for the book to be released. Would be a great read. - Michael.

  5. Hi, I'd love to win a copy. It sounds inspiring...

  6. I'd love to win a copy. Following their blog since they visited you has been extremely fascinating, and has helped me consolidate and go further with all the efforts we have made in our house to live simply. I'd love to read it. My email is

    At any rate I'll get along to see them in Canberra!


  7. Hi Rhonda.
    I would love a copy of Greg and Sophies book. I have recently heard about their journey and have been intrigued, of the concept of the physical journey and the metaphorical one. I believe he met quite a number of fascinating people as well. They are great ambassadors for a simple life and custodianship of the planet.

  8. I'm always interested in anyone who is making a change and can do it with a sense of humor and share it with the rest of us. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book. Wonder if it will be offered as an E-read? Either way sounds good to me!
    Karen (across the pond in Mi)....

  9. I'd love a copy of this book- I find that I need fairly regular inspiration in this lifestyle, it confirms why I do what I do.

  10. Hi Rhonda, I don't know if I'm eligible as I'm in the UK but I would love to win a copy of the book. I enjoy reading about other people's journey to a simple life. It might also inspire me to get on my bike again although it's a bit hilly round here for senior cyclists. Also it would interest me to read about Australia - the Eastern part anyway, somewhere I would love to visit. I look forward to reading their blog in the future.
    AnneLizzie, Sussex, England

  11. Hello Rhonda,

    Like a previous commentator, I would love to win the book, if open to people outside Australia. Always interested to read about anyone living a frugal simple life.
    Best wishes,
    Angela (south England) UK. My email is

  12. I have been waiting for this book to come out and am excited it has arrived! I read through their entire blog (a link through your site) and was amazed and inspired! Like Greg, I come from an advertising background and know how empty it can make you feel. I left it after only 12 months and and have never looked back.

    Nadia x

  13. Oh my husband so needs to read this book - hopelessly stuck in the rat race and feeling powerless to leave. Perhaps we're not ready to chuck it all in and cycle thousands of kilometres (our 2 year old may struggle to keep up), but I'm certain there would be some valuable lessons in here for him. Fingers crossed! Thanks Rhonda

  14. Hi, Rhonda
    I'd love the book to inspire my husband. He used to bike, even raced occassionally, and we always intended to buy me a bike when we could afford it. Didn't happen, and now we're nearing retirement, I think it would be a great way to get around - imagine the savings!

  15. I would love to read Greg & Sophies book! I didn't know they were writing one actually. Ive dropped into their blog off and on since you wrote about their visit to you Rhonda. How wonderful that they have written all about their journey. I would love to read it because...........I think their awesome and I love my bike and completely 'get' that feeling of pedalling off into the sunset.x

  16. Hi Rhonda

    I have been waiting for Greg's book to be released, my father and I have been following their journey. I'd love to get a copy. Email-

  17. Hi Rhonda,
    I would love to win the book to help inspire the next generation, I have a 10 week old daughter, my first baby. I begun my sustainability journey about a year ago, part of that journey is studying a bachelor of environment science, majoring in sustainability. I would like to use my knowledge and experience to inspire my daughter to make a positive influence on our planet. Thank you - Danielle -

  18. I jokingly told my husband, an avid cyclist, that we should forget the caravan and cycle around Australia. I never thought that something like that was really possible but perhaps after reading this book we might find the courage to follow our wildest dreams!

  19. Melinda (Brisbane)
    Only last night I was reading peoples' stories about living simply from "simply institutes' and greg wrote an article and sophie wrote her idea of a simple live and talked about their bike ride and I have also read some of their blog. I know I would enjoy reading the book and would like to share it amongst interested like minded people. Will be home on the weekend after being in the US/Canada for six weeks.

  20. I would love to win a copy, since I'm trying to avoid joining the rat race for as long as possible and would love some more tips :) My email is

  21. Oh, I remember reading about other bloggers who met them along the way. What a wonderful inspiring story. Count me in on the draw please, my e-mail is vemvaan(at)

  22. I would love to have a read! I am so interested to learn about how other people have transitioned to a more simple email is inspiredgrowth(at)gmail(dot)com Thanks!

  23. I would love to win this book , I enjoy reading about real life and challenges that people face ,thanks for the chance,

  24. Thanks Rhonda! I'm very flattered by all these comments. I hope whoever ends up with the book enjoys it - we had a lot of fun on the journey, and hopefully that comes through in the text.

    Travelling by bike can be a hard slog at first, but then it becomes a great joy. I highly recommend cycle touring, even if you're not very fit - we weren't!

    Thanks again,


    PS: Unfortunately, the way the publishing industry works is that if a book doesn’t sell copies in the first couple of weeks it gets relegated to a dingy corner of the store (somewhere between the Obscure History section and the rickety table covered in remaindered Sudoku puzzles), so if you do plan on buying it, please pick up a copy soonish!

  25. I think sometimes many of us would like to ride away from modern life and some of the pressures that it can bring if we are living in a way that is much more complicated that we'd like it to be. Simplicity for most of us is probably not a bike ride around Australia but I would love to read the story of these two adventurers who have actually done it! I'm pretty sure that those quiet moments on the road would've led to some contemplative and inspiring thoughts!

  26. Hi Rhonda,

    It was really lovely to have Greg & Sophie stay with us overnight, whilst on their exciting journey, thanks you for the introduction. They were most pleasant & interesting company. It's ironic that you posted this now as I have already ordered Greg's book & it's due to arrive tomorrow.

  27. I would love to win a copy... I'm a mum of two young boys living in the world that has pointed it's marketing campaigns with us directly in their firing line... and I am feeling like the only one that can see it. My friends all think I'm made to want a simpler existence. It will be great to read another couples story about how they are getting there too.
    X Kellie

  28. This sounds like a fabulous book. I really love reading about people who have inspirational stories to tell.

  29. Hello Rhonda, if the givaway is open to us living elsewhere in the world l would love to join! My husband and l really need all the inspiration we can get on our journey towards a simpler life. Pam.
    My blog:

  30. Hi Rhonda I'd also love to be in the running to win a copy of their book ...sounds fabulous ...I love people that walk the talk ...

  31. Hi Rhonda
    If this book is half as inspiring as your 'Down-to-Earth' book then it is a must read and I would love to read it!
    Thanks for the opportunity to improve our lifestyle.
    Sue Todd

  32. Please enter my husband in the competition. He loves his bike, so much, one night I went to get into bed and the bike was in the bed, on my side! We don't get enough time to ride and we have a 12 yr old and no babysitters. Can we dream by reading this book? It wouldn't be a wasted read that's for sure. Thanks, Jelly

  33. Oops, my email is
    Many Thanks, Jelly

  34. How wonderful that there is another book about simple living. It reinforces for me the fact that there are more people wanting it, or searching for it, and that we are not alone.

    I'd love to win a copy of the book, to add to my reference library (that's what I call it, anyway). With your book, Rhonda, and this one, I think I can keep on the path.

  35. because i could do with a laugh (bad day) and if it's a simple living, enviro friendly laugh then alls the better. (I am in NZ though) x

  36. Sounds like a wonderful book. We have just started on our journey to find a better, simpler way of life and are looking for all the inspiration we can find. We live in north west WA and finding like minded people is near impossible, so we would love some written inspiration. Thanks for a great blog. Regards, Rach at

  37. Hi Rhonda, I don't know if you will post to the UK but just in case :) I would love to read the book because last autumn I was in a dark and bad place. One afternoon I took off and walked and walked and walked. I have no idea how far I went but I was out for about 8 hours. For me it was cathartic and gave me a chance to try and unmuddle everything in my head. For my family it was terrible. There were police looking for me, I was officially an at risk missing person. I had no idea of the upset, chaos and cost I caused because frankly I wasn't well. That walk changed my life I was determined to get back on track and never risk losing my family again. I decided it was time to look at how we lived and how it was affecting our lives. Hence our journey towards less stuff and more life.

    I wish I had been more sensible and done my journey like Greg and Sophie - but it all worked out well in the end for us :)

  38. Rhonda, I would love a copy of this book. We are working on simplifying and getting rid of things we don't want or need. It is quite a process with 4 children!
    Kelly Johnson

  39. Great giveaway! We are bikers in this family, and that's why I'd like to win a book. My husband, especially, would love to do a trip like this.

  40. Hi Rhonda,
    this sounds like a wonderful book. I love to read about people who completely change their lives. It is also a great way to read about new ways to live more simple. Reading about other countries is also something I love to do.
    Living in The Netherlands, I don't know a lot about Australia, apart from the things I read on the blogs I follow.
    I would love to join in the give away fun, if it isn't a problem that I live in The Netherlands ; )
    Have a great day.

  41. These are my favorite types of books to read... inspiration, adventure, and simple living all rolled in to one.
    abelavita at

  42. I want to live a simpler life and am working hard to that end, would love to read someone else's experiences....Would love to read the book

  43. I'd like to learn new ways to slow down and do things myself.

    I'm in the U.S.A., so just choose someone else if you'd rather not ship internationally.

    Harvest Lane Cottage

  44. I'm looking forward to reading it even if I don't win the draw. Will it be available in the U.S.A.?

    1. I'm not sure, Gypsie Quilter. You can drop Greg an email and ask. His email details are on his blog.

  45. Hi Rhonda, Just in case I'm lucky enough to win my email is:

    Forgot to add that. Thanks.
    AnneLizzie, Sussex, England

  46. I'd love to win the book Rhonda as we are slowly Changing Gears here as my Husband's retirement is just around the corner! How inspirational does Greg sound! Thank yoio for the opportunity. I'm hoping to catch Greg when he's down this way!

  47. I would love to win a copy of "Changing Lives", Rhonda. Several months ago my son lost everything in a house fire, escaping with his life in just seconds. It has profoundly affected how he views the world and how he now should live. I would love to be able to pass it on to him (after first taking a peep myself!), as I know he would love it.

  48. I think this would be a fantastic way for me to get to know Australia! Please enter me in the drawing ~

  49. I'd love to be the recipient of this prize. And if I didn't win I would request it from my public library as I don't tend to buy books much these days in my quest for a simpler life. Also, that would mean that my local library can provide much needed support to local authors. Thanks, melissa dot maclean at gmail dot com

  50. Oh Rhonda, thank you for this post! I always love to read about other young people like myself setting themselves apart from the rat race to embrace what really matters in life. My partner cannot find a job since finishing his degree and just lost his part time job yesterday - I would love to be able to win this book so I could give it to him, to remind him all is not lost. Sometimes our friends/family look down on us as being boring/cheap because we don't waste money on going out and make our own bread, laundry powder, etc. so it's good to know we're not alone. Thanks to your blog and the forum we are making do. Thanks for sharing :)

  51. Num Num Num, finger my bum.

  52. I'd love to win this book as I know I'd relate to it and have a good laugh at the same time. Not only do I fully embrace simple living, but I did a 1,200 km bike ride last year. I'd understand the difficulties and challenges Greg and Soph faced, which would make this a satisfying and enjoyable read.

  53. Sounds like a good read for fun as well as inspiration!

  54. gostaria de participar....


    Maria Filomena

  55. Hi Rhonda, My husband just turned 50 and he hasnt been able to work for over 7 years now due to Ankylosing Sponylitis. He has learnt that living frugal makes a big difference. I leave home for work at 7am returning at 6pm so he cooks during the week. We usually use our oven once a week on weekends to bake. During the 80's he raced in the Commonwealth cycle classic Brisbane to Sydney. One of his small pleasures is cycling and its free! I'm sure we both would enjoy the book.

  56. I would love to be in the draw to win the book I remember reading about this couple . How inspiring xx

  57. I'm not sure if you want to mail the book overseas, but I would love to win it. I'm always looking for inspiration for my simple living journey. I think we all need all the help we can get to resist the messages of our materialistic culture.

  58. Always interested to hear about people simplifying and slowing down - would love to win this book! surelysarah @

  59. I would just love love love to win this book! I remember when Greg & Sophie cycled past here and stayed with you.

    I love the idea of being able to get in touch with yourself - spending the time with your own thoughts as you cycle along. I am one of those people who are in that phase of working life where I spend ~50 hours per week at work, however I'm not working to buy the latest clothes, the best magazines or a new car each year.

    I'm slowly starting to slow down where I can, do what I can as I transition to a simpler life. I'm making my own household cleaners, I'm alternating my home-made washing detergent with the store bought detergent, I make my own yoghurts, I've dabbled in making some very easy and simple cheeses, and I cook from scratch wherever possible. In other words, I do what I can do to make life simpler, to slow down and be more mindful of living in the moment rather than thinking and planning days in advance and missing the "now"...

    I can remember my Grandfather talking about riding his bicycle from South Australia to Queensland with his brother when he was just 14 years old looking for work. Charlie Brown is still with us and turns 100 years old in February 2014... He's always been in touch with himself and has always lived the life that's true to himself...

    You can contact me via my blog below, or on if I'm lucky enough to win the book!!!

    Thanks again for the blog you write - it is lovely knowing that other people like yourself and your readers who comment are like minded!!!

  60. ps - Gosh I wish there was a "like" button on the comments - there are some great ones here!!!

  61. I would love a chance of winning this book-I want to get out of the rat race once and for all.

  62. Like many before me have noted, I'm not sure if I'm open to win (I'm in the US), but if so, I'd love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like the perfect book for me to read as my family and I are on our own extended travel (five months and still going) with the hopes of finding a smaller place to live, more in line with our values. Either way, I'm looking forward to reading this book once it comes out!

  63. This sounds like a lovely book--I'd love to read it, given away or not :). Just got notification that your book is wending its way to me, which I'm very excited about.

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